Organisation ‘change’ can achieve outstanding results, or it can create chaos with results not reflecting the original purpose. Where change is well led with a focus on relationships, achieving the desired results is more likely. Only by refreshing and rebuilding relationships between managers and staff, among staff, and how business groups relate internally and with customers can the new change be effective. New directions, new expectations and fresh approaches can be implemented, with people more likely to give their best efforts and contribute to making the difference.
When the focus for change is structural, the purpose of the change becomes meaningless. Structural change alone tends to tear the very fabric of essential informal relationships.
Informal networks of relationships are created by the natural attractions and rejections when people encounter one another. These relationships are not bound by structural roles. They are two-way relationships based on specific criterion: expertise, information, ideas, concerns and shared interests. Informal relationships look like they are based on ‘liking’ or ‘friendships’; however there are greater subtleties to many of these inter personal connections. Informal relationships are formed by connections among people based on choice and companionability; who talks to who, and who listens to who e.g. Who in this group do I trust to confide in; or to whom do I listen to find out what is really going on here? Or Who do I choose as a sounding board?
Who knows how to get things done around here?
Informal network of relationships are power networks as they are frequently the source of action or inaction in organisations.
Effective organisation change includes processes which assist people to form new relationships relating to the purpose and direction of the organisation. Successful leaders ensure there are opportunities for people to interact with one another, and to discover shared interests. Read my web page on informal networks.
© Diana Jones