Organizational Development Consultant

Why are so many people in meetings where nothing gets done?

August 27, 2015

Too many executives and managers complain about being stuck in back-to-back meetings all day with no time to ‘get work done.’ This is especially true during organizational transition, where roles and decision-making authority are unclear, and organizational discipline is low.

Here are a few tips to use meetings effectively and free up time for getting work done.

Appoint an owner for each meeting: 

This person is accountable for inviting the right people and setting an agenda that is worthy of participants’ time.

Be clear about the purpose and expected outcomes of every meeting:

If the only purpose of the Continue reading

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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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An award winning case study for implementing transformational change

May 29, 2015

MCA (Management Consultancies Association) based in the UK annually recognizes consultancies for outstanding work.  I am proud that the project Nigel Waterson and I led with Imtech and Curzon & Company was honored with the Highly Commended award for Change Management in the Private Sector.  Below is the case study.

Shaping Imtech for UK Growth

Executive Summary

This project started with a loose affiliation of regional legacy companies and ended with a single £600M category-leading UK Engineering Services group with 3800 staff. Described here is Imtech UK’s journey to this position, and the role Curzon played in helping 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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New research hints at ways to make meetings more effective

April 27, 2015

The April 4th edition of the Economist shared valuable new research on the pitfalls of decision making in meetings and how to avoid or diminish them.  The article is below and practical tips are highlighted.

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WORKING life often seems like an endless sequence of tiresome meetings. Catch-ups, kick-offs and reviews litter the calendars of most professionals. Effectiveness around the conference table can determine success in almost every career. Chief executives spend a third of their time in pow-wows of one sort or another, by one estimate. Monetary policy is usually set by committee; juries deliberate behind closed doors 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: #4 Written Questions

March 29, 2015

“In addition to meeting together, sometimes our group meets by phone or across locations and even via E-mail. Is there a meeting evaluation technique that I can use both inside and outside a face-to-face meeting?”

#4 Written Questions

What are Written Questions?

the Written Questions technique gathers written feedback on your meeting’s effectiveness from each individual in the meeting. The technique requires each participant to complete a meeting evaluation questionnaire that has been prepared in advance.

Written Questions, like the other meeting evaluation techniques described in this blog, does more than simply analyze and measure the effectiveness of your meetings. Continue reading

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Four Techniques to Evaluate Meeting Effectiveness: #3 Team Effectiveness Chart

March 24, 2015

“My team is very exacting and likes to use quantitative ratings. Is there a meeting evaluation technique I can use that satisfies this criterion?”

#3 Team Effectiveness Chart

What is a Team Effectiveness Chart?

A Team Effectiveness Chart visually and quantifiably measures specific aspects of your meeting, such as level of open communication, satisfaction with results accomplished, how well the group honors the ideas of others, or other components of the meeting. The resulting measurements are charted on grids with numerical rankings.

A Team Effectiveness Chart serves as a visual aid to display quantified group ratings. This chart can Continue reading

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Four Techniques to Evaluate Meeting Effectiveness: #2 Once Around the Table

March 16, 2015

“I wish I knew what participants are thinking as we close the meeting. I’d like to hear not just about the meeting itself and the decisions we’ve taken but also their general thoughts. What can you suggest?”

#2  Once Around the Table

What is Once Around the Table?

Once Around the Table is a simple and powerful technique. It provides participants the opportunity to first reflect and then communicate their thoughts as the meeting comes to a close. This technique usually creates a good sense of closure and completeness to the session. But don’t use it if you Continue reading

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