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The Barefoot Guide to Working with Organisations and Social Change eBook

ISBN: 9781780447148
This manual will be useful to anyone interested in fostering healthy human organzation in any sphere of life. In this book the authors offer a perspective on why organizations exist, the real roles they play, and on the importance of supporting the sovereignty of local organizations and social movements for meaningful social change.

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The Barefoot Guide to Working with Organisations and Social Change eBook View Jacket

  • Synopsis
    This is a practical, do-it-yourself guide for leaders and facilitators wanting to help organisations to function and to develop in more healthy, human and effective ways as they strive to make their contributions to a more humane society. It has been developed by the Barefoot Collective.
    The guide, with its supporting website, includes tried and tested concepts, approaches, stories and activities. Its purpose is to help stimulate and enrich the practice of anyone supporting organisations and social movements in their challenges of working, learning, growing and changing to meet the needs of our complex world. Although it is aimed at leaders and facilitators of civil society organisations, it will be useful to anyone interested in fostering healthy human organisation in any sphere of life.
    This book offers a perspective on why organisations exist, the real roles they play, and on the importance of supporting the sovereignty of local organisations and social movements for meaningful social change. Readers will find a range of approaches to leadership and facilitating change in organisations. In addition, the significance of relationships and power dynamics in organisations and organisational change processes are explored. The guide provides some tools for reading organisations, including how organisations tend to move through various phases of development, for facilitating change and addressing challenges in implementing or sustaining change. Finally, the guide gives support to processes of building learning organisations, how to continually learn both from personal experiences and the experiences of others.
    A library of additional downloadable exercises, readings, case studies and diagrams to accompany the guide is available on the Barefoot website (
  • Table of Contents
    Introduction - Welcome What is the Barefoot Guide?
    The People Of The Barefoot Collective
    Honouring The Sources Of This Guide
    Copyright And Licensing
    Chapter One - Shaping Our World New Ways Of Looking At Organisations And Social Change
    Why Organisations Matter
    Seeing What Is There, Supporting What Is Possible
    Seeing The Future In Sovereign Local Organisations
    Key Aspects Of Sovereign Organisations
    Seeing Organisations: Machines or Living Systems?
    Key Principles and Ideas Guiding this Book
    Seeing the Ways Organisations Change
    Seeing the Future Organisation of Society
    Chapter Two - Inside Out Towards understanding ourselves, other people and how we change
    Asking Good Questions
    Good Facilitation And Facilitative Leadership
    The Threefold Human Being
    Phases Of Individual Development
    The Four Temperaments
    Leadership Polarities
    Chapter Three - People to People
    Creating and Working with Relationships in Organisation
    Why Are Relationships So Important?
    Seeing Through Relationships
    Power, Relationships, Change
    Types Of Power
    Five Bases Of Power
    Why Is It Important For Us To Talk About Power?
    What Is Needed?
    What can Get In The Way?
    Some Practical Tips
    Chapter Four - Through the Looking Glass
    Observing and Understanding Organisations
    Facilitating Organisational Understanding – Some Principles And Guidelines
    Does Organisational Assessment Help Anyone?
    The Phases Of Organisation Development
    Using Phases Of Development In Practice
    Organisational Elements And Cycles
    Getting Practical – Techniques For Observing And Understanding Organisations
    Chapter Five - Stepping into the Unknown
    Facilitating Change in Organisation
    Common Issues In Facilitating Change
    Facilitating Emergent Change
    Using The Action Learning Cycle As A Tool
    Facilitating Transformative Change
    The Seven Tasks Of Working Through The U-Process
    Facilitating Projectable Change
    3 Key Challenges Of The Project Cycle
    Drawing The Threads Together
    Chapter Six - Finding a home for change
    Supporting, Grounding and Sustaining Change
    Why Is Organisational Change So Difficult To Accomplish?
    Managing The Transitions Of Transformative Change
    Practical Suggestions For Leaders In Implementing Change
    Chapter Seven - Staying alive to change
    Learning and Innovating in Organisations
    What Does It Mean To Be A Learning Organisation?
    Designing Our Own Approach To Learning In Organisation
    Practical Guidelines for Designing Learning
    Watch Out For…
    Why Do Organisations Resist Learning?
    Key Elements Of Organisational Learning Stories, Learning And Social Change…
    Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME)
    Mapping PME in the Development Sector
    Outcome Mapping
    Horizontal Learning – And New Forms Of Organisation…
  • Endorsements
    "All of us have something to teach and also to learn. The Barefoot Guides use simple methodologies that allow people to bring the best of their experiences to share through the book. The Barefoot Guides show that all we need is to be awake to learn, to create, to innovate and by the end of day we can create a transformational approach. All of us can do it, even those who do not know they can, truly they can do it too… all of us can change lives!” - Mário Albino Machimbene, KEPA, Maputo city, Mozambique)

    “The Barefoot Guides are chock-full of practical wisdom. It has given more legitimacy to a way of working that has always felt 'true' and 'right' to me intuitively and that I have seen the effectiveness of in action.” - Tana Paddock, Organization Unbound, Cape Town, South Africa)

    "The Barefoot Guide connection has a unique and truly transformational approach to collaboration, learning and facilitating social, transformational change across borders.” - Tobias Troll, Director, EDGE Europe at EDGE Funders Alliance, Brussels, Belgium

    “The barefoot guides are an important reference for our international students in development studies. Crossing the border between academia and practitioners, they repeatedly prove to be a rich source of inspiration for those working with local communities and grassroots organizations” - Dr Kees Biekart – Associate Professor of Political Sociology – International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University - The Hague, Netherlands

    "The Barefoot Guides are a wonderful contribution to open access knowledge, grounded on a great depth of experience and horizontal learning from across the world.” - Samantha Button, Maliasili Initiatives, Tanzania

    "This unusual and exceptional series is hugely accessible yet deeply rooted in solid theory and extensive practice across a wide range of contexts and fields. Expect from it something truly unique in its combination of insight, reflection, experience and highly usuable mixed text/visual presentation. It is not "dumbed down." I have seen it bite as deeply at high academic and professional level as well as at grassroots community leadership level, an astonishing achievement worth honouring.” - James R Cochrane, Emeritus Professor (Religious Studies) & Senior Research Associate (School of Public Health & Family Medicine), University of Cape Town, South Africa - Adjunct Professor (Dept of Social Sciences & Health Policy), Wake Forest School of Medicine, USA.
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