Organizational development and cultural transformation




Essential 4. Transform critical mass in the summits

A summit of 300 to 1,000 people (this group represents the critical mass to create a tipping point in the mindset of the organization) initiates engagement with the next level of leadership. The sessions last 2.5 days to allow enough time for the natural development of the group to conclude the collective change. The summit is designed for highly interactive events to foster deep and meaningful conversation that leads to engaged action.

The design focuses on several levels of sub-system transformation i.e. individual, group, inter-group, and enterprise-wide and extra-enterprise levels. A distinction from most new change management philosophies is that there is facilitation of individual transformation.

The critical mass experiment is based on the principles of social dynamics. The activities will be designed in such a way that each activity will influence the right organizational level needed to move the whole system. For example, people sit at “max-mix” tables. Max-mix is ​​the maximum mix of the widest possible representation of the different parts of the organization. The design follows a divergent / converge model of having table work (diverge), then the whole room shares the results (converge) to create a shared system view.

Essential 5. Engage the rest of the organization’s stakeholders

The highs produce positive energy which has substantial ripple effects throughout the system. Strategies are created to engage the whole organization.

By osmosis, others begin to change. Often, daily mini-summits by location / function are held to implement the leadership. These are different from the traditional waterfall as the process continues to reinvent itself locally. A mix of social media, appreciative inquiry, project management, quality, workplace learning and training programs are starting to anchor change in sustainability.

Essential 6. Use face to face, large group and multidimensional communication

Large group interactive summits have two essential underlying elements related to communication:

  1. Relationships are deep
  2. There is a free flow of information through a variety of communication channels.

One of the main advantages of large group summits is that they avoid the potential dilution of messages and the substantial time lag often associated with the traditional layer-by-layer communications cascade.

Essential 7. Establish a strategic transformation office

This group of change champions are responsible for viewing the entire system from a multi-faceted expert perspective. It typically includes the following roles:

  • Sponsor of the management team,
  • HR Manager,
  • Responsible for strategic planning,
  • Chief Information Officer,
  • Representative of the middle management,
  • Lower level staff representative,
  • Customer advocate, and
  • Internal change agent.

The team meets regularly to determine: What’s new? So what? And after? The group’s role is primarily to advise the CEO on the system-wide change journey.

Essential 8. Pay attention to metrics and results

Measuring the impact of change practices on increased organizational efficiency and subsequently improved business results is of paramount importance

Proponents of the WST approach strongly believe that there is an absolute need for solid empirical research that measures the key variables of this methodology and other change management approaches.

Essential 9. Support the journey

One of the best indicators of an effective OD effort is when the organization continues to deploy the approach years after its inception. This means that the organization as a whole has mastered learning and change. He has the ability to be nimble as he stays ahead of the external forces of disruptive change.

A tested and validated structure and process have been put in place. The process is recycled every year, giving birth to a plethora of innovative and transformative experiences. Since continuous change is a constant reality, WTS is the process of change that the internal change agent must master to ensure the continued success of the organization.

Essential 10. Use action research as a pillar of any change work

In the 1970s, Sullivan simplified the classical action research intervention process in OD into four facets. They scan, plan, act and react. It is the conceptual framework underlying every micro and macro process of the WST methodology.


In summary, WST is a complex OD journey simplified by practices and theories developed and integrated into a unique approach that enables and empowers human talents in organizations to accomplish positive change faster, cheaper and more sustainable. It involves and engages the whole system, allowing ownership of the process (people support what they co-create), suggesting solutions and focusing on aligned rather than segmented change.

(Ric is considered a pioneer in organizational development (OD) in the Philippines, having led the first formal OD unit of San Miguel Corporation during the years of corporate transformation. He was senior vice president of San Miguel Corporation and for over ten years was an expatriate executive of the giant oil company Exxon Mobil Corporation in Hong Kong, Singapore, Belgium and the U.S. Academy of the Philippines and is the Managing Director of OrgTransformation Consultants, a Strategic consulting firm operating in the Philippines and Asia-Pacific. Ric was recently elected to the Asian Productivity Organization Certified Productivity Practitioner (CPP) list and holds the rank of Diplomat, conferred by the Society of Fellows in Personnel Management of which he is the current President. He is a former President of the Philippine People Management Association. His contact address: [email protected])

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