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Enneagram for the Highly Effective Leader

12/12/2013

Leadership excellence is one the greatest challenges facing companies across the globe.  In fact, most top leaders leave their positions within three years or less under duress.  In today’s challenging and changing workplace leaders are often faced with a plethora of varied problems requiring multiple intrapersonal and interpersonal skills.  From intergenerational teams to global expansion, business leaders must develop skills they didn’t necessarily learn while getting their MBA.  Often called the soft skills of the workplace, they are turning out to be the difficult yet pertinent skills needed to become an outstanding leader.

Daniel Goleman’s article, The Focused Leader, in the most recent issue of Harvard Business Review points out that,

“A focused leader is not the person concentrating on the three most important priorities of the year, or the most brilliant systems thinker, or the one most in tune with the corporate culture. Focused leaders ..are in touch with their inner feelings, they can control their impulses, they are aware of how others see them, they understand what others need from them..”

 

He recommends developing 3 intuitive skills, ‘..focusing on yourself, focusing on others, and focusing on the wider world’  to develop the leadership skills needed in today’s global marketplace.

 

An ancient tool called the enneagram is proving to be a powerful way to help leaders learn and grow in development of these interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.  Because the Enneagram is cross-cultural and highly accurate, it can be effectively used in the global business environment to help with communication, conflict resolution, feedback, strategy and self-mastery. In fact, Apricot believes the Enneagram is the most practical and effective tool for today’s workplace as it provides a philosophical and psychological framework that is broken down into nine simple yet distinct and fundamentally different personality types.

 

Enneagram describes three fundamentally different types of human intelligence (Instinctual, Emotional & Cognitive) each of which is based on an explicit perceptual filter, or way of understanding the world. This filter determines what individuals pay attention to and how they direct their energy.

 

Each of these three intelligences harbor inherent beliefs about what is needed in life for survival and satisfaction and is manifested in a particular focus of attention and subsequent personality type – your patterns of thinking, feeling and acting.

 

By isolating your type of intelligence and determining your Enneagram ‘personality type’, you can begin to uncover and understand more about what is driving your behavior and how your personality impacts on your daily life, including family, work and intimate relationships.

 

We at Apricot favor using the Enneagram approach as it teaches a simple and effective way to allow people to discuss habitual responses (personality) accurately without blame or malice. The Enneagram, while challenging, helps to foster understanding and empathy by assisting us to understand other people as they are to themselves, rather than as we see them.

 

Best of all, this is a tool that encourages a great deal of self-development, enabling greater personal strides at a faster pace.

 

For today’s business leader the enneagram can prove to be a crucial tool, because, in the words of Goleman,

“.. a failure to focus inward leaves you rudderless, a failure to focus on others renders you clueless, and a failure to focus outward may leave you blindsided.”

Certified in the use of the Enneagram in the Business setting, Apricot can train and enhance your team and their leadership skills for the 21st Century.

 

 

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Try a little tenderness

28/08/2013

Australia is on a mad countdown to an election, which will decide the next prime minister and government of our vast and sparsely populated nation – which has led me to thinking about leadership and what has become of it!

You’ve no doubt heard the popular quote – ’not all good managers can be leaders, but all good leaders can be managers’.  Do you agree, disagree?  What really is the difference?  A natty trick for discerning the difference is that leaders have followers and managers have subordinates – one has attained power through rank, money earned, promotion, sometimes even hard work, and the other has power (and followers don’t forget) no matter what they do – though it may well involve rank, promotion, money and hard work.

Leaders on show in Australia could take a leaf out of the Dalai Lama’s handbook and try distributing a little genuine kindness.  Imagine a potential leader, in any country, saying to his or her opponent, ‘now that’s a good idea’; displaying empathy in a dark (or light) moment; or genuinely laughing at the others joke in a debate, no matter if it was actually funny?  A compliment towards the others family, and empathetic query after health, would be shocking… at first.  Once the nation collectively dragged its jaw from the floor, it might find itself also feeling generally more kindly, making it easier and less distasteful to vote.

Great leaders realise genuine kindness is the difference that makes them great leaders.  In her article, Leading Made Simple, Susan Mazza poses the question ‘could committing an act of leadership be as simple as committing an act of kindness’?  I say ‘yes’!

Yes too, that kindness can require effort – a leader may be bogged down in ‘things’ – overwork, controversy, policy, or politics, or the way he/she looks and sounds – and kindness can be hard to muster.  However, to go out of the way to offer an encouraging word, a sympathetic, empathetic ear, or just to help out, shows true strength of character, conviction and strong, powerful leadership.

