Friday, July 17, 2009

Integrating changes inside organizations

I would like to point out a fact in change management that seems to me, organizations are rarely aware of. In most large and complex organizations, there is a succession of causes and consequences. One cause generates mechanically one or more consequence(s), which will act as new cause(s) generating mechanically other consequences ...
In this schema, there is often, no place left for any possibility of action. Especially, when you are re-thinking your organization and looking for what you could do to change, you often feel trap in an intangible rigid system.
The problem is that, is such a case, you are beginning by taking a SNAPSHOT of the reality. That's ok to begin with this, the problem is that, then you are tend to consider that this frozen snapshot represents what is and will always be.
But, everything change, if you were to take another snapshot a few days/weeks/months later, you should notice differences. We rarely do this because because having this type of snapshot is most of the time a huge task and also, once with have one, again we tend to think that we have captured the intangible reality of the organization.
What I propose is the following shift : put your purposes/goals in perspective with your analysis, project it everywhere in the organization as a new viewpoint.
Right, this will not change anything in a first time.
Then the following is to occur : sometimes, in the succession CAUSE / CONSEQUENCE-CAUSE / CONSEQUENCE ... another thing shows up : OPTION, given us the succession CAUSE / CONSEQUENCE / OPTION.
At this moment, you are able to properly influence the course of the events, given 3 conditions :
1- you must recognize that an option raised up
2- you must know where you want to go in order to choose
3- you must be prepared to act
In other words, you are implanting a permanent awareness fueled with your goals and ready to slightly push your organization in the intended direction each time an opportunity shows up.
The initial snapshot is not useless, but it must not mask you this way of working inherent to any system and by which progressive, almost effortless changes can be enforced by the inside of the organization.
Also, when considering things from the snapshot viewpoint, we tend to figure changes from the outside of the organization as a one shot re-design, and think the organization as a static system, which is very unlikely to be true.
Even USSR changed and on a dramatic mode !