I have an opportunity to work with colleagues who are involved in organisational change processes.
I am keen to share Joanne Martin’s insights with them as we discuss the scope and pace of change efforts. In her discussions of mapping an organisational terrain, she observes:
If any cultural context is studied in sufficient depth, some things will seem to be consistent, clear, and indicative of collectivity-wide consensus. Simultaneously, other aspects of the culture will seem to coalesce into subcultures, enabling these subcultures to reinforce, be independent, or conflict with each other. At the same time, still other elements of the culture will seem fragmented, in a state of constant flux, and infused with confusion, doubt, and paradox. (2002:158)
A decade earlier (1992), Joanne proposed a three-perspective approach to understanding organisational change. These perspectives were: integration, differentiation and fragmentation. Each of these raises important strategic and operational issues for those championing change: how to address consensus, inconsistency and ambiguity.
Each of them underscores for me the importance of making time and taking time to discuss change. I am particularly interested in the ways in which organisational change becomes a bottom-up practice in an information rich culture.