Anita Roddick, leader and visionary of fair trade through her social enterprise The Body Shop, has laid it out nicely, ‘the end result of kindness is that it draws people to you’.

I’ll vote for that.

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Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility in Brazil

17/04/2013

Current funding model/need for change

Internationally the Salvation Army operates in 125 countries, with funding predominantly coming from the Salvation Army in a small number of Western (or industrialized) nations. Eighty percent of this funding is generated by the Salvation Army in the United States. Western Territory Commander, Commissioner James Knaggs has recognized that the current model of funding for the Salvation Army is not sustainable, and that a new model is necessary for the future. With increasing emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in Western society, Commissioner Knaggs is looking at an alternative model of funding, one that emphasizes corporate partnerships as the way forward.

Definition of CSR

CSR may be defined as an organizational approach whereby corporations assess and acknowledge their responsibilities relating to the environment, employees, consumers and the community. Large corporations that generate a great deal of money, assets and power have been made accountable for their impact on society, often referred to as a ‘licence to operate.’ Rather than engaging in philanthropy by simply providing financial support to community organizations and their projects (e.g. Salvation Army), organizations are becoming increasingly involved in projects that target social change and sustainability. CSR initiatives aid an organization’s mission by demonstrating compliance with the law, ethical standards and environmental legislation. Furthermore, they can generate positive public relations, increase corporate competitiveness and enhance employee engagement.

Salvation Army Brand

As a trusted organization with a high public approval rating, the Salvation Army is an attractive partner for Western companies looking to engage in CSR. Corporate leaders are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits that will come from implementing philanthropic endeavours in conjunction with the Salvation Army. This partnership promotes ‘cause-related marketing’ where there is mutual benefit for the two organizations. The Salvation Army Western Territory has also recognized the immense opportunity in partnering with first-world corporations outside of the United States.

Salvation Army and Brazil

One country that is in the midst of rapid economical growth is Brazil. Indeed, over the past few years Western companies have been flocking to Brazil and the country has cemented its place as the seventh largest economy in the world. In times of economic uncertainty for many nations, it is predicted that Brazil will increase its annual gross domestic product by 4.5 percent in the lead up to 2014 and take its place as the fifth largest economy in the world. As the next host of the soccer World Cup, over 250,000 jobs and $24 billion in investment will be generated over the next two years. Indeed, further growth is anticipated following the World Cup as Rio de Janeiro will also host the 2016 Summer Olympics. While Brazil’s recent economic success has seen 20 million people from a population of 190 million rise out of poverty into middle class, much work still needs to be done to improve human rights, labor rights, environmental rights and importantly, reduce corruption.

Government schemes targeting social inequality have been implemented to ease the contrast between rich and poor, giving high priority to discrimination, and discrepancies in salary among women and ethnic minorities. Legislation now requires large corporations to spend a minimum of 2% of profits on initiatives that aim to effect social change. This legislation also applies to Western companies who have opened offices in Brazil. As a result, opportunities for the implementation of new CSR projects over the next few years are abundant.

What has been done so far

The Salvation Army has operated in Brazil since 1922 and has extensive programs that demonstrate classic Salvation Army Corps and social services. Indeed, Brazilians have not forgotten the relief work provided by the Salvation Army for the 83,000 people left homeless following the floods that devastated the north-east in 2010.  The Salvation Army has also been recognized for assistance provided to rescue workers following the tragic plane crash at the Sao Paulo airport in 2007 that killed up to 200 people. Over the past ten years the Salvation Army has built constructive relationships throughout Brazil that has seen the successful development and functioning of thrift stores, with profits being filtered back into the community. More recently, the Salvation Army has been carrying out very valuable work, targeting extreme poverty demonstrated in Brazil’s poorest neighbourhoods known as favelas. This work certainly captures the heart of the Salvation Army and beautifully demonstrates its mission aimed at helping the poor and transforming lives.

However, much work still needs to be done to improve living conditions; providing safe shelter, access to food, clean water and sanitation. Due to societal problems, Westerner’s travelling to Brazil to conduct business are often placed in unsafe environments where there is a risk to the safety of individuals and their families.

