Bottom-up Approach Towards Organizational Change

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Bottom-up Approach > Best Practices > Bottom-up Approach Towards Organizational Change

Bottom-up Approach Towards Organizational Change
Anneke Zwart, Student (University), Netherlands, Moderator
THE IDEA
According to Cable (2012), successful organizational changes are not large organizational changes. A more successful way of organizational change is to bring about small changes in human behavior. How does this work?
According to Cable, we need to establish small changes in each employee’s individual behavior so that all those individuals together act in new ways and realize organizational change that consumers can see and react on. In other words, successful changes are those with a bottom-up approach rather than a top-down approach.

CHALLENGES OF THIS IDEA
First of all, it is challenging to realize small changes into each individual’s behavior to leading to substantial and successful changes, as the diversity in today's workforce is large. And next to diversity, people are more critical, knowledgeable, skilled and aware about past, current and future processes mainly as a result of access to Internet and social media.
This poses a challenge for leaders to implement a different way of management. Instead of the leader creating a new idea and convincing the employees that the change is needed, ideas should come from the employees themselves. They best know the basic facts of the organization and the day-to-day operations of the organization. In this way, change comes from the bottom up.

DISCUSSION
What do you think about this bottom-up approach towards organizational change? Is it possible to bring about small changes in individual behavior that together add up to one coherent idea instead of leading to even more confusion? What possible advantages and benefits could such an approach have?

Source: Cable, D. M. (2012) “The New Path to Organizational Change” Business Strategy Review vol. 23 Iss. 3 pp. 45-47
 

 
Change the Person to Change the Organisation?
Felix, Consultant, Member
Anneke, in all practical purposes the ideology of bottom-up approach towards organisational change sounds acceptable to the extent that the thesis applied is: 'Change the person to change the organisation'.
But often how does the model flow? What do we change in the person's behaviour? Who changes it? What is the standard behaviour? How do ideas of individuals become the organization's change idea? Let's see...
 

 
Organizational Change Through Bottom-up Approaches
Francisco Encarnado, Management Consultant, Philippines, Member
This has been done in the past through the Quality Control Circle implementation in some company in support of the Quality Management System implementation and is still in practice particularly in some Japanese companies. The changes are generated in the technical and management side of operation depending on the circle that generate the idea. However, the impact is still dependent on how the top management of the company regarded the suggested ideas of the group.
Anyway, in this manner, the bottom-up concept is a welcome idea and I believe that this will work wonders in any organization if taken seriously. But the top management of the company should evaluate a presented concept with fairness and in a justifiable manner through the formulation of evaluation criteria that shall be implemented across the total organization without any bias and political undertone. Subdividing the group into departments, various sections and sub-sections if necessary who in turn will initiate the changes.
 

 
Conditions for Effecting Change via the Bottom-up Approach
Adrian Groeneveld
I my opinion the bottom-up approach is still the one with the best chance of success, but a condition is that everyone in the organisation is prepared to change otherwise it is doomed. The management has to drive the change by example and find champions to support the 'new way of working' in each department.
How fast a change can be implemented also depends very much on the culture: imagine trying to change methods in a traditional Industrial company versus a modern service-minded company. A world of difference.
The average age of the staff also plays a major role in effecting change. I hope my contribution is of some use to your research.
 

 
Bottom Up or Still Top Down?
Lens, Manager, Netherlands, Member
Can we talk about a bottom up change if we try to influence people who are in the “bottom” of the organization?
If we stimulate employees to make a small change having an effect on the complete organization and the initiation is done by the leaders, from my point of view this is still a top down change. It is just another way to implement a change already devised by the top. From my point of view however this is a very good way to accomplish changes. It means we have to put more effort in the communication with all of our employees instead of trying to make the change from the boardroom.
 

