I’ve been thinking about and observing organizational change for a very long time.
It seems to me that –in their enthusiasm for efficiency, planning, “managing” change– people often overlook some critical questions.
A handful of questions that could lead to more effective action, but seldom get asked:
- What is working well now, that we can learn from?
- What is valuable about the past that is worth preserving?
- What do we want to /not/ change?
- Who benefits from the way things are now?
- Who will lose (status, identity, meaning, jobs…) based on the proposed new way?
- How will this change disrupt the informal networks that are essential to getting work done?
- How will this change ripple through the organization, touching the people and groups indirectly effected?
- What holds the current pattern in place?
- How can we dampen this change, if it goes the wrong direction?
- What is the smallest thing we can do to learn more about this proposed course of action?
- What subtle things might we discern that tell us this change is going in the right direction…or the wrong one?
- What is the time frame in which we expect to notice the effects of our efforts?
What questions would you add?