From a Change Program to a Change Platform

…  continuous improvement requires the creation of change platforms, rather than change programs ordained and implemented from the top. Management literature is rich with case studies of bottom-up, spontaneous change and of innovations sparked by the efforts of frontline activists. Inspiring as such stories are, however, few of these efforts effect systemic change across an entire organization. Internal activism and small wins don’t easily scale. Neither do they address the core management systems, processes, and cultural norms that dictate how large organizations run. The challenge is to tackle deep change for tough systemic issues in a way that avoids the pitfalls of traditional change programs. Put another way: how do you create platforms for sustained organization-wide conversations that can amplify weak signals and support the complex problem solving needed to address core management challenges? We believe that three shifts in approach are necessary. Change platforms take advantage of social technologies that make large-scale collaboration easy and effective. But they are qualitatively different from the idea wikis and social networks commonly used today. The difference isn’t primarily about specific features; rather, it’s in the encouragement individuals are given to use the platform to drive deep change. Guiding a process of socially constructed change is neither quick nor easy—but it is possible and effective.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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