 
The Chances of Bottom Up Approach to Change
Kosmas Michail, Business Consultant, Greece, Member
The "bottom-up" notion is not deployed in a clear way here.
If we assume it means to bring about - even small - change by changing each individual's behavior, the questions are:
- Can this be initiated by the employees; i.e. bottom-up? Doubtful.
- Can this be initiated by the leadership; i.e. top-down? More likely to be successful.
The top-down approach has more chances to address the issue in a holistic/systemic way and make available resources to implement the change. (e.g. if behaviors need to change, and most probably the need will apply to cross-hierarchy roles, then team and individual coaching may be needed, etc.).
 

 
This Discussion has 2 Layers
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Let's distinguish 2 questions:
  1. Can bottom-up approaches to organizational change work IN GENERAL? I think most of us would agree that they can (depending on circumstances such as the ones mentioned by @Adrian Groeneveld).
  2. Can bottom-up approaches to organizational change work BY BRINGING ABOUT SMALL CHANGES IN INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOR that together add up to one coherent idea - the change?
 

 
Bottom Up AND Top Down Strategizing Process
Reijling, Business Consultant, Netherlands, Member
I just finished a PhD study on the governance of the NL Ministry of Defence. Especially in a political environment the bottom-up approach will not be sufficient to secure the survival of the organisation. However a top-down approach is also not enough.
Mantere & Vaara (2008) offer several approaches to increase participation of the professionals at the execution level in the strategizing-process. Based on their findings, leadership should aim for 'concretization' that involves both collective and distributive agency (2008: 353). Strategizing involves collective learning that is history and path-dependent. In that sense strategizing is incremental in nature. Management and professionals both have to play their role in this. Both are capable of obstructing progress. Both have to work together in strengthening the organization for the long term.
 

 
Success Depends on Including the ENTIRE Organization
Michael Huss, Director, Member
One important limiter to any bottom up change is the business acumen of those implementing the change, whether at the bottom or the top. Unintended consequences of change are often what dooms it as some level, regardless of who is driving the change.
A complete assessment and development of the needed change involving all levels of the organization in developing the plan, sharing of the plan, and teaching the "WHY" and identifying "Whats In It For Me" for each team member has the most potential to identify potential road blocks before they happen to derail the change.
"Change" from the bottom up only works if those that are doing the change are equipped to see the impact of the change all the way to the end consumer-and then assess the business impact correctly for the end goals. Top down driven change that doesn't include input from those below rarely progresses quickly, or with any ownership. Actively pursuing and utilizing input from all levels increases the success rates.
 

 
Bottom Up Approach to Organisational Changes
Akintunde Olusegun, Consultant, Nigeria, Member
In this part of the world, a bottom-up approach to changes and/or to decision making is critical to its success. People at the tactical and operational levels make up over 75% of the employees of a medium to large organization. If major changes or decisions that will change the culture of the organization do not take cognizance of their reactions and subsequent impact, resistance is bound to come, and this will mean management /staff dissonance. For any change to be sustainable, it is wise to adopt a bottom-up change approach.
 

 
A Single Method is not Effective in a Large Organization
J Entrekin, Analyst, United States, Member
I agree with @Reijling, organizational change must be both bottom-up AND top-down for change to be realized. The organizational culture controls the approach and can be as diverse as the number of the organization's divisions/departments.
Without buy-in at both the top and bottom, change may happen but without the desired results. I work in that type situation, we have seen change after change but the results are not effective (actually detrimental to the mission) as leadership at all levels fails to value all aspects of the system.
Any organization must be analyzed as a system to determine necessary approach to successful change. It is as basic as cause and effect or action/reaction theory. Good change at the bottom can have positive effects up through the ranks as long as those at higher levels are not threatened by the initiative of those at the bottom.
 

 
Bottom Up Approach and what Not
Martin Lekoski
It depends. In Japan you have similar concept called the ringi system which uses the bottom-up approach. But the reason it works is because in Japanese organizations employees rotate on different positions so they know how their organization works. Plus they promote collectivism and make decisions based on consensus.
I believe the authors who are presenting this bottom-up approach think that by giving the employees freedom to decide what needs to be change, we are basically using job involvement to increase the loyalty and motivation of the employees.
It all sounds good and all, but remember that change is an action, and it has two things that follow it: consequences and responsibility. No one wants to assume responsibility no matter how big or small the organization is.
As for the change the person to change the organization, the person has to be willing by himself. But that requires certain "maturity". If you force him you are simply using the top-down approach.
 

