Archive for July, 2014

Standard of Change Management: Roland’s Invited Feedback from the Association of Change Management Professionals

July 31, 2014

We have been receiving tremendous feedback on the first 6 videos (1,2,3,4,5,6) we posted earlier on Roland’s spontaneous thoughts on the standard management change. Here’s the next set of videos:

Video 7: Terms and Definitions

Video 8: Definition of Change Management

Video 9: Definition of Change Management (continuation)

Video 10: Section 4: Concepts

Video 11: Interlude: Outline for Rest of Videos 

Video 12: Change Management Process

Video 13: Change Management Process (continuation) 

Video 14: A Confrontation Regarding Certification

Video 15: Feedback: Flow Chart

We welcome your feedback.

Roland’s official interview with the Standard for Change Management Writing Committee, a sub-system of the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) will occur next week. Creating these videos is his way of preparing his input.

We support the tremendous work ACMP is doing to establish organization change standard.


Maja Balasi for Roland

Standard of Change Management: Roland’s Invited Feedback from the Association of Change Management Professionals

July 21, 2014

Here is feedback from Terrence Seamon, a very experienced and successful change agent:

“True to form, Roland is enthusiastic, even passionate, witty and fierce. It is obvious at times that he released these videos hastily without much if any editing but they are rich with Roland’s memories, opinions, and keen insights.

I hope others will share their reactions.

You will enjoy these videos. I can’t wait to get back and pick up the series…”


PS to Roland – How about a follow up series where you interview 12 to 15 other sages of OD and CM, sitting on your porch?

Terrence Seamon, author of the guide for transitioners “To Your Success!” the leader’s guide to engagement “Lead the Way” and the change agent’s guide to improvement “Change for the Better”

Here are three additional videos:

Video 4: Presence is key along with knowledge and skills

Video 5: Standard for dealing with global cultures

Video 6: More definitions from Roland

Understand that Roland contradicts himself because he believes in polarity management. One view maybe true in one context while the same view may not be true in another context.

More videos to come. Stay tuned.


-Maja Balasi for Roland.



Standard of Change Management: Roland’s Invited Feedback from the Association of Change Management Professionals

July 20, 2014

We share with you, our inner circle, spontaneous thoughts on the standard of change management. Your feedback is welcome… especially if you have the patience to view all the  videos. In the meantime, here are the links to the first three videos:

Video 1: Prelude

Video 2: Definition of Standard

Video 3: Feedback on the foreword and table of contents

More videos are coming. Stay tuned.

10 Essentials for Successful Organization

July 15, 2014

I add my 10 essentials from 50 years of practice. If one of these essentials are not present we can expect ineffective management of change.
1. The internal change agent must be highly competent and connected to the power and powerless of the organization.

2. The executive team or top team of any system must model transformation and be one brain and one heart. Everyone knows that alignment at the top is absolutely paramount.

3. The system must be effective at designing large group interactive summits. Working in small groups is too costly, takes too much time, and creates micro results. The new research by Worley and Lawler says enterprise-wide priority decision-making is a key variable in organizations that financially do well.

4. The critical mass of the organization needs to be transformed in a summit in a minimum of 2.5 days. I have only seen one case where transformation in a group occurred in less time. That was because the critical mass of the system had already transformed.

5. All stakeholders need to be engaged and become collectively respected as the authority of the system.

6. There needs to be multidimensional communication dynamics that become a key force field… especially the latest use of social media.

7. There needs to be a Strategic Transformation Office reporting to the top executive. They must have a safe environment to speak the truth to leadership and represent the whole of the organization.

8. Attention must be paid to “Big Data” metrics/results so they can be used immediately to inform next cycles.

9. The journey needs to have a repeatable structure embedded in timeless foundation of values that produces system-wide high performance sustaining a perpetual focus on becoming more agile.

10. A new evolved action research process co-created in the culture of the system needs to be the pillar not to move the organization from one state to a desired state as change management and archaic organization development preaches. The newly evolved action research process must live fruitfully in what Dr. Vaill gave us with the concept of “Permanent Whitewater.”

Postscript: Hang on to your hats we are moving into the age of transformation. More change will happen the rest of your lives since the beginning of recorded civilization 4500 years ago.

I would value your critique of what I said. What needs to be added?

