Org Develpoment
Org Develpoment
4 OD PRACTITIONER | VOL. 38 | NO. 1 | 2006
ORGANIZATIONS IN TODAY’S competitive, global business
environment are required to be optimally responsive to
continuous change, or die trying. The results of this
challenge have not been encouraging. Many organizations that
were listed among the Fortune 500 in the 1980s and 1990s are
no longer in business because of their failures to adapt to the
changing marketplace (Beer & Nohria, 2000). The rate of failure
of many organizational change initiatives such as Total Quality
Management, Business Process Re-engineering, leveraged
buy-outs and other acquisitions, and large IT initiatives suggests
that even when the will exists, those in power in organizations
lack the knowledge required to manage change effectively.
In an attempt to increase the experience of success, and
avoid extinction, business enterprises today have grabbed at the
many tools and techniques that have been willingly offered by
consultants. Each has promised that their pet process will be the
path to the Holy Grail. However, my twenty-five years of consulting
experience and constant reading of the prodigious
change management literature have revealed something else.
These pet processes inevitably fail to establish a systemic perspective
on change that balances the contributions of the social
and economic systems.
As is the case in any system, when imbalance is introduced,
self-correction results. To date, the self-correction has
included failures in the attempts to introduce change because, I
maintain, a critical component, i.e., the social system, has been
considered only as an afterthought. John Kotter said it best
when he stated,
Behavior change happens mostly by speaking to people’s
feelings…In highly successful change efforts, people find
ways to help others see the problems or solutions in ways
that influence emotions, not just thought. (Kotter, quoted
by Deutschman, 2005, pg. 55)
This paper contends that change processes based on an
empowerment approach generate improvements in both financial
performance and in people. I also suggest that process consultation
should form the foundation of the multiple associations
that exist within organizations and that it underlie the client-consultant
relationship. I make this contention because the value
set and practices inherent in process consultation seem to be
consistent with and supportive of empowerment.
Empowerment as a
Way to Facilitate
Can Process Consultation Help?
By Henry A. Hornstein
“Empowerment as an organizational strategy for achieving improved financial performance has met with
resistance from many managers, despite their claims of support Resistance is quite persistent.”
I felt compelled to write this as a consequence of primarily
two career “events.” First, in my organization consulting experience
in many organizations across a variety of industry sectors,
I noticed that most of the engagements undertaken by my management

Get Your Essay

Cite this page

Continuous Change And Empowerment Approach. (April 2, 2021). Retrieved from