 
Bottom-up is Half the Equation
Jay Watson, CxO / Board, United States, Member
All, many of you have hit the nail on the head regarding this (in my understanding of the) topic.
First, just so we all know, the Japan has given us a term regarding "small, incremental improvement/ change," it's "Kaizen." OK, it means "good change," but both quality professionals and my Aikido (and Kempo) Sensei(s) have co-opted this word to this meaning. I write this, because this type of change is so important, and so key to driving improvement throughout an organization that we gave it a term. So, is it effective? Based on the historical records of Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing process (martial arts), the answer is unequivocally, "yes."
HOWEVER, it is successful only as part of a completely engaged (by all levels of business) effort. Any change within a company MUST either be initiated or approved by the top. Otherwise, any change that occurs from the bottom is considered disrupted by definition. That may not be a bad thing for the company in the long run, but short term...
Anyway, we've all also been in discussion groups dealing with "buy-in." One of the continuous discussions I have is why 5s is so hard to maintain. The main answer I receive is due to a lack of commitment from either management OR staff. After some coaxing, I get the contributors to realize culture is actually to blame. Now here's the thing: Culture can (and ultimately MUST) be changed at the production level. HOWEVER, without management leadership, any change will only become temporary. And management can only lead through example in those situations.
And that's the other half of the equation.
I realize most (if not all) of what I wrote is obvious. I just needed it to be articulated for the conversation (and my own sanity).
 

 
Difficult to Propose Bottom Up Change Nowadays
Jaime Fernandez V., Professor, Chile, Member
3 observations:
  1. Systemic thinking says: people change the organization BUT the organization also changes people. Real life never separates these 2 vectors. The question is not which comes 1st; the question is how do we preserve autopoiesis and avoid collapse.
  2. I ask can there be bottom up without assuming a Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy? Can bottom up be proposed before the bottom finds out where the heck are we heading to? Give me a "far west" with ample prairies and I will build it bottom up. But if you bring power into the equation, it won´t work.
  3. The main obstacle to growth of modern democracy today is the persistent, ruthless rule of economic, political & cultural POWER. It is widely known that large private buisiness and public administrations are the last fortress of power in planet earth. I would also add church, political parties and in some cultures, family, are the main reproductive cells of power. Bottom up has only worked through violent uprising which no educated person wants today.
 

 
The New Path to Organisational Change = One Often Practized in our Long Human History
j.a. karman, ICT Consultant, Netherlands, Member
We all agree on the www.theToyotasystem.com/lean_concepts/Kaizen.php
The weaknessed are mentioned in: en. Wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Toyota_Way and that Micromanagement is the ultimate top down approach, not seen as a positive culture.
This is (1) of Jaap de Jonge referred to Adrian Groeneveld)
Asking (2) bottom could starting small be the panacee of all?
Very doubtfull the reason when positive changes will do the negative toxic ones will do even more. They are easier and more profitable with less risk.
Balancing between the two approaches top-down bottom-up is necessary.
 

 
Championing Bottom Up Change
Brett E Holdeman, Student (University), United States, SIG Leader
Bottom up change is possible, and as we all know, buy-in must be gained, as well as identifying champions to persuade naysayers. Leadership has to also provide the vision for why and where the firm goes from the change's implementation, and stay on top of post-initiative analysis. I think the key may lie in garnering the ideas of the bottom, as they know the day-to-day operations of the firm, and can see most-clearly what would be of most benefit.
Giving them the idea that this is their creation would aid the buy-in process, and as it did come from their observations, should be the best change decision possible. We all also know that top management has no real idea what is going on daily in the trenches, and have larger fish to fry, so why rely on them to drive the change. Their job description isn't along those lines, so gambling on top-down change is foolhardy. Give the rank-and-file the idea they initiated the change idea and reasoning, and them it has the best chance of success!
 

