Posts Tagged "change"

on Jan 3, 2019 in Blog

  Part 3: Self as Instrument for OD   Guest blog from: John Hovell PMP, CKM, ODCP   You are the primary “instrument” in OD! Organisational Development is a wide and varied field, but let’s not overwhelm ourselves, it simply starts with you. You are the primary instrument for OD work. We call this “use of self” or “self as instrument”. Many practitioners have written about this concept, especially Dr Mee-Yan Cheung-Judge. According to her, Use of Self basically means that we “dedicate time to the on-going maintenance of both self-knowledge and technical expertise.”[1] We continually develop ourselves to hone our practice and extend our OD range. There are many mindsets, skillsets and toolsets that we bring into OD, and yet they all rely on our ability to continually develop our primary instrument, which is our self. The concept of Use of Self is nearly as broad as the field of OD! Self as Instrument Overview Let’s continue to describe the concept of “use of self”. There are dozens of broad definitions for Use of Self, we will offer a few here. For a more detailed description of Use of Self, we have Mee-Yan’s permission to share her latest research with Professor David W. Jamieson. In that research, they use nine (9) “clusters” to help describe the different areas of Use of Self. For even more detail on these clusters, as well as a self-assessment, please visit their website. Definitions and Dimensions of Use of Self Use of Self is a broad and ambiguous concept. The definitions below come from known experts to help frame the general territory. Dr Mee-Yan Cheung-Judge “Whenever we are in flow with our external observation and awareness, our internal awareness of the “here and now”, and using resources we have (e.g. intellect, cognitive ability, perceptual insights, emotional texture, personality, experience, values, character, skills, social sensitivity, etc.) based on our discerning judgement/intentional choice of decisions as to what right course of action we are willing to put ourselves on the line to execute the work in order to achieve the impact the situation requires” Mary Ann Rainey and Brenda B. Jones “Acting on feelings, observations and thoughts to advance the work of the client” Charlie...

Read More

on Dec 11, 2018 in Blog

Journeying into the unknown Organisational change is a journey into the unknown, along changing terrain. Finding your way in that changing terrain requires (i) new understanding about the dynamic patterning of change; (ii) new processing skills of sensemaking and learning; and (iii) new tools to help people in the midst of on-going change to notice and interpret what is changing in their organisation. Organisations wishing to get on the front foot in change can develop these new change capabilities in leaders at all levels to aid them in navigating into the unknown. Let’s imagine that you’re setting out to travel somewhere you’ve never been before. Actually, no one has ever been there before. So, what do you do? Do you gather together all the information you have about your destination and plan a route to get there? Do you set off in the general direction, and try to work out the detail as you go along? Or perhaps you don’t even worry too much about where you’re going, you just set off and then take whatever turn looks most interesting. Organisational change is much like travelling somewhere new. Every organisational change journey is unique. No one else will start from where you are, no one else will end up where you do, and no one else will take exactly the same route. So any maps or directions that you get from experienced travellers (best practice organisations) or guides (consultants) will never be exactly right for your organisational journey. Nonetheless, let’s imagine that you are embarking on a journey of intentional change in your organisation, setting off on a journey to greater organisational effectiveness. (This is rather different than simply being swept along, perhaps unwillingly, by the tides of change.) You might choose to be either more planned, or more exploratory and opportunistic in your approach. Your choices may be guided by your assumptions about change ‘management’, from past experience of ‘what works’, and from your personality preferences. No single approach is intrinsically ‘better’ than the others, although some might be a better fit. Yet, whichever approach you take, once you set off into the unknown, you need to be prepared to find your way in ever-changing terrain.   The...

