Against all odds

This experience report recounts a part of my work as a consultant in the fields of organisation development and management methods. It is dedicated to consultants as well as coaches who engage in organisational change and who at times might feel like the odds have turned against them.

I have distilled and refined the subject of this experience report after working several years with companies where I came across a rather vague intention for, a rather rudimentary knowledge of, and a rather marginal commitment to organisational change; in other words, after working several years with companies with a seemingly reluctant attitude towards organisational change.

Please note that I do not equate reluctance with resistance. I usually encounter a cluttered abundance of ideas of what organisational change might actually mean for an organisation; yet, these ideas may significantly differ between the sponsor of organisational change (the client), the audience of organisational change, and myself. This is why my work almost always requires me to balance a triad of expectations to a greater or lesser extend.

This experience report reflects on my journey through three consecutive phases of my quest to balance that triad. In retrospect, I have merely focused on parts of the triad during the first and second phase whereas I have tried to distill my lived experiences into a holistic approach that constitutes the third phase (which I consider myself to be still in at the time of writing).

Simple exemplary effects of my current approach include decisions about when to support organisational change by offering what kind of training to which audience, when to substitute such training by other means of knowledge transfer, and when to completely restrain from offering any help. I will garnish my journey with true to life examples, illustrate successes and failures along the way, and link my practical experience to theory.

Thomas Epping
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