Social contract

Away from a conflictual interface towards a well-oiled joint:

New forms of co-operation instead of previously tense and conflictual relations.

Change within the organisation and within its interaction patterns with external stakeholders creates a lot of interfaces and often conflicts. It can be a gruelling task to move with and around all these interactions, while advancing one’s own projects according to planned schedules. The process ‚Social Contract’ is designed to change the perception of the ‚right’ roles and facilitates a joint forward strategy. By design, the process is effective in the organisation immediately. No additional homework is needed.


Social Contract Process

When the development of the new software has been delayed for the past few months, or when nobody seems to be responsible for a declining number of clients, a strong team is required to take up these issues with a sense of priority. Also, it is necessary to define accountability and to come to binding agreements. Therefore, it is imperative to negotiate a ‚Social Contract’ and to create a social infrastructure enabling the execution of the solution.

The ‚Social Contract’ Process creates and supports a management team within the larger organisation. This management team will take up full responsibility for the change process or any other specific task. Furthermore, it is important to join all parts of the organisation in concerted action. It is, for example, highly inefficient, when the marketing department pursues its own goals and does not operate according to the expectations of senior management. This means: After the ‘Social Contract Process’ every part of the organization must understand its role and has developed a plan of how it can live up to the expectations related to this role. During the ‚Social Contract Process’ the organisation unit has the opportunity to explore and learn to understand its role and function and is mandated to prepare an action plan in accordance with anticipated performance. The ‚Social Contract Process’ helps each organisational unit – including the management team – prepare a logical and comprehensible plan of action. These plans are presented and discussed with all other units in the system. These are amended and agreed upon. Immediately, on the completion of the ‚Social Contract Process’, these plans of action are converted into business activities. The evaluation of the implementation of the plans is done by the organisation itself under the guidance of the management team.

Design and manage the change: A short description of the ‘Social Contract Program’

When is the ‚Social Contract Process’ beneficial?

If the co-operation between leaders or organisational units is not satisfactory, or when parts of the organisation do not perform up to expectations.

What is it for? Purpose:
To unite all parts of the organisation under binding agreements and plans.

Objective:On-going enhancement of co-operation within the organization as a result of improved mutual understanding of roles.

Duration: App 3.5 days group process, before individual interview with every participant (app. 90 minutes), planning meetings and evaluation.

Ideal group size: 20 – 40 persons

Topics, contents, methods:

  • Draw system maps
  • Assess organisation in terms of its performance as a ‘learning organisation’
  • Analysis of roles
  • Optimized constellations of the system
  • Hypothesis about trends and their verification
  • Action plans
  • Collective agreement of action plans of all involved