 
Bottom Up Versus Top Down Approach to Organizational Change
Avedzi, James, Student (MBA), Ghana, Member
In my humble opinion, when employees feel as part of the change process, they embrace it more and own it. But there is a fundamental question to answer in order to know if really changes emanating from employees are really a bottom up approach to organizational change. Whose responsibility is it for changes in the organisation? Is it the management or employees?
I think that management is responsible to give direction as to how an organisation should go and so if changes are initiated by the employees, it must be assessed by management and agreed to by it to allow the employees to drive. If this is done and employees drive the change supervised by top management, the change will be successful.
 

 
Bottom Down Versus Top Down Approach to OD
ernest agbenohevi, Consultant, Ghana, Member
The bottom-up approach to Org. Development places greater focus at the base (departmental / subunits or possibly individual capabilities & expertise) of the organization. It is noteworthy that the base units constitute the inputs for attaining the corporate vision / objectives. It seems therefore that a focus on the vision / objectives for the organization helps in determining the appropriate base structures and expertise (i.e. a semblance of Top-down approach) would offer better matching for better & effective delivery on the vision of the organization.
Aligning the vision and structures of the org for effective delivery, the top down would do better, as in that instance the vision/objectives guides how the structures, the human aspects and the gaps may be assessed. Otherwise the Bottom up approach placing emphasis on the base structures as means of attaining the corporate vision offers less effective org as the available structures may not necessarily offer ideal match to the vision...
 

 
Duty versus Inherent Knowledge and Capability to Assess
Brett E Holdeman, Student (University), United States, SIG Leader
@Avedzi, James: I agree, James, that management is responsible for identifying if and what change is necessary, but still believe that those who spend their time many floors above the people doing the work are a tad bit out-of-touch or even clueless when it comes to knowing what the best changes would be, and how to implement them.
The management gets paid to say it's broken, but may not necessarily know what needs changing in order to rectify the problems that signaled change is needed. My hat's off to those managers who are in the loop, understand what is awry, and can put their fingers on just what needs to be accomplished in a change initiative, but that would be the exception to the rule, in my opinion, and rare, indeed.
Those who operate the software that sells products or moves it from A to B know better than those who've never touched it what could stand tweaking. They signal 'we're changing', but must solicit ideas as to what will be changed, if you ask me.
 

 
Public Administration Organizational Change
J Entrekin, Analyst, United States, Member
Colleagues, in public administration Bottom Up change is most likely the only hope for positive organizational change. Maxwell's 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership identifies personal integrity or character as one of the necessary traits to influence other people. Without the ability to influence other people change from any angle cannot happen. In the public arena, those at the top are often driven by self preservation, disregarding the importance of relationships with those below them, and without commitment to the mission.
Positive organizational change/improvement/productivity/service is fully dependent on those with commitment to the mission even if they are at the bottom. Of course, those people must possess the skills including systemic understanding, knowledge of the culture, along with the recognition of internal and external threats to change. Can individual behavior be changed? Through positive relationships, yes.
 

 
Bottom Up Best in Some Situations
Rebecca Roe, United States, Premium Member
As many experts on leadership and management have stated many times, there is no one perfect style. The successful manager knows when to try different methodologies.
Is it critical and time sensitive? Then top down is preferred.
Is it a change that helps with innovation and efficiency? Then bottom up may be preferred.
Situations where workers know day to day inefficiencies or can engage in solutions become involved and committed to make a better work place. They too, once some small successes start to occur, and productivity or satisfaction grows, can take on more issues in the bottom up approach.
The key is a confident upper management level that is not fearful, and is able to do their job properly instead of filling their time with putting out fires.
Fear is the reason a more bottom up approach is not used. It may make upper managers do what they are meant to do, which is handle more challenging problems.
Most workers want managers to connect but not be a dictator. Give them credit, managers, and use them appropriately.
 

