Consulting from Within

by David Katcher



This article is derived from the case history of an effort at affecting the management pattern of a large organization, not by changing it from doing things one way to doing things another, but by working at a distributed understanding of a number of problems faced by management. This eased considerably the later processes of implementing changes, so the story of what took place is worth recording. The device used to promote distributed understanding, the task force, is not new, nor were the problems faced and the solutions attempted unique. Some of the latter however might appear fresh or useful in another context. Since discussion of organization and the effect on the individuals involved would follow rather than precede detailed thrashing out of ideas in some detail, defensive reactions were held to a minimum, and this kept discussion on a positive plane. The crisis was faced by most, not all, of the groups. Sometimes a group would skip one stage or another, paying later for having had things too easy at first.

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