Organizational Developmental Consultant

12 ways my dear husband’s dementia has taught me to be a better consultant

June 21, 2015

I am an organizational development consultant specializing in transformational change. I’m also the wife of my dear Richard. We’ve been happily married for almost 24 years and are deeply in love. But our relationship is a non-traditional one because Richard has Parkinson’s disease and Lewy-Body dementia. In January, he moved into a memory care facility. He’s 63 and I’m 57.

Richard was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2010, but we’re sure he had the disease long before the diagnosis. We were somewhat prepared to take on the physical challenges of Parkinson’s but utterly ill-equipped to deal with the accompanying dementia. Richard’s Continue reading

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The Positive Approach to Transformation

May 7, 2015

Those of us who consult with organizations going through large scale transformation can sometimes forget how unsettling change can be to the individuals involved.  Below is an article written by Tamara Lechner providing practical advise on managing personal transformation.  When coaching your clients (or yourself) through change, you may want to reference her advise for insights and perspective.

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The Positive Approach to Transformation

Whether you want to eat a healthier diet, exercise regularly, or embark on a new way of parenting, the biggest barrier to change is you. You can make the task as easy as pie, Continue reading
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U.S. Soldiers, Back in Iraq, Find Security Forces in Disrepair: a Lesson in Sustainability

April 15, 2015

“When I left in 2009,” Major Modlin said, “they had it, they really did. I don’t know what happened after that.”

The New York Times reported today that US soldiers are finding that the Security Forces that they trained are not doing as well as expected.

Back for the first time since the United States left in 2011, none of the soldiers thought they would be here again, let alone return to find the Iraqi Army they had once trained in such disrepair.

Colonel Schwemmer said he was stunned at the state in which he found the Iraqi soldiers Continue reading

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Managing stakeholders when the stakes are high

April 8, 2015

In this blog I share insights from Clive Mallard of The Independents’ Consultant, who articulates sound advice for consultants or project leaders managing a project involving significant change.

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Let me start with a definition. When I refer to business stakeholders I mean, individuals or teams within the business who will either be impacted by a change being proposed or who will have an influence on the decisions that will be required.

Using a client example, here’s what we did.

1.) Developed a comprehensive stakeholder map.

Firstly I worked with the project leads to identify who Continue reading

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Four Techniques to Evaluate Meeting Effectiveness: #1 What Went Well/Opportunities for Improvement

March 1, 2015

As with any product or service, meetings need feedback from their customers (in this case participants) in order to continually increase their effectiveness. I plan to share four techniques that give meeting facilitators specific processes to obtain accurate information about the effectiveness of their meetings.  These technique alternatives ask for different types of information in different ways, but all provide the meeting facilitator with the data necessary to accurately measure and consistently improve the quality of his or her meetings.

These four techniques include:

  1. What Went Well/Opportunities for Improvement
  2. Once Around the Table
  3. Team Effectiveness Chart
  4. Written Questions

Today, Continue reading

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Fifteen Techniques for Implementing Decisions: #15 Sustainability Analysis

February 22, 2015

“It seems that every time we implement a change, within a few months, people are back to their old ways of working. What can we do to make change stick?”

#15: Sustainability Analysis

What is Sustainability Analysis?

Many changes do not ‘stick’ because no one has taken the time to identify and address the issues that will support or sabotage the change over the long term. Sustainability Analysis is designed to identify and address issues critical to making the change stick.

Examples of issues that can impact sustainability include:

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Fifteen Techniques for Implementing Decisions: #14 Stakeholder Identification and Planning

February 15, 2015

“I know that our strategy is going to make significant changes to the way we work around here. And I know that there will be a lot of resistance. What can I do to ensure that our strategy actually becomes a reality?”

#14: Stakeholder Identification and Planning

What is Stakeholder Identification and Planning?

A stakeholder is anyone who has a stake in the results of your change. In a business situation, stakeholders could include employees, management, unions, customers, suppliers, the board of directors, shareholders, community interest groups and government regulatory authorities.

Shareholder Identification and Planning is the process of Continue reading

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Fifteen Techniques for Implementing Decisions: #13 Roles and Responsibility Charting/RACI

February 7, 2015

“We will need to change some of our existing processes and ways of working with other departments when we implement new technology next month. I’m expecting complete chaos. How can I avoid confusion and bad feelings?”

#13: RACI

What is Roles and Responsibilities Charting/RACI?

RACI is a method to agree and document roles and responsibilities.

RACI stands for:

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Where most other methods document only the person who is accountable for a decision or activity, RACI also documents who will be involved in doing the work, who will be consulted before a decision is taken, and who will be informed after Continue reading

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Fifteen Techniques for Implementing Decisions: #12 Progress Reviews

January 24, 2015

“I was given the responsibility for running a project within my company a few months ago. I’m doing my best, but the project is already running out of steam and so am I. My boss hasn’t asked me about the project even once, so maybe it’s no longer a priority. I’m not really sure. Maybe I should just put the project on the back burner and see what happens. What do you think I should do?

#12: Progress Reviews

What are Progress Reviews?

Progress Reviews are the mechanism for tracking a project’s progress and results. When done on Continue reading

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Fifteen Techniques for Implementing Decisions: #10 Project Plans

January 10, 2015

“We seem to have a difficult time moving from large, complex goals into detailed action plans. Is there a technique that can help us better organize our efforts in this type of situation?”

#10: Project Plans

What are Project Plans?

The Project Plans technique helps you effectively prepare a complex action plan. After an organization or group has agreed upon and approved a goal, the next step is to create an action plan for achieving that goal. If the goal is large and complicated, the resulting action plan will have several levels and categories of activity.

A Project Continue reading

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