Organizational Consultation: An Appreciative Approach–IV. Change and Stabilization

Organizational Consultation: An Appreciative Approach–IV. Change and Stabilization

William Bergquist and Agnes Mura

We will move a bit deeper into the very challenging issue of selecting an appropriate model of consultation and will do so by beginning with a brief case study. Jill was furious about the state of the community service agency she directs. She had just fired her third office manager in the last eight months. The budgeting and personnel problems in this agency never seem to go away. Jill lets the world know of her discontent:

We live from day to day in this agency, hoping out of one frying pan into another! I don’t want to live this way anymore and have taken decisive action to avoid staying with a bad decision once we know things aren’t going to work out. I have asked for Gerald’s [the business manager’s] resignation.

Jill is convinced that problems are solved by bold decision-making regarding change. Unfortunately, some of her problems may relate to the processes and rates of change itself. Frequently, change itself is a major problem facing contemporary organizations.

Change Itself Can Be a Problem

Contemporary organizations are constantly exposed to changing conditions in the various settings they encounter. The needs of consumers shift in unanticipated ways. The costs, constraints or quality controls of a supplier will vary. The financial support that is available from Wall Street, venture capitalists or even from wealthy trustees or local philanthropic organizations seems never to be dependable. Even within an organization, working environments change as a function of new union-management agreements, shifting worker needs and values, new technologies and modifications in existing federal, state and local policies and regulations.

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About the Author

William Bergquist

William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant, professor in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 45 books, and president of a graduate school of psychology. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations. His graduate school (The Professional School of Psychology: www.psychology.edu) offers Master and Doctoral degrees in both clinical and organizational psychology to mature, accomplished adults.

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