One of us developed a career as an Organisation Psychologist applying the principles and practices of systems change especially in an employed role in younger days (!), then running our founded consultancy Strategic Transformations, and finally in the development of our UK Charity Nepal Schools Aid and its NGO Nepal Education Leadership Foundation.
On this page we showcase a few of the tools we used in recent years in Nepal’s education system as well as in the UK Financial Services sector before retirement. Some of those tools were originally created by the late David Nadler from whom we learned so much and we acknowledge his contribution to our own development.
If you would like copies of the tools described please request them using the form on our Contact page
Blog Post: A crisis of leadership?
The potential for break up of the European Union gathers momentum as the UKs Brexit vote is followed by the Italian people rejecting the policies of their prime minister in their own referendum, and the rise of Marine Le Pen in France and Geert Wilders in Netherlands matching that of Donald Trump in the US. Each of these is attributed in the media to the central issues of uncontrolled immigration, open borders, and financial austerity measures, each opening the door to extreme right wing, fascist leaning politicians using racist rhetoric in the guise of “patriotic nationalism”. The 60 year project to create a federal Europe with a single currency, a single military, a single set of laws, a single market, no borders, freedom of movement, and an amorphous multi cultural society is now on the verge of spontaneous combustion! But is the mainstream media correct in its interpretation? (Click the heading to view the full post)
Managing Change Dynamics
This is the first of three related articles we will post on the subject of Organisational Change. They are not new, in fact we first came across the author, David Nadler almost 25 years ago, yet his work had a powerful influence on me and my career as an organisational psychologist.
The three articles cover important concepts and approaches for change management and organisation development dealing with “viewing an organisation as a complete system”, “managing the transition dynamics between old organisation and new organisation(s)”, and “a guide to leadership in change initiatives”.
We are starting with the middle one which focuses on managing the transition because it gets into action rather than thinking about the organisation as a congruent system; this will come in the next article I post. This article briefly shows Nadler’s framework of Congruence, and I will post up a detailed description of it in a few days time.
You might be asking “what has this got to do with Nepal’s education system?”. Well, the clue is in the last word of the question; “system”. The powers-that-be in Nepal just don’t seem to realise that education is a complete system and that tinkering and playing around with any number of pieces just isn’t going to bring about transformation. You may as well leave the windows of your house all open when you switch on the heating “system”, the house just WON’T heat up! So, training lots of teachers won’t do any good unless they are all intrinsically motivated to improve and achieve, and they’re not. Therefore, the extrinsic application of a performance management process is needed too. There are many more components like this, if only they would recognise them! Request the full article “Managing Change Dynamics” on our Contact page
The Congruence Model Of Organisation Systems
This is the second in the series of articles about organisational change.
The critical first step in designing and leading successful large-scale change is to fully understand the dynamics and performance of the organisation itself. It’s simply impossible to prescribe the appropriate remedy without first diagnosing the nature and intensity of an organization’s problems.
Yet, all too often, senior leaders, particularly those who have just recently assumed their positions or joined a new organization, react precipitously to a presenting set of symptoms.
Although there are countless organizational models, the purpose here is to describe one particular approach, the congruence model of organizational behavior.
This article from David Nadler again, describes “the congruence model” and suggests how it can provide a starting point for large-scale change. It has proven to be useful in so many widely varying situations because it meets the test of any successful model: It simplifies what is inherently complicated, reduces the complexity of organizational dynamics to manageable proportions, and helps leaders not only to understand, but also to actually predict, the most important patterns of organizational behaviour and performance.
Request the full article “The Congruence Model” on our Contact page
And, ……….. it will work perfectly well to describe and develop Nepal’s education system!
This is the third and final article in this series about organisational change. Once again it comes from David Nadler and describes how leaders of change must understand the three main problems of change; namely Anxiety, Power, Control. He asserts that to address these problems leaders must also understand the implications of Motivation, Politics and Transition related to each of the three problems and he gives a set of 12 clear action steps to be followed.
The central concept in this article is still Nadler’s Congruence Model of organisations (see previous article) and he rightly points out that as well as the “old organisation” and the “new organisation” there is a “transition organisation”, something that lies in between the old and the new and that THIS is the real focus for leaders to manage the transition stages between the old and the new.
Request the full article “Transition Leadership” on our Contact page
Organisational change in Education Systems
The two papers highlighted below describe how we used the principles of organisational psychology in our work in Nepal. The first one describes the use of system tools to transform a whole education system and the second is an account of using the same principles to create and develop the best teacher training and school development team in Nepal.
Request these articles using our Contact page
Blog Post: The Integrity of Leadership
If you had to pick a single quality or trait you most wanted in a leader what would it be? Whether you’re thinking of your boss at work, a politician, a prime minister, a committee chairman or organisation CEO, what would be that single quality, the one thing that you see as essential and non negotiable, the one thing that if it was “absent” would mean that you couldn’t possibly follow that person as a leader. (Click the title for the full article)