4

Outcomes of Change Processes

There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it

Oscar Wilde

Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get

Ingrid Bergman

We live immersed in narrative, recounting and reassessing the meaning of our past actions, anticipating the outcome of our future projects, situating ourselves at the intersection of several stories not yet completed

Peter Brooks

Organizational scholars have been trying to describe the outcomes of innovation and change processes for a very long time. Before we take up discussion of how outcomes of change are assessed, let us first turn to the more general topic of how one makes assessments of organizational outcomes in general. Certainly it is important to attend to the goals and purpose of any organizational strategy in terms of what has been accomplished, what has not, and what is left to do. Further, assessment of the degree and quality of accomplishments as well as necessary and useful adjustments to goals as the initiative unfolds are important.

Goals are important for a few reasons. First, it is critical for communicators who propose and promote a change to make a case for it (we return to this issue in Chapter 7). Those whose cooperation in change is necessary must come to believe that its purpose makes sense. To gain cooperation, the change should be viewed as necessary (or at least advantageous) and appropriate to the purpose it is being put. One ...

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