 
Bottom Up? Try Customer Circles
Gautam Mahajan, CEO, India, Member
We started Customer Circles, consisting of the frontline people with a few staff people to allow implementation of the ideas that require changes in IT or billing.
This is highly successful, because the front line people focus on the customer. They become more aware and proactive. Their self esteem is improved and employee engagement goes up, and customer value is enhanced.
 

 
Bottom Up Approach
Graham Williams, Management Consultant, South Africa, Premium Member
Marcella Bremer's "Organizational Culture Change" is a proven methodology for bottom-up change.
Marcella is based in Zwolle, is the Editor of Leadership and Change Magazine and travels the world assisting companies with bottom up change...
 

 
Dealing with Bottom Up Resistance in a Pro-active Way
Vidyut chandra Patange, Management Consultant, India, Member
When employees are newly joining the organization, they can be flexibly molded through induction training, department level training, etc., but over time employee often get too much in their comfort zone, doing a routine job. This becomes worse with time, age and the position of the employee. So what we do about that is:
- First assure their security,
- Second, explain them about the benefits,
- Third, tell them there's a bright future for themselves and the organization.
Still their may be cases in which this may not work, organization should be ready to relieve them from their job.
The change should be perfectly matched to the latest re engineering status, strategy, mission, goals,and to meet measurable objective. Certain sessions may be needed to convince them and set the platform to tackle some behavioral eruptions, and team internal problems or complaints about managers.
Finally change results should not be expected over fortnight or in the next quarter. They need to be nurtured under expert change management expert with full support at each working level until goal achieved.
 

 
Organisational Development Tradition
Anders Nystrom, Management Consultant, Sweden, Member
Organizational Development (OD) is a tradition in organizational change which combines bottom up with top down. I have very good experiences myself from several transformations. The bottom up is the tool to fine tune more top down structural changes.
 

 
Communication is the Key
Frank Nguni, Director, Zambia, Member
Bottom up interaction ensures everyone is aboard and usually involves a lot of face-to-face and other communication. Here, ideas and opinions are fully discussed and exhausted with the employees before management can decide to implement or opt out of the desired change. In this way employees buy into the company's goals with each performance stage being monitored, reviewed and action taken... Training for instance.
 

 
Asking for Change
Bernhard Keim, Business Consultant, Germany, Premium Member
There is always a good reason why people behave as they do and there must be a very compelling reason to ask them for change.
If there is no good reason, don't ask for change. People won't accept it and they are right.
Human beings are no circus ponies that can be conditioned deliberately. Asking for change in behavior without a convincing reason is abusive. They are humans, not machines.
 

 
Theory of an Integrated Organisation
Sibusiso Ndaba, Business Consultant, South Africa, Member
Just as I ponder about this question. I am reminded of Max Weber Theory of organisation. Aren't we suffering from the remnants of his thesis about organisations? The corporate function and the operating function of organisation. Compartmentalising organisation as separate units according to their function. Isn't it time we look at a different theory of an "integrated organisation" whose every employee has a responsibility to decide and shape its direction and strategic quest. Isn't it time that the emphasis is not on whose responsibility it is to generate strategy?
 

 
Bottom-up Approach to Organization Change
KTyler, Director, United States, Member
The bottom - up approach can be effective only if the culture change begins at the top, and employees at the bottom are engaged via multiple methods of bidirectional vertical communication. The thought process here is, associates closest to the front line have to buy-in and believe in the proposed mission in order to execute the agenda. This is an excellent approach, but it really is top down organizational change.
Another approach to facilitate the 'bottom - up' approach is to form work groups and coalitions comprised of stakeholders, and lower and midlevel constituents. The purpose of this approach is to use a collaborative approach to bring operational complexities to the forefront, and work through solutions that can be executed. While this strategy still requires a champion or decision maker who can inspire and facilitate change, it creates an excellent change platform.
 

