A Formal Request to Change

A Social model of organisational change is one that combines both formal and social elements: the formal being the organisational view and the social that of the community. It’s in the interplay between formal and social spaces that engagement occurs: engagement through involvement and co-creation, not simply hierarchical instruction. In this #WorkingOutLoud post, i’m just reflecting on the dynamics between both spaces, the formal and the social, and the mechanisms by which each expresses it’s opinion and control.

Formal and Social change

Change conversations play out in multiple spaces: the real world, private communications and online shared space. Each of those communications ranges from fully formal through to fully social: the differentiation usually being decided by the platform or space it takes place within, the context of the conversation and the nature of the other participants. For example, a conversation with other leaders, in a formal office, talking about team changes is undoubtedly a formal conversation. Two of those same people talking about the change via WhatsApp later in the same day may perhaps be only semi-formal. But move that conversation onto work email and it’s probably more formal. Why? Because the space the conversation takes place within dictates in large part the formality of the conversation.

Dynamic Change, the term used within the Change Curve framework to describe organisations that are adapted for and agile in their approach to change, recognise the spectrum of conversations that take place and, indeed, engineer in the spaces and permissions for each of them to take place and be shared back into a central space. It’s this interplay between formal and social that gives the Dynamic model it’s power: a story framed by the organisation, but co-created and co-owned by the community.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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