Relationships: The Essence of Facilitating Positive Change

July 10, 2014


In a recent conversation with my teaching magistrate, Dr. Gerard Egan from Loyola University, we discussed his publishing with me the importance of getting back to the basics of Organization Development (OD)/ Change Management (CM).

He shared with me the incredible importance of relationships, connections, networking and group dynamics in the system. He says that we’ve lost our link to our roots in relationships.

In reviewing the latest IBM CEO Global research, it is determined that connecting is what is absolutely key in todays world.

Peter block, in my mind the best organization change teacher in the world, says that organization development consulting is all about relationships.

I share with you a postscript to the previous blog entry. Very simply Dr. Karen says it all in her last few lines of this brief video.

“If we can figure out who the key connectors ( relationships) are, we work with those folks to shape and control the way the network will change.”

One of the priorities is helping those with whom I am currently engaged. The above theorem is foundational for everything that I do. Why? Because that’s how I believe positive change occurs.

Link is below:

Social Network Theory and Analysis as a Key Transformational Tool

July 5, 2014

We recommend to each design team that we work with as they prepare for their large meeting to do a social network analysis. We want in the room the key positive and negative influencers of the system. 
The outcome of the large group is to turn the fragmented “Heterarchy (caterpillar)” into the butterfly of ONENESS.

ONENESS comes from the transformation of relationships. 
Dr. Karen, for me, is the sine qua non expert in relationship networks in the organization world. Here is an excerpt from her submission to our upcoming “Practicing OD”. “Networks and the trust that pervades them can be measured in our organizations, but firms generally don’t give it a high enough priority to monitor. So we suffer the consequences.
 A story— 1. An alarmingly high number of “never events” regarding patient care (because they are so grave and potentially preventable) exist within the military health care system. In this system, organized as a trifecta, the Army, Navy and Air Force control their own hospitals and clinics but report to the Department of Defense (DoD)3. In an effort to find the root cause of “never events,” a vicious tug-of-war between health care officials and the Pentagon ensues. The patient is swept aside in a politicized battle, which employs data as a weapon, but not as the raison d’être for root cause analysis investigating patient death. As a former policy officer of the ARMY said to the NYT: “Why should the Army safety system want to play with DoD, because then I have less control over my data, less control over my kingdom, and potentially DoD is going to tell me what to do?

Organizations bite back and fight each other to protect their shared or special interests at great cost to the entire network of collaborating organizations. In this alchemy of differentially shared values, interests, and relationships, a unique organizational species evolves. It is the aforementioned heterarchy, and it is a harbinger of 21st century realities. 
Heterarchy is an organizational structure consisting of a network tying three or more different organizations to each other, where no single organization is privileged over another. Each participating organization possesses its own raison d’être that must subjugate itself to the whole as a way to achieve the “greater good” – elusive since no single organization can fully achieve the greater good on its own.
We know about heterarchies because of their spectacular failures, one of which I described above. But heterarchy isn’t dysfunctional by nature; it BECOMES dysfunctional when leaders privilege their own interests over the whole.

Said differently, we mistakenly assume that our interest is the only thing that matters. Heterarachy is like a great barrier reef submerged in deep water. You know where your part of the reef is but you can’t fathom what dangers lurk elsewhere.
If leaders would step back and see the whole instead of only their portion
then no one has to die, pay amends, or bear the whole brunt of blame.
This is a challenge for most leaders as they learn their tradecraft from anachronistic 19th century norms.”

Dr. Karen Stephenson is a classically trained Harvard anthropologist and natural scientist that wandered in the deserts of Egypt and Mesoamerican jungles before stumbling into concrete jungles where she was last sighted. She was the H. Smith Richardson Fellow for the Center for Creative Leadership and is hailed in Business 2.0 as “The Organization Woman”
She is a subject matter expert on social network theory and the tradecraft of social network analysis.

Post script 1.

Dr. Karen, in our mind, has the best tools available to picture the relationships of an organization. You can visit her at and

Post script 2.

We are asking, Dr. Gerard Egan to write a chapter on getting back to the basics of OD. Relationships are a key essential being lost especially in the fast emerging change management movement. Roland was Egan’s first graduate student in OD from Loyola in Chicago… Stay tuned.

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