Motivating Change

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The Sexual Violence Unit of Minnesota’s Health Department decided to undertake a 5 year strategic planning effort to address the primary prevention of sexual violence. There are 2 main reasons for the development of the plan. Firstly, the Centers for Disease Control identified sexual violence as a key health issue and it is providing grants to various states for the development of primary prevention plans. Secondly, Minnesota is a leader in sexual violence prevention work. There are also 2 main objectives of the project namely, to create a strategic plan for and to mobilize a broad range of individuals and organizations to take action in the primary prevention of sexual violence in the Minnesota state. To achieve these objectives the Unit hired an OD consulting firm to facilitate the strategic planning process. However, challenges were presented to the OD consultants from the onset as the Unit director resigned one day after the start of the project. Her departure created the need to mobilize the members of the unit and recruit necessary external stakeholders with content knowledge and community reputation to generate action. Before her departure, the OD consultants met with the director to identify a range of community stakeholders to interview. The interviews were important in the process of establishing relationships with key stakeholders thereby, assisting in the identification of community members who could provide leadership on the project. The interviews also helped the OD consultants to build their knowledge of the issue. In generating commitment to change organizations must create a readiness for change within the organization and also successfully overcome resistance to such change. 1) Organizations need to be sensitized to pressures for change. This can be achieved by encouraging organizations’ leaders to cultivate external networks that comprise people or organizations with different perspectives, by visiting other organizations to gain...
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