Tools and Techniques (are never enough)



....Appreciative Inquiry, Future Search, MBTI, PESTLE, Open Space Technology, Dialogue, Fish-Bowl, Soft Systems, Theory U, SWOT, Focus Groups, Charrettes, Unconference, Change Lab, Narrative Mediation, Porter's 5 Forces, World Cafe, Total Systems Intervention, Solution Focused Dialogue, Graphic Facilitation, Reflexive Inquiry, Visual Explorer, FIRO-B....


The list of approaches, the'tools and techniques' for organisational and social change, goes on and on.

Whether they aim to change individuals or shift systems, the general idea is that they configure conversations where the normal dynamics of control and authority are, for a few moments at least, altered and relationships become more democratic, voices are heard, people are seen and witnessed.

Yet whether our methods are broadly diagnostic and instrumental, or more dialogic and participative, power dynamics never disappear.  We might hope that 'holding a space,' knowing each others' preferences or clearly contracting to ensure that people speak up means that they can or will.  

But the methods are never enough. 

People speak out only when they feel trusted and safe.

Whatever 'technique' we deploy, we must also bring humility, vulnerability, courage, care and love to our work.

In fact these are the 'killer apps' that enable change.

Don't be fooled by anything else.



Take a look at 'Who Do We Choose To Be?' by Margaret Wheatley.

See Gervase Bushe and Robert Marshak on 'Dialogic Organisation Development.'






Steve MarshallComment