Organizational- and Cultural Change
Organizational change always involves some measure of cultural change. If we restructure processes, this has an effect on how we interact. It’s pointless designing new processes and procedures unless you get your people to buy into them. I support organizations in transition periods by being a sparring partner to the management, by (co) designing the process (What is the ‘narrative of change’? Who are key actors in the change process? Where should we start? Etc.) and by facilitating sessions. Clients I have worked with, generally value my sharp analysis, my honest take on the situation and my pragmatic approach.
Can you decide top-down that a team should become self-organizing? If a team is self-organizing, does this mean that there is no need for any management anymore? What if self-organizing teams make decisions that are not aligned with organizational policy? What are parameters for effective self-organizing teams? Many organizations that aspire to be self-organizing struggle with these kinds of questions.
More autonomy within the teams
In his best-selling book ‘Reinventing organizations’ Frederic Laloux routs for more decision-making power within teams. By making employees responsible for day-to-day decisions about operational aspects of their work, you allow for more autonomy, and make more effective use of the wisdom of each member.
Paralysis and frustration
However, in practice, we often see self-organization lead to indecisiveness, confusion and a lack of transparency. If a team of pears has to take a decision together, this doesn’t automatically lead to a democratic or thoughtful process. In order to achieve that, you have to make sure that members have the skills to engage adequately in conversation and that they are clear on the possibilities and limitations of the playing field that they are asked to give input on. It can also be crucial to have a good facilitator guide the process.
I help organizations by being a sparring partner in the design-process and by facilitating conversations. I also offer skills training in Deep Democracy; a powerful technique for inclusive decision making.
Should we work with quota or not? Who’s invited to join the conversation about diversity? Who gets to decide on what? Is it fair to treat everybody equally, or not? To what extent should the minority adapt to the majority and vice versa? Many organizations that aspire to an inclusive culture, struggle with these kinds of questions.
Innovation and social safety
An organization that boasts a large range of different voices, and that is able to acknowledge and appreciate the internal differences, has an important competitive edge on organizations that don’t. Innovation is possible when there is space to experiment and try to do things differently. In an inclusive atmosphere, people feel safer to show different parts of themselves and relationships tend to be stronger. As more people feel safe and invited within the organization, this increases the organizations ability to attract talent and also to relate to a wide range of clients and suppliers.
Questioning the status quo
Making an organization safe for diversity, also means creating space to question the status quo. And that is a delicate process that is not necessarily easy. So, it’s no surprise that a call for diversity and inclusion often generates resistance. It’s important that teams are equipped with sufficient communication skills to allow them to have courageous conversations; open and honest, making it both professional and personal.
I support the process towards more inclusion, in different ways; I give keynotes to increase consciousness, I’m a sparring partner for management in the design of the transformation process and I facilitate (large) group meetings and courageous conversations.