Jim Rose
EQ Consulting Services
611 Bear Den Road
Townsend, TN  37882
865-207-4480

jrose@eq-consultingservices.com

Do you have the right leadership team?

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Before starting the process of managing change be sure that the right leadership group is in place and functioning as a “team”.  Having this will greatly increase the likelihood of realizing those dreams.  Accomplishing this is in my opinion is the most important responsibility of the organization’s leader.  The following are some thoughts to consider should you decide to do a review of your leadership team.

Size:  The size of the group is important.  Studies have shown that 6-7 is an ideal size group of people working together to accomplish an objective.  Less than this and you might not have enough different viewpoints to make the best decisions. When the group is larger than 6-7, having an effective working relationship and making the best decisions becomes more difficult.  Studies have been conducted have determined that when a group becomes larger than 12 the probability of working together effectively becomes extremely difficult.  You might need to have more than 6-7 to ensure that the appropriate groups are represented but remember that the larger the group the more difficult it is to function effectively.  One thought to consider, if you feel a need for a larger leadership team, is you could have some members of the team represent multiple groups which would reduce the size.  However, doing this means that they must truly represent all of their groups. 

Who:  Having the right people is very important. I feel there are advantages to having representation from different age groups, both sexes, multiple races and probably other nationalities.  The characteristics of the individuals are also important.  I would question if it is appropriate to have people that are not respected by their peers or people that report to them.  I would recommend not having individuals that would have difficulty working in a teamwork environment.

Teamwork:  Next, it is important that this group truly functions as a team.  Examples would include: conducting highly effective meetings, reaching a consensus on most major decisions, participating in a way that is looking for what is best for the overall organization versus some individuals pushing what is best for them personally.  There are many other examples but I will be discussing teamwork in more detail in future postings.  If the leadership group is not functioning as a strong team this problem should be a top priority.  Consider finding and using a consultant with proven experience that can fulfill this need with a combination of training and facilitation.

 Action Needed?  Have you been procrastinating on making changes to your leadership team that you know are needed?  Is postponing making that decision in your organization’s best interest?  How would a good consultant rate your team’s effectiveness?

How effective is the process for managing change in your organization?

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Importance of change

All organizations must have a means for managing change. Even if your business is perfect today the business world is rapidly changing and to be effective businesses must be proactive at changing.  If not you will have to always be in the reactive mode which is not fun and not very effective.

 Pleased with your change process?

Are you pleased with how your organization managed change in 2013?  A means for evaluating its effectiveness is to ask and answer the following questions. 

-What were the most important changes needed that were identified at the start of the year? 

-Did they turn to be important changes to make?  

-How effectively were they implemented? 

-Looking at how you measured results were you satisfied? 

If you are pleased with your answers just keep doing what you have been doing.  But, there is an old saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. 

Improving your process

So, if are not pleased with your process for managing change, I suggest changing your change process.  I suggest two options. 

-One is to hire a professional with a proven track record.  Should you not know one please contact me.

-Another is to read and utilize what you will find in a series of twelve Blog articles that I am writing describing a change process that I developed.  Watch for them.  I have used this process for 15 years with many clients and it has proven to be very effective.

Your organization’s future

May 2014 be the best year ever for managing change in your organization!

Has the culture of your organization just happened or have you consciously developed one?

Core Values

Here are actions you might want to consider:

 

  • Members of your leadership team should

-Identify characteristics or the culture of your organization and have them do it without discussing it with others. 

-Then have a group discussion and strive to agree on a list of descriptors at this time.

-Is leadership satisfied that this is the culture they want?

-If not then identify what you would like for your culture to look like and hopefully reach a consensus. (You can Google Company Values and find lots of examples)

-Next develop a plan for how it can be achieved and implement the plan

 

  • A variation of this process would be to conduct an interview with a cross section of employees asking them to describe the organizations culture. Then merge this information with the thoughts of the leaders as they might not be the same

 

Having the appropriate culture for an organization can have a major impact on improving performance.  Are you brave enough to identify the culture of your organization and determine its appropriateness?

Free consulting; too good to be true?

 Free Gilf

No it is not too good to be true.  I have decided to provide free of charge a one hour phone consulting call on Monday 12/2 with ten people on a first come first serve basis.  I am a change consultant and can talk on many aspects of managing change. 

