While change theorists explore the process of planned change from various perspectives, most would acknowledge the intellectual roots of their work stem from Kurt Lewin’s laboratory. Scratch the surface of planned change theories and Lewin’s spirit and conceptual framework will not be far below. A German-born psychologist, Lewin was considered the “founder of social psychology.” What follows is an exploration of how Lewin’s work provided the deep root structure from which planned change theory has evolved.
Archives for June 2009
With organizations and their environments in a state of constant flux, organizational development researchers have been challenged to develop methodologies that enable fast yet comprehensive change. In response, a wide range of large-group change techniques has emerged, including future search, open space, simu-real, and search conference.
Large group interventions are designed to help people collaborate effectively by thinking and acting from a whole-systems perspective. “Whole systems” refers to the way an organization operates internally through its processes and externally through its relations to customers and other stakeholders. There are a number of core values underpinning all whole-systems change methodologies.
How can the CEO and HR department find their common ground? CEO Paul Johnson advises that organizations can’t save their way to greatness – they grow their way to greatness. This requires developing a clear strategy and investing in good tools to make it all happen: your people. Ultimately, this is how the CEO and HR can meet in the middle and make great things happen together.
To lay the groundwork for true and effective participation among stakeholders, change agents must create an environment that enables high quality conversations and learning interactions and that engenders strong positive emotions.