My work experience has been in personnel, EEO/Affirmative Action, training
and facilitation. For the past two years, I had a "dream job" as an
internal consultanthelping to effect major change in ETA's mission and
organization. We had it all - committed and knowledgable top level
support and leadership for our change effort, partnership with our unions,
resources, etc. We talked a lot about Senge's learning organization
concepts, sent groups of folks to training in LO core competencies, and
tried, through an empowered training team, to translate these concepts
into practical actions.
Were we successful? That's the question I've been pondering over the past
few weeks. On the one hand, we did gobs of things and I could create a
fine, impressive list. On the other hand, I could look around and see the
same old patterns of behavior, resistance to change, intractable
bureaucracy, and now the attitude of Congress that we Feds haven't done
anything right and need to be done away with. The postings on this list
have helped me see that the question of success is the wrong question.
The only questions that mean anything are did we start, did we keep
trying, did we learn anything, and will we apply what we learned.
What am I curious about? How love, power and fear operate in
organizations. Margaret Wheatley, in her wonderful book "Leadership and
the New Science" says "Because power is energy, it needs to flow through
organizations; it cannot be confined to functions or levels...What gives
power its charge, positive or negative, is the quality of relationships.
Those who relate through coercion, or from a disregard for the other
person, create negative energy. Those who are open to others and who see
others in their fullness create positive energy. Love in organizations,
then, is the most potent source of power we have available." I want to
explore how to translate this truth into practical applications.
I'm also interested to know if anyone on the list has had experience with
organizational change in churches. I'm looking into doing some of that
and would welcome the contacts.
Thanks for listening - keep sharing the learning.
-- Suzanne Kramer firstname.lastname@example.org