Whole Field Change
“For an organization to reinvent itself, it must alter the underlying assumptions on which its decisions and actions are based.”
– Tracy Goss, Richard Pascale and Anthony Athos,
The Reinvention Roller Coaster, Harvard Business
Review, Nov.-Dec., 1993.
Highly complex, system-wide change is what faces most leaders and organizations today. This is change that challenges a company’s basic orientation, forcing it to adjust to a radically altered environment of new markets, customers, competition, and technology.
We call our consulting approach to dealing with change such as this “Whole Field Change” because it involves defining new roles and relationships, and changing not just behaviors, but beliefs and values as well. It demands new levels of employee responsibility and learning. The risks during such times are especially high because change that truly transforms an individual or an organization demands that people give up things they hold dear: daily habits, loyalties, ways of thinking.
To effect whole field change requires understanding the system’s strengths and opportunities, identifying the arenas for system-wide work, and generating systemic solutions. As consultants to complex systems we first seek to develop new capabilities in leaders at all levels:
The ability to think systemically about the organization, which is the foundation for effective strategy formulation and systems re-design.
The ability to enter other views of the world to gain new perspectives.
The ability to choose the appropriate system of responses with which to engage and bring resources to a situation.
In Consulting for Whole Field Change we utilize the Field Alignment™ Model, a comprehensive systems model that is intended to expand our thinking about how companies can be systemically viewed, improved or changed by taking into consideration the entire system, or “field”. ProAction Associates consultants also use the Timeline for Tomorrow™ as the foundation for structuring whole system change when working within complex systems. This is an approach to organization and leadership development unlike any other currently available, one that is practical, systemic, sustainable and, while structured, completely customized to address the organization's unique situation.
We predict that coaching from a Whole Field perspective will result in sustainable improvements, and measurable progress toward a system of desired business, executive and team goals.
For further information, read "Assessing and Leading Whole Systems: why I believe it’s smart to be whole system values-driven," and “Leading Adaptive Challenges,” and “Field Alignment™ Model,” and Getting Smart About System Change by Sherene Zolno.
Please contact us for ideas on how to assess and address complex change in your organization.