 
Bottom-up, Top-down Approaches versus Organizational Change
Bhavesh Sodagar, Manager, India, Member
Everyone in the above discussion agrees on the effectiveness of bottom up approaches. For the bottom-up approach, small changes in human behavior make a big difference.
Moreover, what works well depends on the culture. For example, in some countries or organizations a top down approach may work well as it forces everyone to follow and adapt behaviour.
Both bottom-up and top-driven change should be driven by good leadership skills.
Many times bottom-up approaches are successful because they are triggered by a problem. For example, if at bottom level, problem occurs on financial integrity, it triggers the required immediate change in the organization and it brings the change in the organization.
Today people change jobs frequently. Hence it also important that bottom up initiatives are communicated well to everyone.
 

 
Triggers for Organisational Change
Sibusiso Ndaba, Business Consultant, South Africa, Member
Organisational changes are triggered by many factors, these may be technological advances, the political environment, or the ecological or social environment. Simply applying an approach that assumes change is effected by people will not be correct.
We also need to understand the pace of change: evolutionary changes versus revolutionary changes. In today's proliferation of technology usage, it is impossible to talk of evolutionary change thus an incremental approach to effecting change will not help any organisation. I tend to agree with those who believe in entire culture change in the organisation as an enabler to effecting change. We ought to realise though that culture change is only an enabler for actual change.
 

 
Bottom-up Approach Depends on Top-down Culture
Pieter van der Hammen, Business Consultant, Netherlands, Member
We all know that we need the bottom up approach to get the required support for changes. However it is the organisational culture that provide the sense for change. The organisational culture is largely determined topdown, hence a culture of change attracts people having an open mind for change. This open mind for a culture of change has to be proven on a daily basis and not only with projects. It is an illusion that people will change behaviour by training. Behaviour is following culture, good practice and a consistent performance on this subject by management starting at the top and stakeholders. Apart from all this or along with this subject it is the level of urgency what determines the grade of success of the results as targeted.
 

 
Bottom Up is THE Fuel to Drive Any Sort of Change
FREDDY VILLAVICENCIO, Business Consultant, Venezuela, Premium Member
I think we all are agree the bottom up approach is feasible and I would like to add it is the fuel to be the engine for small and large scale change into a given organization.
From my point of view bottom-up is becoming an organizational need nowadays. The world is asking for sustainability, green thinking is gaining space and people are more conscious if there is something wrong. Beyond climate change there are some other issues which are related with organizations and its impact on society.
Organizations are people and people are the factor which will realize the necessary change. That is why bottom up is not just another way, but THE way.
Once we get the Organizational Vision to make sustainable business then we must define what and how organizations must change to provoke new behaviors and habits.
 

 
Top-down AND Bottom-Up Change Must Go Hand-in-hand
James Benedict, Management Consultant, United States, Member
Everyone agrees that change in individuals (at the bottom) will influence change in the organization. I also think a two-prong approach is needed to make the change effective and sustainable, i.e., top-down AND Bottom-Up change should go hand-in-hand. One without the other is rarely sustainable.
 

 
Change Management Must Start from the Top Management
Manik Sood, Consultant, India, Member
A change must start with the commitment of top management. A good idea or culture cannot be developed by persons at the bottom or middle if it is not supported by the top management. Top management means the plant head or someone to whom every functional head is reporting. For example, an improvement suggestion in HR area by a production guy was killed by the HR head, feeling that someone else was poking his nose in the HR area.
Suggestions are implemented and improvements happen only when top management is interested to see to these and provide support for its implementation.
 

 
Bottom Up Approach and Change Management
ernest agbenohevi, Consultant, Ghana, Member
I believe the bottom up approach emphasizes a broader participation and decentralization. Just as the top down approach emphasizes decisions by the top and centralization.
Each of them have their advantages and disadvantages. The various arguments endorse the broader base participatory approach as it allows each unit of the organization to be involved in the process.
It is important to note that a strong linkage between the broader base and the organizational objectives (i.e. year by year organizational emphasis) enables stronger leadership for the change process. Each time the objectives of the corporate organization must guide the content for the organizational unit participation.
In the instance where what the units of the organization do is poorly linked to the organizational objectives, the change process is expected to linger.
 