What will be done in the coming months

Over the coming months, the Salvation Army Western Territory will be connecting Western businesses with offices in Brazil with the Salvation Army in Brazil to implement initiatives aimed at helping the Salvation Army’s work in Brazil. Projects will aim to reduce homelessness and domestic violence, and improve opportunities for education and employment. The Salvation Army understands that CSR initiatives need to be conducted with sensitivity, respect for the Brazilian culture and awareness of community values. Over time, it is hoped that the Salvation Army in Brazil will become self-sufficient by attracting corporate partners. As a result, increased financial support will help the Salvation Army to secure an effective funding model at the international level, and continue to improve the social welfare of people living in Brazil, and throughout the world.

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An innovative ARC education plan for the Salvation Army

16/04/2013

The Salvation Army injects in excess of $150 million into Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) across the Western Territory every year. Experienced professionals and Officers work with individuals from all walks of life to help them recover from their addictions and prepare for re-entry into the community. Within the Western Territory, 7500 men and women are admitted to the ARC each year with around 2500 (30%) of these members graduating, or “completing” at the end of the six-month program.

Studies have shown that following the initial, six-month phase of treatment at the ARC, only 10% of that 2500 (30%) remain clean and sober after one year. However, this figure increases to 69% if alumni remain at the ARC for an additional six months, and to 86% if alumni remain connected to the ARC for two years. The US national average rate of sobriety one year following time at a mainstream rehabilitation program is only 10-11%. By comparison, completion of the ARC program in its entirety certainly provides a more optimistic, long-term outlook for addicts.

An 86% success rate for addicts, clean and sober after two years is certainly encouraging. However, this figure does not transpire simply due to the dedication and time commitment made by ARC alumni. Indeed, ARC alumni have the best chance at long-term recovery if they remain actively connected to the Corps and to the wider community. This connection needs to be meaningful, where positive, healthy relationships are formed and where ARC alumni feel a real sense of belonging within the Corps community. In addition, the 86% success rate is aided by the latter stages of the ARC program, where alumni have the opportunity to move into sober living accommodations and a focus on employment ensues.

As a result of Commissioner Knaggs’ harvest initiatives over the past 18 months, a number of intentional programs have been set up between the ARC and the Corps. Participating ARCs currently include Anaheim, Hawaii, Pasadena, Phoenix, Portland and San Diego. These ARCs have provided positive feedback regarding integration initiatives, and have reported increasing numbers of ARC alumni attending service at the Corps.

The Salvation Army Western Territory has employed the services of Apricot Consulting to develop an education plan for Officers and Soldiers that will teach additional Corps communities about the ARC, addictions and the recovery process. The aim is to help breakdown some of the stigma attached to ARC members and create a positive platform for the initiation of constructive relationships.

Specifically, the education plan will provide an overview of the ARC program with an emphasis on the nature of addiction and recovery. Workshops will explore ways to help integrate members of the ARC into the Corps, and investigate challenges that come from building new relationships with individuals who are focused on their own recovery.  In a practical sense, Corps members will have the chance to discuss their concerns, explore and breakdown stereotypes and learn about how to assist in the recovery process. It is hoped that following the roll out of this education plan, members at the Corps will have developed a clear understanding of the ARC program and feel positive about their role in the recovery process of individuals who are in need of love, support and acceptance as they journey towards a clean, sober and independent life.

 

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Why change management can make or break your project

27/03/2013

Our partner company nSynergy has been providing specialist SharePoint Consulting Services since 2004, helping to give businesses the competitive edge. nSynergy places a strong emphasis on knowledge transfer throughout client engagements to ensure the long-term sustainability of programs. nSynergy have engaged the services of our change management experts at Apricot to successfully implement User Adoption initiatives that will compliment current approaches to technology enablement. Today’s article will address two important components of change; business alignment and people engagement, and will provide further detail about how we at Apricot work to implement change.

 

Business Alignment

Grounded first in assessment, at Apricot we prepare our clients for the journey that they need to make by assessing the current organizational climate. Business alignment is essential to the adoption framework because without it, businesses will not be able to build momentum or keep adoption levels high enough to provide continuous, ongoing value. It involves the assessment of five key areas:

  1. Organizational Assessment
  2. Coalition
  3. Vision, Mission and Values
  4. Project Management
  5. Governance

Organizational Assessment involves understanding organizational structures and leadership paradigms. We identify the ‘key players’ who we will be working alongside to initiate change, and who is best equipped to influence change among the group.

Coalition highlights the need to create a sense of urgency and momentum around the need for change with key stakeholders. We work to convey the message that change is being implemented for the greater good of the business, to help staff function more efficiently, not simply for the sake of change.

