Friday, December 08, 2006

Organizational Change.

Chapomatic has a great post listing some books about change in organizations

He's included some good titles. I would add that before reading any of them, one have a go at Edgar Schein's book "Organizational Culture and Leadership."

Understanding the existing environment is critical to any successful change effort, planned or otherwise. I found that his work in defining what culture is holds true, especially in military organizations.

His definition of organizational culture is

"A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way you perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems."

The other component that Schein brings out quite well, and one especially appropriate for meritocracies like the Navy, is leadership's role in shaping and transmitting culture. Leaders in an org model how we deal with world around us - how to be successful - the skipper shows us how to respond to crises.

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