 

You can go to my website at http://www.eq-consultingservices.com/ to find out more about me and the services I provide.  We can talk about any questions you have regarding managing change.  Hopefully ten businesses will benefit from this free service.  We can schedule these calls by sending me an email: Jim Rose at jwr@eqcs.net.

Does your organization fail to successfully complete changes you start to make?

Priorities

Are you disappointed at the end of the year with the number of things that your organization wanted to accomplish that were not successfully implemented?  A factor could be trying to do too many things.  Most organizations strive to accomplish more things than they have the resources (financial and people) to accomplish and as a result do not finish many.  The solution could be for leadership to simply force prioritization of all of the possibilities and identify the three most important changes needed.  Then these become the “A” priorities.  Each of these needs:

-to be assigned to the appropriate resources

-detailed plans for accomplishing to be developed

-progress reviewed on a regular basis by the top leadership team. 

-no one is to be working on other initiatives if that prevents them from working on the top three

 

How can it not improve the implementation of the most important changes needed?

Are you satisfied with your process for managing change? Insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.

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How satisfied are you with your businesses ability to manage change to improve performance this year?  It could assist with determining the answer to this question by asking yourself the following.  What were the really important changes your organization needed that you identified at the start of the year and are you pleased with the results?  When you look at your Key Performance Indicators are you satisfied with progress toward your goals?  If you are not satisfied what are you going to do differently next year?

 

I suggest that this is a great topic of discussion for the leadership team to consider.  Process the question by seeing if the team is satisfied with progress in the two areas I mentioned.  If not, brainstorm options for what will be different next year.  You would get the most out of this process by using an experienced facilitator to assist with this very important activity.  Options that could be considered: hiring a person with experience implementing change, another could be to use a change consultant and I am sure there are other alternatives. Discuss each and prioritize the list.  Select the option at the top and then pursue it.  Should you consider one of the options I suggested, look for people being considered should have a wide range of tools, techniques and methodologies for managing change and have proven experience with using them effectively.

 

Any options that will require an investment should be included in your budgeting process for 2014. 

How to motivate leaders to change their change process?

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I recently had someone to ask me how to go about motivating top leadership to improve the effectiveness of their change process.  That is a very good question and I will answer it here so others might also benefit from the answer.

All processes can be improved.  Priorities for deciding which ones are in the most need for improvement must be considered.  In my opinion for most organizations the most important process for improving belongs to the top leadership team.   It is the process that the leaders of an organization have for driving change in the organization.  Many organizations are not good at it and leadership either fails to recognize or accept that fact.  So the question was: “what are some options” to motivate leaders to change their change process?  They are as follows:

It could be suggested to the leadership that they do a “self-assessment”.  Each member of the team could “individually” rate the effectiveness of their process from 1-5.  They should then offer comments regarding what they like about it and finally what needs to be improved.  These could be sent to a person that would facilitate the self-assessment process.  They would summarize the documents received.  The summary would be an overall score along with a range of scores, a summary of strengths and of weaknesses.  Names regarding who said what would NOT be identified.  Then the summary could be presented to the leadership team.  They could discuss and determined if they are satisfied with the current performance of this CRITICAL process.  If not then they would develop a plan for improvement.

A second suggestion would be for a person in the organization to make specific recommendations that they feel would improve the process based on their understanding of its needs.  In addition to having their own thoughts they could identify other possibilities for improvements from books, articles, seminars, etc.  One could obtain possibilities from reviewing information that is on my website at http://www.eq-consultingservices.com/.  Go to the Blog section and find Strategic Planning under Categories on the right.  Click on it and you will find description of my process for managing change along with many suggestions that could be used for improvement.

Lastly, consider using a professional that has a proven track record.  There are two aspects to a process for managing change.  One is the strategic (vision, strategies, etc.) and the other is the tactical (actual implementation of a specific change that has been identified).  The professional could meet with the leadership team and share a methodology that has been successfully used by others for them to consider using to improve their overall process for managing change.  A variation of the professional approach would have the professional utilize a variety of tools, techniques and methodologies they have to assist a team working on an important change needed and demonstrate successful implementation.  When this has been demonstrated as beneficial leadership could then consider using this person to assist with improving their overall process for managing change.

 

Not taking any action for improving the change process means that you are willing to accept the current process.  Is that best for your organization?

Interested in preventing unions from forming in your organization?

