The diagram below summarizes three elements of leading and facilitating change from an informal coalitions/wiggly world perspective.
I argued in the previous post that organization is conversation. In other words, organization is continuously (re)enacted, and the future is perpetually constructed, in the currency of today's interactions.
The patterning of these interactions creates expectancy. That is, a generalized tendency for people to think and act in similar ways going forward as they have become accustomed to doing in the past. At the same time, the possibility always exists that new patterns of conversation will emerge and shifts in practice will occur.
Planned organizational change is therefore about managers intentionally setting out to shift the patterns of conversation and related practice in ways that they judge likely to be organizationally beneficial:
As the conversations change, so does 'the organization'.
As always in the context of organization, managers can act with intent but can have no guarantee that things will turn out as planned. Despite this, I'm arguing here that managers will be better placed to participate more purposefully, courageously, and skilfully in this process, if they:
- understand and actively engage with the real-world dynamics of organization;
- adopt the change-leadership practices set out in Informal Coalitions, which reflect this 'wiggly world' view; and
- use the Enabling Change framework to help make sense of - and (re)shape - the specific changes, as these emerge over time.
More information on this approach, and a one-pager on the Enabling Change framework can be found here.