Intervention, Change and Consequence by Tom Douglas
Trying to change human behaviour seems to have become apandemic of our times. A Change Industry has developed, with beneficial objectives and strong moral standards but which uses processes that are to a large extent accepted as articles of faith. Literature designed to bring about intentional change in people abounds but the actual concept of 'change' has received comparatively little attention. Without definining what we mean by 'change' it is difficult to assess the validity of change processes. Evidence quoted - except in certainly clearly defined and very limited areas - is based upon subjective opinion and rarely on repeatable forms of measurement. Tom Douglas is one of the world's leading writers on groupwork and processes and has written and taught extensively on changing human behaviour. Here he examines what intentional change processes essentially are and places them in relation to the natural development of human change and to the question of consequences. The most important outcomes of social intervention tend to be those that were never anticipated. His principle theme concerns the ignored peripheral and major consequences of intervention in the lives of people, as individuals or as members of groups or organizations. This will be a controversial but scholarly book, challenging practitioners of change, their approach and their claims. It asks them to be more aware of the limitations that exist in attempting to affect change; to be more precise in their definition of change; to be more realistic about base claims for effectiveness and to be more vigilant about consequences. As Tom Douglas points out, more realism means more effective outcomes.
Tom Douglas, an award-winning journalist and author, lives in Oakville, Ontario with his wife Gail, also an author in the AmazingStories series. Tom's father, Sgt. H.M. (Mel) Douglas, was part of the Invasion Force that stomred the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Tom is a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, worked as a Communications Advisor for Veterans Affairs Canada, and has written speeches for the Minister of National Defence.