Change Implementation Techniques for Laying a Foundation for New Ways

Technique 1.31 Practising Relevance

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(performance cultures v. practice cultures)

Performance cultures value perfection, ie you perform once, perfectly. Performances are basically solo events with most people attending as the audience and not participants. Most organisations live in this culture

Practice cultures are inviting, welcoming and participative. People in practice cultures perform but learning from performance becomes the primary goal. Musicians generally live in this culture.

People who try to make a business case for their change initiatives often start from within a performance culture, ie people get one shot at the initiative.

An alternative approach involves trying to address their common purposes through a practical approach with one another. Like musicians who value practice, they recognise that through practice, new possibilities of performance emerge. Doing this involves

Articulating individual cases for change before the group comes together

Musicians spend countless hours practising alone so that they "get inside" the music and "have it". People need to be able to listen to and hear themselves before they can articulate their ideas to others, or hear what others are trying to say.

Starting meetings without a pre‐conceived agenda

In jazz, musicians are allowed to improvise. "Mistakes" can lead to something new. In meetings there is a need to give permission to all to make conversational "mistakes". This will allow the conversation, and not the agenda, to determine the output and decision. This will require a greater tolerance of ideas, but with time this clash of ideas will become a fertile source of creativity.

Starting with "check ins"

At the start, give everyone a chance to speak about things on their minds, ie like the process of tuning up an instrument. This will allow an atmosphere that encourages conversation and that may foreshadow the themes arise may come up in the meeting.

Choosing a physical space that is conducive to your meetings

Good natural light, comfortable chairs, an un‐obstructed view of one another and dor, eg plants, make a room inviting.

Continually improvising

Once you have articulated your view, do not treat it as sacred. Improvisation and refinement are important

(source: Michael Jones et al, 1999)


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