Getting from there to here

Helping the commissioner move from a desire for something different to committing to something different


Recently I was asked to assist a multi-site, multi-national, multi-lingual division of 300 people to hold a whole group event. They had recently taken part in a larger organization staff satisfaction survey and they wanted to address some of the concerns raised by the results that were specific to their division. The Human Resources Business Partner tasked with organizing this attended a day I ran on Appreciative Inquiry and asked me if I could help them with this event.

By the time I was involved, the leadership had already shared the results with the division and had identified four/five key areas they wanted to focus on for a community day.

Culture Change By Small Steps

The Challenge

‘How can we respond to the staff survey in away that helps to promote a culture change in this organization?’

Support through Culture Change

The organization was going through a planned change process centred on the introduction of a new IT system and work processes. Less acknowledged was the appreciation that this was only part of a larger ‘culture change’ aspiration. After a long initial internal consultation process, the project was launch and small group of 7 managers were designated to work with the consultants and internal programme manager to drive the implementation through.

Appreciating Change was approached by the HR and OD managers who were picking up some discontent amongst staff as the project entered the implementation phase, and some uncertainty from managers about how to ‘lead’ through the transition time. They wanted to offer help and support to both these groups. We decided that the offerings needed to be ‘bite-sized’ i.e. a couple of hours, so that over-stretched people would feel they could take the time to attend them. And that attendance should be voluntary and self-selecting. It was very brave of the HR department to agree to this.

Making The Virtual World Visible: Using SimuReal To Make A New IT System Work

In 2009 I ran a series of large group events at a manufacturing organization. The organization was about to introduce a new Enterprise Resource Planning IT system and needed to help everyone become aware of the changes in behavior needed to get the best of the new system, particularly the need to enter very accurate data. The investment in this new IT was symbolic of a wider shift in the culture of the organization.

Leading Through Uncertainty - Moving From Fatalism To Hope

The following took place over two years which I spent working with an engineering organisation which faced an existential challenge due to the combination of a change in status to a private business and enormous uncertainty and possibly fatal decline as current contracts ran down. The employees and leaders alike were in great danger of succumbing to fatalism and inertia and had no sense of how the organisation could be saved from a long slow death. This is how we tried to change this mindset.

Open Space For Strategic Development

The Invitation

‘We want to run a rehearsal process for our EQUIS assessment, and a strategy development day for about 180 people simultaneously. Are we being too ambitious? Can you help us?’

Breaking Down Barriers - Cutting across silos with Simureal

The Invitation

‘We are bringing in a new ERP system across the whole manufacturing process, it will affect everyone. It will be much more sensitive to accurate data than the old system. People will need to be much more disciplined in the way they record and enter data. Can you help us make everyone enter data properly?’

Pulling It Out Of The Bag! The Minor Miracle Of Positive Co-creation

The Challenge

Five strangers have two hours to prepare for a three-hour consulting session with a client they have never met.

We are a British woman, a Greek woman, two Dutch men, and a Dutch woman.  All of us have volunteered to try to help this organisation as part of our two-day experience at the 11th meeting of the Begeistring Network, a European network of people interested in Appreciative and strengths-based ways of working, at Volendam in Holland April 27-29 2011.

We will be working in English throughout. On our first evening we had about an hour to start planning how we might usefully use this opportunity.