I tend to ration my use of Gaping Void cartoons otherwise I would be using one every day! However this one was too good not to use. It’s also very relevant to the new approach to intervention and change that Culture Scan and other aspects of SenseMaker® like the soon to be announced 360º feedback tool. I’ve given up on getting Culture Scan out this week by the way. Everything is working but the fine detail of the text and pricing has to be right and I’ve slipped it to Monday to allow that. The upside is that it allows me to complete the series of posts to explain its use. This link will take you back to the first of those if you want to catch up.
The emphasis of today’s post is to argue against change management programmes with end goals and argue instead for multiple small action based interventions to secure a vector or vectors of change. The cycle of change initiatives in most organisations is relentless and largely driven by the multiple false assumption of the engineering metaphors of the last few decades. The standard approach is to decide how things should be, then attempt to close the gap by dragging people into the Brave New World that has arise from a few top executive workshops constrained by the recipes of their favourite consultants.
There are substantial and known problems here:
The alternative is most cheaper, simpler and more sustainable. You start with where people are and then you seek to carry out small fail-safe initiatives to see if you can start to shift things in the right direction. Take a look at the landscape my first post on Culture Scan to get a sense of this. You engage all people in a What can we do to get more stories like these and fewer like this series of actions. Not talking about how things should be in the future, but doing small things in the situated present than enable the emergence of better future. Managing change is about what we do now, now what we want to be. That at best gives us a sense of direction.
Over the next few posts I will give some examples of that around the signifiers we are using for Culture Scan.
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