First, I apologize if anyone felt that my first post was a slam of
consultants or those marketing solution systems. I also apologize if
anyone felt I was slamming motives of list members, I was doing neither.
Having had many friends and even some family downsized, rightsized or
otherwise thrown drastically into career crisis, I can respect the efforts
of those helping people cope with change (and if you are on this list and
a consultant, you would be stupid not to think entrepreneurially).
Second, I changed the subject line, tried to move quickly beyond the
specific case of Rose and intact and prefaced my comments with "Changing
the subject "but it seems like people got drawn back into the immediate
and missed my point.
So here is a little more about what I was thinking to hopefully clarify
where I was wanting to head a conversation. I have been working in
several management capacities over the last several years mostly in the
governmental, quasi-governmental and not-for-profit worlds. In addition,
I have served as a consultant to a numbern of organizations that fit in
the same categories. I would agree that in those bureaucracies there has
not been the wholesale massive changes (read downsizing) that have been
the boon of our collective IRA's and 401's. I would also agree that many
of the agencies I have been involved with are on the laggard end of the
technology adoption and reengineering movements. So from the inside,
there does not seem to be change ... especially not massive change ....
*However* the lack of appearance of change does not mean change is not
happening and any agency not looking for talking about and taking control
of change are agencies doomed for failure because pretending like change
does not happen won't make change go away.
In the last six months, I have seen large public health agency divisions
be privatized, decentralized and otherwise reorganized. San Diego
recently watched the doors of a multi-million dollar AIDS Social Service
agency do Chapter 7. I hate to say it but these stogie old non-changing
dinosaurs are changing. Did it all occur overnight? I don't think so.
The changing world system has been going on for years, only some agencies
don't buy into the change until they are forced to react (ie reorg-ing the
health department) or collapse (chapter 7 for the AIDS foundation).
I would suspect that many on this list are familiar with Russell Ackoff's
Redesigning the Future, (1974, Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0-471-00296-8). He
talks extensively about systems thinking and the need to get beyond being
inactive (doing nothing) and reactive thinking (waiting til change is
forced) and move towards being proactive (anticipate and move with the
future) or better yet be interactive (taking charge of, and creating the
My hunch is that in most non-changing agencies or businesses that there
are real system's thinkers, who as Scott Adams has suggested often
"brightsize themselves" before anyone else sees the change.
My second hunch is that helping industries that have collapsed, downsized
and otherwise find themselves "suddenly" thrust into change, is pretty low
My third hunch is that there are not many models and mentors out there
that can demonstrate how non-changing organization can be moved to a
changing organization without the agency going through at least 2 or 3
Is this clearer?
Mark Fulop, MPH, CHES
San Diego, CA
Mark Fulop <email@example.com>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>