Organisational Change Through Action Learning

Rather than piecemeal training, a whole-of-organisation approach was achieved through the development of a vision and practical project planning in partnership at a senior organisational level. The vision includes two key domains:

bullet Action learning methodology - to enable organisations to adapt to change in a constructive way (very attractive to most organisations where the one stable element is that things won't stay the same); and
bullet Improved drug management - a useful hook on which to develop action learning.

A reference group was developed comprising key stakeholders within and outside of the organisation. Their role is to collaborate in the initial project planning and provide senior endorsement and resource allocation to the project. Subsequently they meet to progress issues which are developed at the worksite level.

An implementation team was also formed. This team of 'doers' has responsibility for the hands-on work of project development, implementation, hand-over and maintenance. The implementation team includes a project manager, drug educators/trainers and key staff from the worksite. They form one of the go-betweens to improve the flow of information and issues between various levels of management, the reference group and worksites.

The key here is to facilitate a structure of strong corporate involvement and ownership. Paradoxically, the corporate sector hands primary responsibility and power to create change to workers at the coalface in a partnership mediated via the implementation team.

For large organisations, this process is somewhat replicated at a regional or zone level. (See Appendix 3 for detail on stages of project management).

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