Conversations, big and small


We often seem to believe that organisational change occurs as a result of the 'strategic' interventions of 're-engineering' the organisational structures, defining and enforcing new behaviours, and endlessly modifying and improving the workflow 'processes'. 

This speaks to large-scale, often global action and I'm broadly fine with this kind of thinking.

Yet at least as important are the mundane, ordinary interactions and conversations that are the life-blood of day-to-day organising.  I've seen too many grandiose, 'whole system' change interventions gradually slide into irrelevance because the everyday conversations of organisational life were unaffected by the boardroom resolutions and instructions.

Supporting folk to think and feel differently about themselves and what they do, helping them to freely access helpful, timely information and connecting them to each other so that conversation and interaction is built-in to every workday induces large-scale change much more effectively than tinkering with process charts.

However, this kind of change requires leadership that is humbly rooted in the 'small' stuff; showing up, talking, relationship, trust, paying attention  to people.

But who knows, if the small stuff is done well we might even get the strategic 'big stuff' for free...? 


Steve MarshallComment