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Whole-Scale Change

For More Information: Dannemiller Tyson Associates,

To help organizations remain successful through fast, deep, and sustainable total system change. 

  • Strategic alignment as one brain (all seeing the same things) and one heart (all committed to achieving the same preferred future) 
  • Intentionally designed and fully owned processes, skills, information, and guiding principles 
  • A new culture with the behaviors everyone desires to achieve common purpose 

When to use: 
  • With a particularly challenging, changing environment 
  • For quick, sustainable results 

When not to use: 
Sharing information, engaging and empowering people are not consistent with leaders’ values 

Number of Participants:
  • 10–10,000 people (or more using Web-based tools) 
  • Critical mass (10 percent to 100 percent) to shift the paradigm 

Types of Participants:
  • Microcosms of “the whole” system that’s changing 
  • Cross-section of key stakeholders needed (physically and/or virtually) in order to achieve the purpose and outcomes 

Typical Duration:
  • Preparation: 2–4 days per event 
  • Events: Several 2- to 3-day events with 4–6 weeks of interim task team work 
  • Follow-up: 1 month–1 year 

Brief Example: 

Best Friends Animal Society, a national humane organization, completely redesigned its organization structure and processes. It launched a new strategic vision, using four Whole-Scale events over 6 months, involving the entire 300 member staff. The results:an expanded mission; reorganized workgroups with people focused around the critical work to support the expanded mission; clarity of roles, work, and coordination across work groups; creation of a rapid response team that led the rescue of thousands of animals after hurricane Katrina; streamlined administration and board governance structures; and a succession strategy to free founders of day-to-day responsibilities and move them into public advocacy roles. 

Historical Context:
Created in 1981, based on theory, principles and methods combined by Dannemiller, Tyson,Gibb, Davenport, and Badore for Ford Motor Company. In 1990, Paul Tolchinsky combined his sociotechnical systems expertise with Kathie Dannemiller’s large-scale strategic change processes to develop Real-Time Work Design. The integrated approaches became Whole-Scale in 1997.