16 June 2009 • 10:55 am

Consonance vs. Dissonance in the Change Agenda

(After two consecutive posts on the topic of the Strategy-Focused IT Organization, and two well-received posts on strategy map design, I return to one of my favorite themes: musing about organization behavior and its impact on strategy and change. Don’t like this topic? As the number of readers of the Tenacious Blog grows, I will rely ever more on your feedback to know which postings are most valuable to, so please share your comments and criticisms below every post that you read.)

One key benefit of having an outsider facilitate an organization’s change process is the outsider’s objective viewpoint. In preparing to facilitate a strategy development workshop, I insist on prior, separate, one-on-one interviews with each member of the leadership team charged with developing the strategy. My aim during these interviews is not to promote a particular change agenda, but to understand the extent to which the members of the team have identical, aligned, or divergent beliefs and values about the change agenda for the organization. In short, I look for consonance or dissonance (wonderful musical terms that apply here as well) in the strategic song of the leadership team. The understanding I gain is of vital importance when facilitating the team as a whole.