Promoting Organizational Change

It occurred to me today while talking with a colleague that one of the most difficult things we do as professionals is to promote change within our organizations.  This is especially the case if we are employees who have not yet risen to a high enough stature to have the ability to affect change independently.  Where this can be most frustrating for individuals is when one is able to identify ways that systems or processes can be improved or made more efficient, but does not have the power or authority to make that occur.  This is where it is most crucial that a staff person has the training and knowledge to effectively communicate the what, how, and especially why of the proposed change.  It is imperative as OD professionals and Training specialists that we incorporate this sort of developmental opportunities into the work that we do with our staff.  We often get so caught up in the technical aspects of positions (e.g., training in desktop applications) that we neglect some of the more important interpersonal skills training.  When it comes right down to it, those who typically know the most about how to best run an organization are those ‘on the ground’ who meet with customers every day or build the widgets we produce.  It is important to empower them with the ability to both identify what can be changed in their work to make the organization run more smoothly, and to speak effectively about these changes so that the right people in the organization will listen and can hear the recommendations.

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