Read More

on Nov 21, 2018 in Blog

Part 2: A framework for advancing your OD practice   – Dr Sharon Varney & John Hovell   OD practice – an evolving field Part 1 in our series on Advancing your OD Practice explained how Organisational Development (OD) thinking and practice has evolved over the past 70 years to ensure it remains relevant and important in a VUCA world [1]. It pointed out that, in the past, OD was the preserve of specialists. Yet, with increasing organisational complexity, more and more people are being involved in change and transformation work as part of their day job. So, developing an OD mindset, skillset and toolset is fast becoming an essential for all managers and professionals. And smart businesses are leveraging their change-ability by developing OD capabilities across their organisations. Over the past 70 years, OD has embraced diagnostic, dialogic and dynamic approaches to organisational change and development. But the use of the ‘self’ as the primary instument, remains a core foundation in OD practice. We use this framework (pictured above) to underpin the Advancing your OD Practice programme that we run for The Henley Forum at Henley Business School.  We believe it is a useful framework to help demystify OD and to empower those involved in organisational change and development work to take the next steps in advancing their practice: it helps OD specialists to re-appraise their ‘go to’ approaches and to ensure their thinking and practice is keeping pace with evolving developments in the field and it provides an entry-point for those who are new to OD to calibrate the strengths and skills that they bring to OD work from other areas of work and life. In this article (Part 2 of 3), we begin by exploring the 3 Ds in our framework and then invite you to think about how to get the balance right.   Diagnostic OD Diagnostic OD began in a similar way to the scientific model and the project management approach. In other words, there was a linear process to start with: problem definition, then study the problem, determine options, select and implement the best option, and finally evaluate the effectiveness of your actions. This chronological approach has been effective for decades, especially when...

Read More

on Oct 26, 2018 in Blog

Part 1: A mindset, skillset and toolset for change   – Dr Sharon Varney   OD is for you! Saying that Organisational Development is just for OD specialists is a bit like saying computers are just for IT professionals. In the past, OD was the preserve of specialists. Yet, with increasing organisational complexity, the job of creating organisational change and effectiveness is simply too big and too complex for one team [1]. As a result, more and more people are being involved in change and transformation work as part of their day job. Managers and professionals with all kinds of job titles are working hard to introduce new, different, and potentially better ways of working. But, the problem is that few of them know how to go beyond the project plan to make the magical transition between A and B happen for teams and organisations. It’s not their fault. Few have had any training in this area. All too often, therefore, well-intentioned change efforts take an economic and emotional toll, yet fail to deliver the hoped-for benefits. So, developing an OD mindset, skillset and toolset is fast becoming an essential for all managers and professionals. And smart businesses are leveraging their change-ability by developing OD capabilities across their organisation; helping them to achieve sustained success in a changing world. A strong heritage and a rich knowledge base OD has a strong heritage and a rich knowledge base. It roots can be traced back to the late 1940s with the group dynamics work of social scientists at the National Training Laboratories in the US and the parallel group relations work at The Tavistock Insitute in the UK [2]. Taking an OD approach means involving people in creating change that affects them from the outset. Change programmes that seek to save time by not doing this up front often pay the price of an agonisingly long drag to try and get people on board later on. (If you ever see a project plan with ‘implementation’ at the end, you should be worried… very worried!) If you think that OD is all touchy-feely, think again. Taking an OD approach means working from data. Data may be hard or soft, big or small. The best...

Read More
Why line managers need change expertise

Why line managers need change expertise

on Jun 5, 2017 in Blog

by Sharon Varney and Sue Ells   Line managers are the most critical people in any change effort. Yes, we repeat, THE MOST CRITICAL. Success or failure often depends on the energy and engagement of line mangers. But they’re often just left to get on with it, with a sink or swim attitude. We want to change that. Change is too important to be left to chance. Change that doesn’t land can incur all the economic and emotional costs, without delivering any of the benefits. It can even make things worse. We believe that it’s time to get much smarter about change. To help line managers understand what they need to do, even when they don’t have a formal change role, and to equip them with the knowledge and the tools to do it. Read on to discover why line managers play such a vital role in change, the challenges they face, and to get some practical change tips.   Being in the middle – a vital role and a tough job. Why are line managers so critical in change? Because line managers are right in the middle. They are the people who help to translate change plans into everyday practices. They are the ones who can integrate innovative improvement ideas into normal ways of working. Without the active support of line managers, the best laid change plans will remain just that. Being in the middle helps line managers to connect people and ideas up and down organisations. And, importantly, they can choose to work with their peers – or not –  across organisations. Their position helps them to translate, role model, support, integrate, coach, connect and so on. But it’s a big ask.   Juggling change AND the day job at the same time? Sound familiar? How many managers get the option to do either the day job or the change job? Sadly not many. In fact, most organisations will expect their managers to do both at the same time. Plus they’ll expect all the usual targets and deadlines to be hit as well.  I can hear managers screaming as they read this, but actually, there are some really good things about this. Number 1 advantage is that...

Read More