Embracing sustainability or change by stealth
One cannot change the system within which one operates without changing oneself in the process (Revans. 1980). Starting my Action Learning journey with myself, and my life as interpreted through Transactional Analysis, was thus a deliberate and essential part of my research methodology. Using a morality tale of my life so far as a chronological and descriptive thread, I chart the progress of my self and my practice in leading the sustainability initiative for a large group of engineers operating throughout the UK. This change initiative required an exploration of change itself, of my part in the process and the development of appropriate internal client-facing skills very different from those employed in an earlier life, when I managed a consultancy practice based on personal expertise. As a Consultant, I occupied a unique role for the organisation, being of it, but not within it. My thesis describes the complex learning and challenges of my practice, and allows me to stand back from my work and take a more dispassionate view, through the morality tale, and the use of metaphors and other exploratory devices. My practice centres on the people side of the people, places and pounds sustainability triangle; in particular, the way people behave and are treated in the workplace and the role of games playing and unhealthy relationships on quality of life. Some of the technical aspects of sustainability, as they relate to the construction and development industry, are described. My thesis has three main themes: me and my personal change; the global drive for sustainability which drives the changes in organisations and the ways in which these changes have operated, sometimes in concert, sometimes in opposition, to move me further towards my objectives of organisational sustainability and self-actualisation.