The co-creation and co-ownership of Organisational Change

Rowing is largely about inertia: no matter how hard an individual stroke, the boat rapidly slows. One great pull may shift you a few metres, but it still leaves you in the middle of the lake. Rowing is partly about strength, but largely a matter of incremental effort. Slow and steady may win the day.

The Co-Creation and Co-Ownership of Change

Organisational change is more likely to succeed if it’s co-created and co-owned

Organisational change is like that two, with one vital difference: you have to build the boat first.

I’m interested in two aspects of change: co-creation (where you build the boat) and co-ownership (where you paddle it). I’ve explored co-creation before, seeing it as the process of social learning and collaboration that we experience within community, an iterative and refining process of editing our messages and thinking. Co-creation in terms of organisational change is about building the boat: sharing an understanding of where we are going and, quite possibly, refining the destination dependent upon inputs from the community. Co-created change is powerful, as it’s owned both emotionally and intellectually by the team.

Once we start trying to effect change, co-ownership is about actions and responsibility. Change does not rain down from on high: it’s about the actions and integrity of everyone at every level.

The co-ownership of change

Change does not rain down on us from on high, rather it’s stories are co-created and co-owned by the community. Or at least it is if you want it to stick…

It ties into ideas of individual, co-created and organisational narrative: how are each created and how do they relate to each other. And, critically, how can we ensure greater speed and integrity of change?

I believe that by viewing change as both co-created and co-owned, we have a greater potential to fundamentally shift an organisational capability in the Social Age. Under a new social contract, without this shared understanding and responsibility, we are just pushing against thin air. We can’t get traction. Change is not just a task based activity: it has to be owned. Together.

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About julianstodd

A learning and development professional specialising in e-learning and learning technology.
This entry was posted in Agile, Change and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to The co-creation and co-ownership of Organisational Change

  1. Katie Giachardi says:

    Couldn’t agree more Julian. There’s a huge opportunity to approach change increasingly from this perspective. This can be really tough for people at the top of organisations who have been brought up throughout their careers believing that when people are at the top they are expected to know best and therefore have all the answers. Helping leaders understand that ‘having the answer’ can mean ‘knowing how to enable the right conversations to happen’ is key.

  2. benoitdavid says:

    That sounds so logical… But I guess it means the top of the house really sees the value, right? When you say “sharing an understanding of where we are going and, quite possibly, refining the destination”, it means that the “lower” levels of the house are giving “real” incentives to get them “aboard”: by “real” I mean something other than “directives”. Especially in this day and age where people consider “what’s in it for me” more than before… especially the newer generations.

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