S10 Ch 32-Addressing Structural Issues When Abusive Systems are Exposed

Course 1: Deconstruction.

Field Guide #2: Detoxification.

Section #10 – Remediation for Sick Organizations

SECTION #10 SUMMARY. Using the term remediation for fixing toxicity is poignant for several reasons. First, because it may be unfamiliar to many, it could make people stop a moment to think about its meaning instead of running right past the word. Second, because it has a rich overarching sense that captures two streams of meanings in the concept. Remediation is related to remedy, and it involves: (1) stopping the damage and (2) correcting the defect. When it comes to toxic organizations and sick systems, we need to implement both of those aspects – if possible. The situation may be so catastrophic that the best solution requires dismantling the organization. Also, remediation doesn’t happen simply by tinkering with infrastructure; it requires confronting the people whose attitudes and actions shape and sustain those structures. Otherwise, no restorative change will occur in the long run.

Chapters:

  1. When it Comes to Remediation, Who Needs to “Make Things Right”?
  2. How Do We Deal with the People Issues When an Abusive System is Exposed?
  3. How Do We Deal with the Structural/Organizational Issues When an Abusive System is Exposed?

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CHAPTER 32

Chapter 32. How Do We Deal with the Structural/Organizational Issues When an Abusive System is Exposed? Remediation for a sick system involves not just working on the individuals most involved in its creation and perpetuation. It requires taking a deep look at the overarching strategies and structures, plus the everyday processes and procedures, that implemented a system of harm. These principles and practices have staying power, even if the people who were in power end up being removed. Some of the key actions then involve restitution to make concrete amends for damages done, investigation to bring out the truth about what happened, reconciliation instead of retribution to heal divides between groups involved, renovation if the organization is salvageable, and dismantling or completely razing the organization if deemed beyond repair. These tie in with needs for intervention (when damage has already been done), interception (when it can still be staunched), and prevention (so future need for intervention is dramatically reduced). The historical case study of South African apartheid well illustrates the range of systemic issues to address in the pursuit of “doing good plus doing no harm.”

Movie Case Study:

Truth and Reconciliation

Invictus, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,

Reconciliation: Mandela’s Miracle, Wrong Side of the Bus

MOVIES:

Invictus (2009; rated PG-13 for “brief strong language”). IMDB main page and content advisory.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013; rated PG-13 for “some intense sequences of violence and disturbing images, sexual content and brief strong language”). IMDB main page and content advisory.

Reconciliation: Mandela’s Miracle (2010; documentary, not rated). IMDB main page.

Wrong Side of the Bus (2009; documentary, not rated). IMDB main page. Official website: Wrong Side of the Bus.

BOOKS, SCRIPTS:

Good Morning, Mr. Mandela: A Memoir, by Zelda la Grange (2015, Penguin Books).

Invictus: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation, by John Carlin (2009, Penguin Books). Original title: Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation.

Invictus, by Anthony Peckham (script).

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela, by Nelson Mandela (1995, Back Bay Books).

Mandela: A Film and Historical Companion (2013, Chronicle Books).

WEBSITES:

Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Wrong Side of the Bus.

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