Archive for the ‘change management’ Category

Models of Appreciative Inquiry and Problem Solving

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Appreciative Inquiry is a wonderful organizational development model developed by David Cooperrider at Case Western University that is very applicable to what is happening in today’s economy. When dealing with problem solving and change, many times how we ask the question and what vision we create has a direct impact on how we solve the problem. For instance, instead of asking ‘what are our problems?’ or ‘what are we weak at?’, we can instead ask ‘what are our are strengths and how can we make them stronger?’. In Appreciative Inquiry there are four phases:
1.DISCOVER: The identification of organizational processes that work well.
2.DREAM: The envisioning of processes that would work well in the future.
3.DESIGN: Planning and prioritizing processes that would work well.
4.DESTINY (or DELIVER): The implementation (execution) of the proposed design

It is a strong addition to what I originally wrote in Flexible Thinker For our economic woes, if we look at phase 1 and ask ourselves what are our processes that work well. For instance, we are good at entrepreneurship and creativity. There is a reason companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple. Blackberry and Intel were founded in North America. Because we are free and are measured not by our lineage but by our accomplishments.

In process 2, we can dream of ways to make it easier to be create. These include less and more streamlined regulations to allow businesses to start. Investment in small business to help people have the capital to make their visions a reality.

In Phase 3 we can start to brainstorm ways to implement that vision. It could be discarding unnecessary paperwork and out-of-date process or finding ways to directly invest in various businesses and ideas.

Finally in Phase 4, we build SMART plans (Specific, Measurable, Actions, Realistic, Timeframe) to make those plans a reality.

By looking positively at what is the best of us, no matter your political persuasion, you build on the strengths we have. In other words, by focusing on the positive we achieve positive results.

Free Improvisation Exercises

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Due to popular demand, we now have a section that features FREE improvisation games that you can use with your training and course design. These exercises, along with some debrief points, are your to use. Just click here and check in periodically (perhaps mark as a ‘favorite’) for more games as we post them. Many of these are great for leadership debriefs (especially the 3 Up/Freeze Tag), change management, and innovation as well as team building. Enjoy!

Insanity

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

The reason that behavioural interviewing is so popular is that it is predicated on the very logical belief that past performance indicates future performance.  It is the same with most performance.  We can look at the what has or has not worked in the past to make a fair determination of whether it will or will not work in the present/future.  Thus the famous quote that insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting a differrent result.  That is why I found this article by Victor Davis Hanson in the National Review so interesting.  Hanson talks about President Obama’s economic policies and how he is trying to turn the clock back to the 60’s and 70’s to policies that did not work.

What I find interesting is that so many very smart people believe that centralized economic planning can work.  It has never, in the history of mankind, done anything but create poverty and war.  The problem is that mankind and our economy is so fluid that nobody can ‘control’ it.  The reason that some people have is their own hubris and ‘false ego’.  They think they are smarter and/or want more power that they want to control everything.  These leaders often end up creating their own demise as we see time and time again.

The problem with ideology is that people hold onto beliefs no matter what the evidence is.  It is the same for people on the ‘other’ side of the political spectrum.  For instance, the idea that government should not do anything.  This extends to healthcare.  There are some things that should be provided by government.  The facts, for instance, on healthcare in systems that are government funded (i.e. Canada) versus fully private (i.e. U.S.).  The facts speak for themselves.  Canadians spent less per capita for healthcare than Americans do.  The infant mortality rate in Canada is significantly lower than the U.S. and the average lifespan in the population is higher.  Yes, there are wait times for ‘non emergency’ services (i.e. MRIs), but overall it does work better.

As I write in Flexible Thinker, the problems we have to overcome are the ones we ourselves control (i.e. preconceived ideas, false ego, etc.).  Can the Canadian healthcare system be improved by some type of competition?  Yes.  However, when we shut ourselves off to looking for solutions that work (and have worked) because of ideology, we become the problem and not the solution.

Fear, Change and Politics

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

In the new television commercials for Michael Ignatieff, the Canadian Liberal candidate for Prime Minister, he tries to scare Canadians that the current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, is going to create a “U.S.-style healthcare system’ if he is elected to a majority government. Meanwhile south of the border, in the U.S., the Republicans are threatening Americans that President Obama is trying to create a Canadian-style healthcare system there.

What the politicans are doing is using fear as a campaign tactic. It is a very basic fear – the fear of change! Many people fear change – even if it is for the better. I think that there are people who would rather be kicked every day in the most sensitive parts of their body than embrace a change where the person stops kicking because their leg gets tired. Wtih fear comes uncertainty (‘the devil you know’). With change, however, there also comes growth and opportunities. Most Americans and Canadians recognize that there are problems with their healhcare system. Yet the decision-makers are focusing people more on fear than solutions.

Neuroscience and Organizational Development

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Why can’t people change their minds???? Why is change difficult? How come you cannot overcome myths with good inforamtion. Interesting new article in strategy+business from Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, et al about the effects of brain research into o.d. Good follow up to my previous article on Why You Can’t Replace Myths with Good Information.