Oil Change: Perspectives on Corporate Transformation

By Art Kleiner; George Roth et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 12

"WHO AM l?"

The corporate transformation that began in 1993 brings many OilCo employees to a painful choice. They realize that they must change fundamental ways of thinking, feeling, and acting, or risk their careers at Oilco.

Employees who have become involved with the company's transformation report benefits that carry over to every area of their lives: work, family, health, spiritual practices, and leisure. They report feeling more in tune with their essential selves. They gain confidence and visibility. In almost all cases, however, the personal transformation has included periods of confusion, fear, anger, mistrust, defeat, and even profound grief.

Many wonder whether a corporation should mandate this type of personal growth; or whether it is possible for a critical mass of people to undergo transformation. Other people see, in transformation, a threat to their attitudes about people, or to their core identity. Some feel a threat to their religious beliefs. They say, in effect, "I wish OilCo would quit trying to 'fix' me."

This theme exists for the consideration of personal issues raised by transformation. It is a very short theme, because transformation is still so new. It takes time for personal issues to come to the surface. We hope that, by raising them in conversations, people can feel as if their voice will be heard -- and that they can still listen with respect to the voices of others.


WORK LIFE AND PERSONAL IDENTITY

These quotes, from various interviews, illuminate the kinds of issues that will come to the surface, increasingly, as people think about aligning their personal aspirations with the corporate transformation.

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