Dr. Carter has sparked my entrepreneur sprit! Could it be possible to make money while watching others do all of the work by coming up with their own solutions? How is it possible for me not to be responsible for coming up with a solution for my client; they would have to find it themselves. This sounds like a win-win situation. I can just show up with a workbook, few flip charts pieces of paper, and a couple of containers filled with the latest arts and crafts. This would be a dream come true. I wouldn’t have to stay in one place too long. It would be awesome to be able to stay engaged continuously.
The techniques learned through this course will assist me in facilitating a change within my Dad’s established business as I will soon become the new leader. While my Dad and I have very similar characteristics, he has a complete different perspective on how adults learn. His opinion is adults must be told when, what, and how to learn. Knowledge gained through my course work as given an entirely different viewpoint of the role adults play in an organization change. I feel this course has equipped me with the skills to lead a change strategy. I have learned through my readings and experience of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) to ensure that the whole system is involved. I also support AI’s foundational belief that people have unique gifts to offer and skills to contribute.
Burke states you cannot understand a system until you try to change it. This is exactly what I am planning to do within my Dad’s company. Because my Dad has built a very strong business I will focus more on the AI process than any of the other change strategies. I would like to focus on what is good while unbeknown to others the areas with issues will be discovered at the same time. I am sure the process will have its hurdles. However I will stay positive throughout the entire process so that I can lead by example and be the change agent that my Dad’s company desperately needs.
I feel Future Search would not be as effective as AI as this process is a little less structured and left to the participants to facilitate the change process themselves. While I do like the fact it’s an open floor type strategy and anything is possible. For me, it leaves too much room for external influences as individuals are encouraged to share information and draw their own conclusions. Also I can see how participants could possibly focus more on what’s not working instead of what’s working. Open space is even wider open as you only know the time of the meeting. An issue is worked on with no formal agenda to follow. This strategy would be extremely difficult for me as I would have to stay out of the room and let the employees come up with their own solutions.
Up until recently I had no idea that I often played the role of a change agent. Reflecting on my previous working experience and relationships in general I have always been the person asking questions to get a boarder view on processes. My inquisitive nature oftentimes leads me to try to alter how people see certain issues. The readings from the Marquardt book gave me a formal approach for changing conversations. I will not have structure to the madness.
Even though my plan is to facilitate a change within my Dad’s business I will be sure not to change the course mid-stream just because I say it on the last episode of Law & Order. The candid conversation we had in class with Tom led me to believe that too much change can be detrimental the moral of the company’s employees. I will ensure that the change process is needed for the betterment of the whole and not just a whim on my part.