Case Study 1: Strengthening a Change Management Culture in a IM/IT Management Team
The work began at the IT management table as we designed, developed, and facilitated a series of sessions to provide assessment, training, and group coaching. The purpose was to enable the management team to define and explore the strengths and weaknesses of their current change management culture. Much of the training offered new change management best practices including: systems thinking, adaptive change, and complexity theory. These offered a very different perspective than the accepted best practices, such as Project Change Management, used at most IM/IT organizations.
The client’s organization had very sophisticated internal processes that offered structure, repeatability, and high quality of outputs. We employed our work using a process maturity framework (People Capability Maturity Model from Carnegie Mellon University) as the foundation for a model of best practices in the management and development of an organization’s workforce.
“...the emotional human dynamics of change was the main driver."
Case Study 2: Developing Leadership Skills With Coaching Circles
Coaching Circles are one of the best tools to support Senior Managers integrate their day-to-day work with new leadership skills. In a complex and rapidly-changing world, it takes more than the ability to solve problems to be an effective leader. One must take the opportunity to reflect on their experience, draw meaning, and turn their insights into effective actions when facing new situations.
To support implementing Coaching Learning in the Leadership Development program, we used this practical definition based on action learning: “It is both a process and a powerful program that involves a small group of people solving real problems, while at the same time focusing on what they are learning and how their learning can benefit each group member and the organization as a whole.” (Marquardt, 1999).
We used Coaching Learning in the Leadership Development program to help a struggling executive team that was not working together. The team’s level of interaction was minimal and they only talked about their own initiatives. We discovered that they were limiting the amount of information they shared to avoid criticism and blame. Employees felt that asking questions, offering advice, or challenging decisions made by their colleagues created tension and sometimes led to verbal attacks. Needless to say, their level of creativity was low, the capacity to reach the best solution as a whole was nil, and they felt alone and in great need of support. Additionally, since the organization was undergoing a major structural change, employees were still learning and adjusting to their rapidly-changing environment.
“...improve the organization’s capacity to learn and work as a team."
Case Study 3: 360 Degree Feedback: Moving Toward Leaders Full Potential
To support and promote the development of the directors, we designed a Leadership Development program that includes a 360 Degree Feedback process. This process is used to assess the skills of the directors, and support the development of their leadership competencies. The program also supports the development of a positive and efficient team dynamic that promotes continuous learning. 360 Degree Feedback is a process where employees can feel confident giving and receiving feedback to/from their peers and supervisors.
We used this program for a client who had recently made significant changes in their organizational structure. When the program was implemented, there was no major resistance from employees, but managers were still adjusting and not totally comfortable in their new roles. The relations within the management team were positive, and several young directors were still in the “honeymoon” period. The performance level was adequate, but some managers needed support to fully take on all their responsibilities.
“Our intervention aligned the team on what is required of them as leaders..."