My very first grad school blog post

By Joan
7

How do you feel about change in organizational settings? Why do you feel as you do?

I worked at an Army laboratory that experienced a series of accidents resulting in employee injury and equipment malfunction. After investigating these incidents and looking for patterns, leaders recognized that employees were sacrificing safety precautions to achieve higher output. In this environment, employees cut corners and deliberately ignored safety standards of the facility. This culture was leading to a more dangerous workplace and needed to be reversed.

I was part of the team tasked with creating a new safety culture in our organization. This experience in deliberate organizational change had a major impact on me as I had the opportunity to both lead parts of the initiative and observe it. It was fascinating, excruciating, frustrating, inspiring, slowwwww, and ultimately successful. In fact, the laboratory is now recognized Army-wide for its safety culture and its processes replicated by laboratories around the world.

Why did this change management initiative succeed? I believe it was because it was a top-down change management initiative relentlessly pursued over a long period of time with accountability measures built into the model.

I’m enrolled in this graduate certificate program so I can learn the theory behind my practice. While I’ve got hands-on experience with change management projects, I’d like to learn why things work (or don’t work), and how different change techniques impact an organization. I’m very much looking forward to learning about organizational development / change and interacting with other practitioners and students on these topics.

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