Creating a simple vision and mission that people can grasp and remember is central to the change process. At Apricot, we ensure that staff members (at all levels) are involved in the development of organizational values. This helps employees who may not be commonly involved in decision-making processes to identify with, and express ownership over the long-term vision of the organization.

When implementing change, Project Management involves establishing a holistic strategy, plan, timeline, and milestones to ensure that the change lasts. When ‘wins’ are made (i.e., successful completion of certain milestones) we aim to implement processes that recognize and reward achievement.

The final process of business alignment at Apricot involves as assessment of Governance. It is vital that the terms of use, policy and procedures encourage appropriate participation while protecting critical IP and meeting compliance obligations.

 

People Engagement

Following the assessment of processes relating to business alignment, people engagement strategies can be implemented. The five key components of people engagement include:

  1. Cultural Assessment
  2. Recognition
  3. Communication
  4. Education
  5. Key Influencers

Culture is the engine room of the organization. The best way to measure an organization’s culture is to engage with its employees and learn about “how we do things around here.” Any consultant entering a new organization is required to take note of its culture and adapt accordingly. Apricot founder and CEO Derek Linsell was once the CEO of the AFL Foundation, a predominantly male sporting environment where irreverent language is often considered the norm. In stark contrast, Derek has also worked extensively with the Salvation Army, an evangelistic organization dedicated to helping the poor and unfortunate by bringing them into a meaningful relationship with God. In both cases, it was imperative that Derek be aware of the organizational culture in order to engage employees and be accepted by the group. It would have been inappropriate for Derek to use poor language in the presence of Salvation Army Officers, just as it would have been inappropriate for him to initiate a meeting with AFL executives by opening in prayer. Culture is related to productivity, and we at Apricot are aware that it heavily impacts analysis, planning, risk and ultimately the success of user adoption initiatives.

Recognition processes promoted by Apricot encourage positive behaviors by linking them to performance, rewards, and goal achievement. Similar to the implementation of taxonomies for collaboration, recognition process provide clear guidelines and promote standards of behaviour that employees are encouraged to strive for.

When introducing new IT solutions, we at Apricot ensure that employees understand new methods for viral and programmatic communication. Employees should feel supported and understand that there are structures in place for when assistance is required.

Importantly, establishing programs for onboarding, ongoing learning, and knowledge retention is vital for the change process to be effective. New staff members need to be properly educated and trained in new processes, not simply shown the ‘old way’ by employees who have not properly adopted the new system. In addition, employees should have access to ongoing training, and learning should be assessed regularly, either formally or informally.

Similar to understanding organizational structures and leadership paradigms during the business alignment process of change, we believe it is necessary to identify and empower advocates who will inspire others to engage. It is equally important to defuse resistors (i.e., find out what forces or people might dampen enthusiasm). In most cases, 20% of the group will feel positive about change, 20% will feel opposed to change, and the remaining 60% will be unsure about change. Our aim at Apricot is to engage the middle 60% to bring the proportion of the group who are positive to 80%. In order to this we work with organizational leaders and make sure that they are intentional about promoting change and demonstrating their own adoption of new strategies.  After all, a new IT solution is only successful if people use it.

 

Our final thoughts

Adding user adoption solutions to technology enablement leads to a more attractive, comprehensive package and an improved ability sell. Furthermore, deeper engagement with customers can lead to ongoing relationships, additional projects and increased revenue. A win for everyone.

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Two important variables that can enhance group cohesion and performance

19/02/2013

Organizational leaders are often overwhelmed with conflicting advice regarding how to enhance employee productivity and performance. A plethora of research supports group cohesion as a strong predictor of success in the workplace. Fostering cohesion among staff does not need to be a time-consuming task that involves external team-building activities. Often, cohesion can be enhanced by recognizing pre-existing variables within a group and relaying their significance to employees.
Firstly, it is important to understand that cohesion is a multidimensional construct that incorporates task and social components (Carron, 1982). Task cohesion refers to the shared focus and commitment of the group towards achieving group outcomes, whereas social cohesion refers to the closeness of group members and bonding within the group as a whole. Task and social elements of cohesion are likely to vary among co-workers depending on the work environment, i.e., the nature of group tasks and goals (Carron & Brawley, 2000). Research suggests that it is most important to foster task cohesion to improve productivity, however, increased social cohesion also helps employees to focus their attention in order to stay in the group and achieve collective goals.
Next, it is useful for employers to be aware of contextual variables, also known as workgroup characteristics, which may influence performance. Two contextual variables that demonstrate strong links to co-worker cohesion are (1) Goal Interdependence and (2) Task Importance.
Goal interdependence refers to the degree to which an individual’s short- and long-term objectives align with that of the group. Collective goals enhance cooperation among group members and are often subject to feedback and rewards (Chen et al., 2009).
When group members feel that their task is important and feel personal responsibility for its completion, commitment to the team and job satisfaction are likely to increase (Campion et al., 1993). As such, tasks that are considered important are likely to increase motivation, promote collective efficacy, and strengthen task cohesion as the team strives towards accomplishing its goal(s) (Oldham & Hackman, 2010).
Therefore, with these two important variables in mind, employers and managers can work to boost cohesion by introducing (or increasing) organizational objectives that are desirable for employees. Rather than provide individual incentives (which can lead to competition and conflict), group feedback and rewards are encouraged.
Finally, employers should ensure that employees know that their work is respected and appreciated. Regardless of the nature of the task, employee performance should be recognized on a regular basis, in order to increase individual motivation and commitment to the group.

