“A sect or party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Following on from my previous post The Shrink is IN, I’d like to clarify one aspect of the term “organisational therapy”.
The more important word of the two is “organisational”. I see little practical distinction between therapy and e.g. coaching (or some other mode of intervention). But I see much distinction between working with individuals (or teams of individuals) vs working with a collective organisational psyche.
Why go to all the trouble of working with a collective organisational psyche? That sounds hard, doesn’t it? Not to mention esoteric. And vexatious.
Let’s return to the basis for this whole scheme of things: the Marshall Model. If we accept that significant improvement in organisational effectiveness requires a transformation of the collective organisational psyche (a.k.a. organisational mindset – see: What Is a Mindset?) then we are challenged to find some means to effect a “transition” of that organisational psyche from one memeplex to another.
We could choose to tackle this by working with each individual, team or group within the organisation, but case studies (and personal experience) suggests this has a very limited chance of succeeding. (Some estimate in the order of 2% of attempts).
Accordingly, I posit we can improve the chances of success by acting on the organisation (i.e. its collective psyche) as a whole.
Whether we call this organisational coaching or organisational therapy matters little in comparison. Aside: I do prefer the latter term, as it’s less widespread and thus may prompt more folks to think about the scope, rather than just automatically assume we’re talking about working with individuals in limited parts of the organisation.
What do you think?
Intentional Revolutions ~ Edwin C. Nevis, Joan Lancourt, Helen C. Vassallo