 
The Inmediate Future of Organizations
Jaime Fernandez V., Professor, Chile, Member
I wonder how close we are to the discussion held by manufacturers on how to improve horse-driven carriages 100 years ago. There wasn't enough time; carriages disappeared shortly after. How long is our (large) organization going to survive? Be it BUp or TDown.
Birth rate of new micro-business around the world is probably 100.000 to 1 compared to new corporate start ups (I´m guesstimating; I don´t have a statistic at hand). The future belongs to one-person-business operating in free flowing cyber networks of outsourcers of micro divided labor inspired by a new type of leadership.
Ten-story corporate buildings are disappearing.
The contents people exchange with each other and the way we relate to one another are changing. We are increasingly exchanging information & knowledge to generate income or earnings (the difference between both is disappearing). Democracy will disappear from philosophical discussion; it will turn an engineering problem, a design challenge, a "sine que non" ingredient of human-kind.
 

 
Top-Down Plus Bottom-up = Success; it is a Mandatory Combination
jorge anibal hoyos hoyos, Manager, Colombia, Member
All which is coming top-down, cascading, and rolling out across the components concerned, involved, and affected requires bottom-up action. That's the only way to rest assured that the right way is being followed, and this action must be based on comprehension but not on an apprehension basis.
The proactive bottom-up response doesn't necessarily mean changes to the change plan, but contending actions as support.
Top-down without constructive bottom-up means catastrophe.
 

 
It's not Bottom-up Nor Top-down - It's Inside-Out
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
In today's world of complexity, I suggest it's time that we leave behind the concepts of Top-down and Bottom-up. These are elements of a functional, hierarchical organizational structure. We are now experiencing horizontal networks where relationships expand externally to include impacted stakeholders.
Instead, let's start with “Inside” – each stakeholder’s heart, head, stomach, and spirit. From this core we expand "Out" – internal teams, departments, company. In parallel we engage impacted externals such as suppliers, partners, agencies, communities, society.
With this new paradigm, one can better understand how small changes can lead to enormous shifts (the Butterfly Effect). Anyone can initiate a small change if s/he is truly passionate and committed.Then by being influential watch it grow virally.
 

 
BUp or TDown Get us Caught in Hierarchical Thinking
Jaime Fernandez V., Professor, Chile, Member
@Gary Wong: I appreciate your insight. It´s important to discover when language gets us caught in old concepts. As we say BUp or TDown we are inevitably referring to old hierarchical organization charts as if other types of architecture do not exist.
 

 
Individual Change for Organizational Change
Brett E Holdeman, Student (University), United States, SIG Leader
@Jaap de Jonge: I believe incremental changes in people can indeed facilitate organizational change. A specific agency I am thinking of, the VHA, could change for the better if leaders would model valued behavior, make an effort to squelch the country-club thinking, and spread some sense of urgency. To continue to think about job security, which to the US government means to put off until tomorrow that which can be done today. We've all seen this year what that kind of antiquated thinking brings, a total disaster of broken trust and additional energies to rectify something the leadership should have done voluntarily. Change oneself to change the organization is one way one person can effect change of a lasting, concrete nature for the betterment of all involved!
 

 
Lessons from the Recent American Election
Brett E Holdeman, Student (University), United States, SIG Leader
First, I'd like to thank everyone who has weighed in on this crucial discussion. Your varying insights lend to mindful contemplation from our various venues, and are much-appreciated!
I'd say the bottom-up crowd in the voting public spoke loud and clear last month, indicating a desire to end the same-old politics we've suffered under for quite sometime.
I pray it brings more sound decision-making than we've grown used to, and actually betters this once-great nation!
Streamlining a glutted government will be a good start, driving out the slackers that the public envisions when they think of a typical government employee.
I also hope our elected officials heard us and reach out more often for our opinions and experiences in driving positive change.
Pray we are successful on both sides, top and bottom, in righting this ship of ours! I only mention this as a vested federal worker with 15 years' experience in VHA, and know we need help... Thank you!
 

     
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Brett E Holdeman
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