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Recognition needs re-thinking.

31/10/2012

Motivation beyond dollar figures – employee recognition

‘People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.’
Zig Ziglar

Coffee lovers out there know that satisfying feeling of caffeine running through your body and giving you a burst of energy. We also know that this jolt does not last long, so we go searching again.
This is just the same for motivation and how we really want to be recognised. What about the long- term satisfaction, we as human beings crave?

In the twentieth century, the typical equation of recognition equals money rang true for most organisations and their employees.

However, as perspectives are changing about the working environment and what people really want, this attitude towards recognition needs to be rewarded differently.

Bestselling author Daniel Pink states in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, the ‘carrot-and-stick’ approach to recognising good work has long gone. The real performance booster for people, whether it is work, home or school, is the human need to direct our own lives, learning and creating new things and bettering ourselves.

It has been said, no matter the amount of free lunches or bonuses you provide for staff; if you are not supplying simple human interaction for individuals who are working for the organisation’s mission – you are missing the most important element.

A sincere ‘Thank You’ or ‘Well done’ would be more substantial than a free sandwich. It may seem small and simple, but can have an enormous effect on an individual and can create a positive attitude towards all aspects of their work.

Pink states the three elements of true motivation are – autonomy, mastery and purpose.

The best way to approach the fundamentals of motivation is to already establish the condition for a genuinely motivating environment.

‘And the people on your team must have autonomy, they must have ample opportunity to pursue mastery and their daily duties must relate to a larger purpose. If these elements are in place, the best strategy to provide is a sense of urgency and significance – and then get out of the talent’s way’ said Pink.

Referring to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, if people have a feeling of safety in the workplace it can improve their esteem and then self-actualisation – where motivation, productivity and happiness thrive.

Reassess the next time that an employee has worked hard and what you feel would be the best outcome for their recognition.

 

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Three tools to help leaders and their staff.

17/10/2012

During one’s career there is always a starting point before you can progress up the career ladder.

There are not many (if any) people that have made it to where they are now without some guidance sought from those senior to them.

Quite often this guidance has come in the form of coaching, mentoring or counselling.

Coaching is a means of enabling people to achieve their goals for improved performance, growth or career enhancement.

Mentoring describes a relationship between a senior (mentor) and lesser experienced individual (mentee). It involves work face-to-face to foster professional, academic or personal development.

And finally counselling, in terms of business, applies to helping someone reframe problems and learn new strategies to improve circumstances in any area of their life.

Each of these methods has a way of providing success and empowerment for an individual but the key for a leader or manager is to understand when use of each tool would be necessary. One is not better than any other; it is knowing when to use which concept.

Today we’ll discuss the importance of coaching in the workplace.

As described in this very simple video, it requires the leader facilitating the coachee move in the right direction, helping them define their own problems as well as how they can solve them.

This enables the coachee to understand the issue, gain confidence in their own methods and empower themself to accomplish the next task that hinders them.

By facilitating this process and helping the coachee progress, the leader can hold them accountable to their “self defined” solutions. As humans if we understand our own problems and determine how to solve them ourselves we own the solutions. We will be far more likely to follow this path than if we are told what is wrong and have our problems solved for us.

A commonly used process to help a coach facilitate this process is G.R.O.W. – Goal, Reality, Options and Wrap-Up.

Goal, is the end result that the employee should be searching for. To be the most effective it needs to be defined so it is clear and apparent when achieved.
Reality, is how far the employee is away from their goal and the amount of ‘steps’ needed.
Options, these are the ways/strategies to achieve the goals.
Wrap-Up, is about the way forward and the need to be converted into action steps which will take the client to their goal.

