Change from the Bottom Up LO5383

Michael McMaster (
Sun, 4 Feb 1996 19:44:26 +0000

Replying to LO5318 --

Malcolm, cheer up. There is a new technology which may make "grass
roots" or "bottom-up" approaches viable in ways that they were not in
our idealistic younger days.

Groupware, hypertext, communications networking, Web pages and
whatever is coming next are all technologies that not only support
but actively call for, encourage and enable such approaches.

I think that, compared to any top-down change effort that we see now
and that we were attempting "way back when", the way of the future
will be much more "grass roots".

What was required and, to a lesser extent (maybe), is still required
is some support or at least forebearance from the top. Because the
top still has the formal power. Even here, the most successful
transformation efforts I've been involved in have been protected and
supported by old guard execs who have not involved themselves beyond
holding the space and providing protection for more junior execs who
were the force behind the change process.

This may relate to the earlier conversation on speciation and
protected spaces.

I have been doing corporate change efforts using a great deal of
public space with Lotus Notes and some hypertext that enable the
whole organisation to see what is happening (at a minimum) and to
engage fully in the creation of what is happening (at a maximum).

Michael McMaster
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