Change Implementation Techniques for Laying a Foundation for New Ways

Technique 1.26 History Trip

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. This is a procedure to reconstruct the history of an organisation and to identify the significant events in its history.

. It is based on the assumption that it is best to work from the core outwards, ie if an organisation

"... lacks a strong sense of identity and unity at its core ‐ clear self‐image ‐ it is difficult for other aspects of the system to work well..."

Bob Dick et al, 1990

Thus the sequence to follow is

who are we (identity and unity)?

why are we here (direction and purpose)?

how do we do things (practices and procedures)?

what actually happens (behaviours and relationships)?

. Linked with this are a shared history and vision

. Other outcomes from this procedure can include

improving relationships between participants through the high levels of legitimate self‐disclosure that the process enables

reinforcing the concept that the present is an outcome of the past, and that they can begin to work from the present towards a designed future

‐ demonstrating that the past has stability in some values but changes others, and can encourage people to review the most deeply‐held values/beliefs/mindsets, etc and accept that some are changeable

NB Sometimes people resist change because they perceive/assume that past values and achievements are not appreciated.


. There are 4 main steps

i) compile a timeline or history of the organisation

ii) identify past and present significant events in a timeline

iii) identify the trends

iv) identify the implications for follow‐up activities

. This is best done using storytelling, such as

"...the event I remember most is......

do you remember that what happened was......

I decided on it because then.....

Now when I think about it.....

When I look back, the event that stands out is.....

What I remember happening was......

It meant a lot to me at the time because......

Now when I look back on it, I think..."

Bob Dick et al, 1990

(source: Bob Dick et al, 1990)


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