Understanding how the G.R.O.W process  can help a manager coach their staff to the right outcomes will ensure they not only own the problem but its solution as well.

In future posts we’ll talk about mentoring and counseling and how they also fit into the managers’ toolkit.

 

Apricot offers executive coaching and mentoring to help leaders reach their full potential. Using a variety of assessments tools help to determine development needs and performance goals Apricot performs, confidential one-on-one coaching with executives, senior and mid-level managers and develop and deliver customised leadership programs.

Apricot staff are accredited in a range of Performance Management tools including: Myers-Briggs Type Indicators (MBTI), Enneagram of Personality and Human Synergistics.

 

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‘B’ The Change

12/10/2012

We recently wrote a blog post about Creating Shared Value (CSV) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the differences between the two concepts. We received some interesting feedback from Adam McSwain about this post, highlighting the company Patagonia for their outstanding efforts with CSR/CSV.

Patagonia has a positive attitude towards social and environmental responsibility and has a plethora of information about their continuing efforts in all aspects of their business.

Not long after receiving this feedback, The Guardian Sustainable Business had an article discussing B Corps and how they are redefining business for the 21st Century.

This concept is great – if you don’t know about B Corps or Benefit Corporations check them out – over 620 companies across 15 countries have signed up with them.

And Patagonia was the first to sign up in California and their annual revenue of outdoor sports apparel top $600m, making them the largest company to sign as a B Corp.

At its most basic, companies sign up and become certified through standards set out by B Corp including social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency working towards one unified goal – redefining success in business.

Patagonia produced a video explaining the careful methods they go to in the path of every material that is used in making their products. It is also great to see they are aware the work they do now can still grow and improve.

Campaigns such as Common Threads Initiative, assists customers by reducing what they buy, repairing it instead of chucking it, re-using or passing onto other and finally recycling. Their mission is to have a world ‘where we only take what nature can replace’.

What this represents is the changing of how many companies are running their everyday work and making social and environmental responsibility as a priority in every decision made as a company. It goes beyond ‘doing it for the sake of doing it’ and this is about creating value for many more outlets than the organisation itself.

It is such a positive movement and if more companies come on board and change the way they go about their business – it could potentially alter the world.

 

This concept is illustrated in the work Apricot Consulting is presently doing with North Melbourne Football Club. To develop a CSR strategy that positions the club as a leaders on the global scale we are creating a program which connects the club with its surrounding community, building a relationship where both the club and the community it is part of become strong and vibrant together.

When the community strives, so does the club and vice versa.

 

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Unfreeze, change and mould – change management in a new form.

4/09/2012

Change management for an organisation can work like reshaping an ice cube – it is all about the process that helps assist the change.

As with change in anyone’s life it can be unsettling and threatening to the current norm; but sometime’s it can be successful. And other times it can make a situation worse than before.

The understanding of the change, acceptance and movement forward will be the momentum to cope.

There are many discussions and theories on the approach to change management and all have relevant, key points.

Take Kurt Lewin’s example of ice – unfreeze, change, refreeze.

The first step is the unfreezing and probably the most important to understand, particularly in the changing world we live in today. It involves stopping and assessing the current situation and realising that you are at this point for a reason; a need to change and get out of your comfort zone.

Stage two begins with knowing that change is not an event, but a process. And here will be the hardest part for people to adjust to while they are learning and understanding these changes.

The process of the learning curve needs to be communicated well so as not to fall in the trap of thinking that the change is the problem; it is the mismanagement of that change that occurs.

And finally stage three is the refreeze, the idea of establishing stability once these changes have been actioned.

It is important to remember that this final process has no set timeframe, as it could take weeks for some and far longer for others to completely adjust to their new set routines, rules and practices.

Even the best leaders and mangers can overlook change and its impact on the organisation as a whole. By conscientiously working with all parties from an early stage, these barriers or issues can be addressed, handled and supported to ensure the change happens as smoothly as possible.

Apricot Consulting approaches the final stage from a different perspective. We prefer to use a more liquid approach, kind of like jelly!  Unfreeze, change and mould so the final product is not solid but not liquid. After all, change is a now a constant even after some elements have been implemented. Yes, there needs to be an amount of certainty but that change will need to be moulded again, sometimes over and over again. So don’t freeze it solid – perhaps something more mouldable, like jelly.

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