Transforming Organizational Culture:
Creating Collaborative Contexts so Everyone Contributes their Best
For the first time in history, the future of life itself is in question. Our communities are threatened with moral, economic and ecological devastation. There are powerful forces arrayed against us. We need each other in order to bring about change.
Historically, in order to gain access to American society, each of us have been expected to leave our different cultures, traditions and perspectives at the door. This has made it impossible to create inclusive contexts and establish the trust necessary to work together effectively.
We come together to build alliances because we are stronger when rooted in our different communities and identities; and because we can see different aspects of the situation. Just as importantly, our power is multiplied when we can call on our different constituencies.
Tools for Change workshops on Alliance building embrace six assumptions:
Everyone has a great deal of information and misinformation about people different from themselves. Mainstream culture precludes open discussion of this information.
- Creating alliances that are both powerful and lasting requires changes in the perceptions, attitudes and behaviors of those with power and privilege and those who are oppressed.
- Specific organizational and personal strategies can qualitatively change the way we work together across difference.
- It is to every ones benefit to establish just relationships.
- Alliance making is a continuous process, not a state to be attained.
- Work needs to be proactive and vision based.s
In our work we help people explore their personal, social and organizational histories. By reclaiming these stories we find both the strengths and those things that hold us back from our heritage. People realize impacts of personal, inter-generational and collective trauma in their lives and organizations. We explore the different meanings of power: differential access to resources, power from within vs. power over) and the relationship between those with privilege and those without. We learn ways to deal with the common dynamics of guilt and blame and create ways to build relationships that are sustainable over the long term.