The Age of Participation

Patricia A. McLagan (Author) | Christo Nel (Author) | Peter Block (Author)

Publication date: 08/01/1995

The Age of Participation
  • Provides a comprehensive picture of participation as the system of governance we need to meet the workplace challenges of today, and tomorrow
  • Describes what executives, managers, workers, labor unions, customers, and suppliers can do as part of a participative enterprise
  • Argues that participative governance is a major issue of our times, affecting all areas of our lives: education, business, government, families, and community organizations

o Provides a comprehensive picture of participation as the system of governance we need to meet the workplace challenges of today, and tomorrow

o Describes what executives, managers, workers, labor unions, customers, and suppliers can do as part of a participative enterprise

o Argues that participative governance is a major issue of our times, affecting all areas of our lives: education, business, government, families, and community organizations

Ours is a time of massive change and transition. Political systems everywhere are moving toward democratic forms as people reject authoritarian government, bureaucracy, and the denial of human rights. Many companies, recognizing that business as usual can strangle innovation and competitiveness, have instituted "teams," "total quality programs," and the like, in attempts to foster participation. Unfortunately, both public and private sector success has been elusive and short-term. In order to be successful, these programs must be incorporated into a general movement toward systems of participative governance.

The Age of Participation presents the "big picture" of the governance shift that institutions around the world are grappling with. Its message is relevant for public and private sector institutions everywhere. This book is written for managers, consultants, labor union leaders, and all thinking people who work in large and small organizations. It is comprehensive, yet readable, containing many examples as well as models, thought-provoking concepts, and references to history, philosophy, and science.

In The Age of Participation , McLagan and Nel show why the modern world demands participative organizations. They blend theory and practice in numerous examples and industry models; look closely at every level of life in a participative organization, from suppliers and customers to executives and unions; and deflate the fears and misperceptions that sabotage change. McLagan and Nel propose that the following nine essential facets of an organization must change in order for the governance shift to be effective:
o values,
o structures,
o leadership,
o management,
o information,
o relationships,
o competencies,
o controls, and
o pay systems.

This is a practical experience-based handbook for instituting, sustaining, and nurturing the changes necessary today. Readers are encouraged to take a participative role by completing an organization assessment as they move through the book.

  • Provides a comprehensive picture of participation as the system of governance we need to meet the workplace challenges of today, and tomorrow
  • Describes what executives, managers, workers, labor unions, customers, and suppliers can do as part of a participative enterprise
  • Argues that participative governance is a major issue of our times, affecting all areas of our lives: education, business, government, families, and community organizations

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9781881052562

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Overview

  • Provides a comprehensive picture of participation as the system of governance we need to meet the workplace challenges of today, and tomorrow
  • Describes what executives, managers, workers, labor unions, customers, and suppliers can do as part of a participative enterprise
  • Argues that participative governance is a major issue of our times, affecting all areas of our lives: education, business, government, families, and community organizations

o Provides a comprehensive picture of participation as the system of governance we need to meet the workplace challenges of today, and tomorrow

o Describes what executives, managers, workers, labor unions, customers, and suppliers can do as part of a participative enterprise

o Argues that participative governance is a major issue of our times, affecting all areas of our lives: education, business, government, families, and community organizations

Ours is a time of massive change and transition. Political systems everywhere are moving toward democratic forms as people reject authoritarian government, bureaucracy, and the denial of human rights. Many companies, recognizing that business as usual can strangle innovation and competitiveness, have instituted "teams," "total quality programs," and the like, in attempts to foster participation. Unfortunately, both public and private sector success has been elusive and short-term. In order to be successful, these programs must be incorporated into a general movement toward systems of participative governance.

The Age of Participation presents the "big picture" of the governance shift that institutions around the world are grappling with. Its message is relevant for public and private sector institutions everywhere. This book is written for managers, consultants, labor union leaders, and all thinking people who work in large and small organizations. It is comprehensive, yet readable, containing many examples as well as models, thought-provoking concepts, and references to history, philosophy, and science.

In The Age of Participation , McLagan and Nel show why the modern world demands participative organizations. They blend theory and practice in numerous examples and industry models; look closely at every level of life in a participative organization, from suppliers and customers to executives and unions; and deflate the fears and misperceptions that sabotage change. McLagan and Nel propose that the following nine essential facets of an organization must change in order for the governance shift to be effective:
o values,
o structures,
o leadership,
o management,
o information,
o relationships,
o competencies,
o controls, and
o pay systems.

