Sunday, February 1, 2009


Last Monday's class was very insightful and meaningful to me.  I was able to put the "Organizational Diagnosis," "Traditional Approach," ad "Appreciative Inquiry" in perspective and think through how each of these "tools" can be used in organizational learning and change.

I also feel strongly that a leader cannot lead any organization unless there is a relationship established.  This relationship cannot be assumed by virtue of titles or positions.  This relationship must be nurtured and built over time.  I also feel that a key part of this relationship (between leader and organization members) must be the act of LISTENING.  A leader must give up (or suspend) his/her agenda until they can truly get a valid sense of the organizational culture and its individual members.  This takes time and listening to what everyone in the organization has to say (verbally and non-verbally).  Trust is built by consistent behavior over time and when a new leader first comes to an organization, there must be a priority placed on genuine listening.

Once a leader understands what/who they are dealing with, they will be able to make a wiser choice as to which "tools" would be best for organizational change and leading the organization toward success. The tools could include a mix of traditional approaches and more current "touchy-feely" approaches.  Balancing plan, process and people is a very difficult road to negotiate for a leader.  But, if a leader takes the time to listen, and validate the feelings and ideas of the organizational members, he/she will most likely have a much smoother road ahead. 

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