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Positive Psychology and Change by Sarah Lewis

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10Pulling It All Together

Introduction

This chapter is about how to pull all the ideas, activities, and methodologies presented in this book together to create unique events that create sustainable change. First we will examine why planned approaches to organizational change are so dominant and ineffectual, then we will summarize key concepts and key methodologies from positive psychology that support the alternative approach presented in this book. Next we will consider why this is the right time for these approaches. Then we’ll explore some general principles for bringing this understanding of change to more conventional change processes. And finally we will explore David Cooperrider’s latest exposition of the positive change revolution.

Rise of Planned Change Approaches

From the 1980s onwards the field of organizational change has been dominated by consultant-generated models of “planned change,” loosely based on Lewin’s original work (1951). These approaches are generally acknowledged to have a high rate of failure. Kotter (1996), Keller and Aiken (2009), and Blanchard (2010) all estimate the failure rate to be 70%. Despite this, these methodologies are frequently called upon by organizations facing, or contemplating, making changes in their organization.

There are a number of reasons for this; in particular, people don’t know about the alternatives, and planned change approaches are very attractive to practitioners and mangers. Collins refers to planned change management ...

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