This is a practical experience-based handbook for instituting, sustaining, and nurturing the changes necessary today. Readers are encouraged to take a participative role by completing an organization assessment as they move through the book.

  • Provides a comprehensive picture of participation as the system of governance we need to meet the workplace challenges of today, and tomorrow
  • Describes what executives, managers, workers, labor unions, customers, and suppliers can do as part of a participative enterprise
  • Argues that participative governance is a major issue of our times, affecting all areas of our lives: education, business, government, families, and community organizations

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Meet the Authors


Visit Author Page - Patricia A. McLagan

Pat McLagan is an acknowledged thought leader in the areas of leadership development and complex organization change. She works with public and private sector organizations globally -- and with leadership teams -- to help expand their change capabilities.  She is the second woman and the fifteenth person inducted into the Human Resource Development Hall of Fame,a member of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame, and has received the top awards from the Association for Talent Development (formerly ASTD) and the Instructional Systems Association.  She has consulted extensively on strategic change with organizations like GE, NASA, the State of Georgia, SABMiller, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and many others. Client comments:  she helped do "the impossible, facilitating and mentoring the leadership team;" "it would be difficult to overstate the impact" of her work; her "dynamic leadership and know-how" helped us succeed with a critical transformation," and more.



Visit Author Page - Christo Nel


Christo Nel is a South African who has been assisting change in his country for over fifteen years. He is the founder of the Consultative Business Movement, a group of top executives from companies throughout South Africa who were dedicated-for both moral and economic reasons-to eliminating apartheid. The CBM chaired the negotiations that led to the first democratic elections in South Africa. Today, Nel is the managing Director of ITISA, a consulting firm specializing in workplace democracy and all issues related to it. He is coauthor, with Patricia McLagan, of The Age of Participation: New Governance for the Workplace and the World.


Visit Author Page - Peter Block
Peter Block is a partner in Designed Learning, a training company that offers workshops designed by Block to build the skills outlined in his books. He is the author of Flawless Consulting, Stewardship, The Answer to How Is Yes, and Community. He is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the Organization Development Network’s 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Table of Contents


Foreword, by Peter Block

    Part I: There's Not Enough Propulsion
  1. "Our Attempts to Change Aren't Enough"
  2. Good-Bye Authoritarianism
  3. But, Does Participation Deliver?
    Part II: Crafting the New Organization
  1. The Pieces Must Fit
  2. Participative Structures. Flow Not Boxes
  3. Values. A Framework for Participation
  4. The Four Faces of Participative Leadership
  5. Participative Management Processes: Everyone a Manager
  6. Information and Participation: No Secrets
  7. Participative Relationships: Shared Responsibility
  8. The Competencies of Participation: A New Baseline
  9. A different View of Control
  10. Pay and Participation: Removing the Heat
  11. Life in a Participative Organization: Levels of Involvement
  12. Life in a Participative Organization: New Roles for Everyone
    Part III: Blasting Off
  1. What Have We Committed To?
  2. Tough Issues in Participation
  3. Guiding the Transition
    Epilogue: To New Worlds
  1. Toward the New Governance Era

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Endorsements

"The Age of Participation is a must-read for people who want their organizations to survive in the future. McLagan and Nel provide a fitting burial for authoritarianism and paint an exciting picture of the future."

Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager

"A must-read for all those involved in managing diversity-and that's all of us. Every page contains words of wisdom that will cause you to think and create an environment where participation-the key to success in today's rapidly changing workplace-can thrive and grow."

Julie O'Mara, coauthor of Managing Workforce 2000: Gaining the Diversity Advantage

"In The Age of Participation, McLagan and Nel tell us the truth about organizations-that most would be called autocracies if they were governments. This is a splendidly written book. Full of wisdom and full of hope, it is a hard-headed and realistic treatment of the challenges ahead. We cannot deny the data the authors so persuasively present. Until we embrace the struggle, we are destined to live in the backwaters of organizational performance, unable to unleash the full capacity of our workforce."

Jim Kouzes, coauthor of The Leadership Challenge and Credibility

"At once profound and practical. McLagan and Nel are visionary and convincing in their premise that a powerful new world view is emerging which can fuel learning productivity and personal well-being. For practitioners, The Age of Participation is also a powerful resource, a guidebook to help companies use total systems theory to dramatically transform their organizations."

Donna McNamara, Vice President, Global Education and Training Group, Colgate-Palmolive Company

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