Organizational change is often insider-led and supported by internal consultants and change agents. Most of what is written about change comes from the perspective of external consultants or from academics researching the activities of those with insider change roles. Changing Organizations from Within is unusual in providing a range of authentic insider accounts. The editors define 'insiders' as employees who lead and support change efforts within their own organizations, and those psychoanalytically aware external consultants - external 'insiders' - who work closely with organizations and use the dynamics of transference and projection in their relationships with clients to illuminate organizational issues. Each chapter is written by an author with experience of different kinds of insider relationships with their client organizations. Some work 'inside' as employees. Some are external consultants whose work involves developing insightful insider perspectives. The book’s editors and several of the authors are graduates, or have been faculty members, of London's Tavistock Institute Advanced Organizational Consultation programme, with experience of running development programmes for consultants and of coaching insiders. Changing Organizations from Within examines the pulls on role and identity that can easily undermine competence and practice. Understanding the system psycho-dynamics present in organizations helps consultants and change agents to make use of an insider perspective without becoming enmeshed in the client organization's regressive and inertial dynamics. The authors provide practical advice to help insiders navigate organizational space, make sense of tricky situations, and work more mindfully to help organizations change.
Susan Rosina Whittle, BA, MSc, PhD, MIC, has been an organization consultant, academic and participatory researcher for 20 years and she has worked with clients from manufacturing, construction, local and national government, health, and the prison service. She is currently Co-Director of The Practitioner Certificate in Consulting and Change (P3C) programme validated through The Tavistock Institute, London, and was core faculty on the University of Birmingham's Masters Programme in Leading Public Service Change and Organizational Development. Dr Whittle has delivered and examined master's level programmes in organization development, consulting, change, and management in several universities and provided bespoke programmes for organizations such as the Institute of Directors. For several years she had a core faculty role on The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations MA in Advanced Organizational Consultation, accredited through City University London, and held external examiner roles on HRM and OD masters programmes at Manchester Business School. Robin Stevens, JD, MA, is an organizational consultant who also has extensive expertise in the management of complex functions. She consults to large public agencies and other organizations to focusing on organizational design, processes, and procedures particularly in the areas of supply chain and project management. Robin Stevens formerly worked for New York City Transit in a variety of positions focused on supply chain management, including as Vice President of the Materiel Division. She holds an MA degree in Advanced Organisational Consultation from City University London in conjunction with The Tavistock Institute, and was formerly the Director of the Organization Program of the William Alanson White Institute in New York City.
’This impressive work deepens our understanding of this basic, yet insufficiently considered aspect of organizational change, engaging in the change process as an insider. This work is indispensable for managers, consultants, students and others who want to understand the change process while functioning in a role that has a physical or psychological attachment to the organization. Susan Rosina Whittle and Robin C. Stevens have collected readings that cover an array of the psychological pitfalls and psychodynamics that change agents experience. This is a must read for those wanting to look at the process of organizational change, not from the outside, but from the inside.’ William Czander, St. Thomas Aquinas College, USA 'Changing Organizations from Within is a great book and is bound to be of interest to all practitioners as well as anyone interested in getting under the skin of many of the challenges in changing organizations. The insights and understandings developed here about the relationship between consulting and leading, as well as the increasing importance of the internal consulting role, are particularly rewarding.’ Sarah Kemp, Chief Executive, Trinity College London, UK ’This clear and insightful collection takes us through the key dilemmas in the consulting process from the challenging perspective of the internal consultant or change agent working on the boundary of an organisation. The light touch approach to relational and psychodynamic theories makes the readings widely accessible, will help the consultant to (re-)conceptualize themselves in role, and others to understand the complex processes at play from a different viewpoint. The engaging range of experiences recounted in the book provides a hugely valuable resource.’ Camilla Child, The Tavistock Institute, UK