Creating healthy change organizations

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dirk’s session on healthy orgs


frame: dirk has spent 20 years doing tech and social justice work. when you’re looking at an org and looking to use tech effectively, it has a tendency to magnify problems already existing in org. helped run staff retreat and implement things coming out of it. Out of this retreat were dirk’s opinions on what a heatlhy org looks like. Dirk was asked to articulate this in a doc, did that, and shared it with the staff. But now dirk wants to make this a public document, but wants to make sure it is right before making it public. Therefore, this session is a good place to field test this doc. How do I frame this in the right way? This is really about helping dirk.


Groups of 3 each – what does a healthy organization mean to you?

What is an indicator of organizational health? How do you know how an organization is healthy?


Jane’s group – what does a heatlhy organization mean to you?

- Nimble, flexible

- Lean, efficient

- Honest with each other, able to have honest conversations

- Clear line of impact impact/reporting; Having work aligned with comms – intend to do something do it, report on it

- Transparency within and without the org

- Clear vision, focus

- Stability – especially economic, outlook

- Expertise, excellence – building out from a place of strength.. make sure there is a place of strength within the org, and that we are working from that

- Ethical orientation – both within the organization and to external stakeholders

- Organization understands context that it’s working in… this is how we’re impacting people we’re working with

  • Engagement
  • Self-awareness


External indicators – what would indicate to you a healthy org?

- Consistent and regular communication to the public

  • eg. coca cola ads across the world
  • could also indicate self awareness, authenticity
  • eg. emails that are sent every two weeks about stuff they are doing

- strong community of users/customers

- low staff turnover

- support stakeholders

- board/leadership is representative of the people they are serving

- utilizing their area of expertise/excellence to achieve their mission

- concrete deliverables/follow-through

- clarity of message as reflects their mission and focus

- clear or otherwise self-evident guiding (ethical) principles


Post-it exercise 1

Post-it exercise 2

Post-it exercise 3

Post-it exercise 4

Post-it exercise 5

Post-it exercise 6

Post-it exercise 7

Post-it exercise 8

Post-it exercise 9