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Having a union develop within an organization is usually not good for long range business success.  It is usually a sign of real problems that exist that leadership has not addresses.  Leadership may or not be aware of the problems.  Whether or not they are known something needs to be done or a union could possibly be formed.  Eliminating a union is much more difficult than preventing one from forming. 

Dealing with this threat starts by identifying a clear definition of the problem.  This can be accomplished by having interviews conducted with a cross section of employees.  Selecting the proper person to conduct the interviews is critical.  It needs to be someone that employees are most likely to being truthful and will not appear to be biased regarding the problems.  Most often this is someone from outside the organization.  The purpose of the interviews should be stated in advance as part of a communications program with all employees.  It could be that the interviews are to determine why morale is low, etc.  It should be stated that specific comments of specific individuals will never be revealed but a summary of issues identified by multiple employees will be presented to leadership. 

After the key problem or problems have been identified a summary needs to be developed and presented to leadership.  Then a plan needs to be developed to address the issues.  Developing the plan could best be accomplished by the leadership team and through facilitation by the person that conducted the surveys.  Leadership now needs to follow through with the plan.  A series of facilitated follow up sessions with leadership should be scheduled to increase the likelihood of follow through.  Lastly, follow up interviews should be conducted to see if the employees are in agreement that things are better. 

Consulting Services provided with satisfaction guaranteed?

How could you go wrong to consider using an experienced consultant with great references that guarantees satisfaction?  How does it work?  The process starts by determining if that the organization has a possible need for consulting services.  Then I would need to determine if I felt I could meet the need.  The next steps in the process could best be described through an example.  Let’s say that it is determined that the work will require six days of consulting services.  After providing the services I would submit an invoice.  Should the business feel I did not provide what I committed to provide, then they simply would not pay me.

I am a change consultant and assist organizations with manifesting their dreams of the future.  To learn more about me and the services I provide please visit my website at http://www.eq-consultingservices.com/.  Also please feel free to contact me to discuss your needs for change.  My contact information is on my website.

Can you manage change effectively without outside help?

Having the right consultant to assist your organization with manifesting your dreams of the future can be a huge benefit.  The right consultant is a person with a proven track record that can be verified by good references.

There are multiple things to consider when looking for the right consultant.  It is very important that they have an effective model for managing change.  It is critical that they be able to develop a good working relationship with the leadership team.  They should also have many other tools, techniques and methodologies as they can be of great assistance. They must have the ability to develop the leadership group into a team as I referenced its importance in my last article. The outside resource will not be wearing blinders that members of the organization might have as they evaluate possible important changes.  This person can also challenge team members when fellow team members might hesitate.  Having the consultant follow up with periodic visits after the process starts can serve as a conscious for the team.  I have found it amazing how a leadership team might not follow through with the changes they planned on their own but are more likely to follow through if the consultant is going to be returning.  Following through with plans is critical!

I plan to write a series of articles in my Blog that will describe a model I have developed.  It can be used by your leadership team to identify your dreams of the future and how to develop and implement an ongoing change process for manifesting them.  My clients have decided to refer to this model with several different names including:  Manifesting Dreams of the Future, Managing Change, Continuous Improvement, Building the High Performance Organization, Roadmap to Success, Strategic Planning and others.  These are all appropriate because in my opinion it does them all.  Since the majority of my clients prefer Strategic Planning, that is the term I will use in these articles.

Are you pleased with the progress your organization made last year?  Should you put money in your budget next year for help? I am only a phone call or a click away.

Manifesting Dreams of the Future

I have been encouraged to utilize a Blog to share some insights that I have gained over my 45 years of business experience regarding managing change. So today will be the first of many and I hope that in some way that the information in my articles will help your organization become even more effective with managing change. Even if your organization is perfect today (which is not likely) the world is rapidly changing so your organization must be changing to keep up with the changing world.

I will be providing new Blogs at least weekly. Starting with the next Blog I will describe some critical steps an organization needs to make before you can even start an effective change process. Each article can be used by itself or in conjunction with others. Next I will describe a sequence of six steps in a change model that I have developed covering one step in each article. Upon completion of describing my model I will start offering multiple other suggestions to consider including ones for improving teamwork which is required for a high performance organization.

I would appreciate your feedback regarding the usefulness of these Blogs so feel free to contact me if a discussion could be helpful to you. I really enjoy talking about change. Send me an email to schedule a time.