Organizational Development Consultant

Planning is critical to successful meetings: use this checklist to help you prepare

October 29, 2013

What you do before your meetings is every bit as important as what you do in them. In fact, without effective pre-meeting planning and organization, the quality of your meetings will certainly suffer, and some will very likely fail.

Most facilitators plan to some degree. Many consider their meetings planned if they create an agenda, send it out, book a room, and order the coffee. But proficient pre-meeting planning needs to go beyond these basics. The level of planning a facilitator attains before the meeting separates the true professional from the rank amateur. And meeting results speak for themselves.

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Why effective meetings are so important

October 7, 2013

Meetings are commonplace in every organization, but most of them are underutilized at best. In most organizations, employees perceive meetings as the primary time waster. However, when used correctly, meetings are a powerful mechanism for expressing ideas, gathering information, making decisions, and communicating changes.

Meetings are a place where people experience and observe an organization’s culture, and organizations use meetings to define and perpetuate their cultures. Is time valued or wasted? Are people’s ideas encouraged and used or dismissed? Are problems addressed proactively or ignored? Are participants expected to guard their turf or work together toward the good of all? Continue reading

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Practical techniques for meeting facilitation

October 7, 2013

Over my decades as an organizational development consultant, I have learned to appreciate the importance of meeting effectiveness. Meetings are mission critical to almost every aspect of organizational life. Without effective meetings, an organization’s chances of success are greatly diminished. But despite the importance of meetings, most of them are irrelevant. This is unfortunate and completely avoidable.

I’ve learned so much from all my mentors, clients and colleagues over the years. I’m so grateful for all they’ve taught me. This blog and my upcoming book are my opportunity to share what I’ve learned and are my small contribution to growing Continue reading

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Sustainability Analysis

September 12, 2013

“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?”

What is it?
Many changes do not ‘stick’ because no one has taken the time to identify and address the issues which 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 which can impact sustainability include:

  • Ensuring the right people are in the right jobs
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Roles and Responsibilities Charting (RACI)

September 9, 2013

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? “

What is it?
RACI is a method to agree and document roles and responsibilities. RACI stands for:

R = Responsible Persons involved in doing the work, or making the decision
A = Accountable The buck stops here. The person who is ultimately accountable. Only one ‘A’ is allowed
C = Consulted Persons who are consulted before a decision is made or action is taken
I = Informed Persons informed after the decision is made or action is taken

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 the decision is taken or action accomplished.

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Meetings as Transformation Tools

September 7, 2013

“I hate meetings, but I think I’m going to have to resort to them. This change project is going nowhere. I need to get everyone on the same page, or I think this project is doomed. How can I make my meetings ‘mission critical’ and a break from the past? “

What is it?
Meetings are a common part in organizational life. But most of them are underutilized at best, and a complete waste of time at their worst. However, when used correctly, meetings are a powerful mechanism for expressing ideas, gathering information, making decisions and communicating changes.

Meetings have Continue reading

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Executive Steering Groups (ESG)

September 5, 2013

“I got approval for an important change in the way we do business, but now we’re stalled. The people on the project team don’t have the clout to break through the log jams and resolve cross-functional issues. What should I do? “

What is it?
Executive Steering Groups (ESG) are groups which are called together for purposes of overseeing a specific change. These groups should represent your major stakeholders, and have the decision making authority to drive the direction of your change project. They usually consist of individuals in leadership positions, and are people who are credible and influential enough Continue reading

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Project Teams as Transformation Tools

September 3, 2013

“I’ve just been asked to lead a change project within our company. I know I don’t have all the skills and information to achieve the expected results on my own. It’s going to be especially tricky because a lot of groups are going to be impacted by the change, and I’m sure they are going to resist. What can I do to lower my risk and improve my chances of success?”

What is it?
Most changes require significant effort to design, prepare for, transition to and implement. Forming a Project Team specifically to support these efforts is a great way Continue reading

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Project Charters as Transformation Tools

September 2, 2013

“I’ve been asked to lead a change project within my company, but I’m not really sure what is expected. What should I do?”

What is it?

A Project Charter is a one page document that describes the project’s:

  • Objectives
  • KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and targets – both financial and non-financial
  • Deliverables
  • Assumptions re: support requirements, risks, inter-dependencies, etc.
  • The Project Sponsor (the leader ultimately accountable for the project’s success) the Project Manager (the person who leads the project on a day-to-day basis), and Team Members (people assigned to the project either full or part time), and the time required for Continue reading
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Transformation Maps

August 31, 2013

“My leadership team and I have a pretty clear idea of where we want to be in the next 5 years, but don’t know exactly how to get there. There are so many issues and improvements to address. It’s hard to get our heads around them. What suggestions do you have?”

What is it?
A transformation map is a one page visual depiction of the plan for implementing a strategy or goal. It describes the major results, actions and milestones required to achieve the strategy/goal, along with the expected timing of each of them. It is a tool to build Continue reading

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