• Strategic Change

    “ How did we through our internal thinking, our processes, our practices, and our procedures contribute to or create the circumstances (good and bad) we face now? “ Senge

    “ How come you see this issue as simple and I see it as complex?” 

    Strategic ChangeImagine ThisChallenge for changeWorkshop Examples

    We work with leaders and their organisations to:

    • Get on the balcony, see the bigger picture and identify the critical adaptive or step change challenges for their organisations and stakeholders
    • Spot what is critical to make happen, that won’t just happen anyway
    • Develop the resilience in themselves and others to bring about difficult change and to do that as well as possible
    • Prepare people for change and develop those who have to make it happen!

    Imagine a series of short, intensive conversations with your leaders and their teams about a complex organizational or policy change where they map how they see the issues, surface multiple perspectives and collectively make sense of what they need to stop doing, keep doing and innovate.

    Using the insights provided through our accreditation with leading edge practitioners Cognitive Edge we enable leadership teams to make sense of their different operating contexts so that they can:-

    • Surface different ways of thinking to respond to simple, complicated, complex and chaotic problems
    • Review the appropriateness of their leadership and decision making styles and adjust accordingly
    • Work together to review ways to innovate and build resilience
    • Set up a number of safe to fail experiments
    • Develop different kinds of networks to find out what is really happening and develop solutions
    • Clarify they are measuring the right kinds of things – sometimes what people are saying matters more than numbers, sometimes spotting alternative less distinct signals is more critical than relying on dominant trends

    Introducing our Challenge for Change workshops

    These workshops bring together ‘ the different voices’ who have a stake in the particular challenge.  Influenced by the work on complex systems (David Snowden of Cognitive Edge), the pioneering work on challenge workshops, by National College of  School Leadership and World Café methodologies, these workshops are designed to challenge and stimulate different thinking about the particular problem in a facilitated and structured format. Individuals are encouraged strongly to work to the following principles

    • Focus on action not just discussion
    • Work on the challenges, spot the opportunities to innovate
    • Take responsibility for what you can do
    • Keep asking one another ‘ what if we could make this happen? What would it look like? What would it take? What would we need to do differently?
    • Keep an open mind and listen out for alternative thinking

    A challenge workshop can be a half day,  a 24 hour residential period or a series of one day  workshops.

    Examples of Challenge for Change Workshops

    • ‘ How do we as leaders in our separate organisations differentiate our different purposes whilst at the same time integrate our leadership, behaviour and culture to support the evolution and delivery of a Business Strategy fit for purpose?’  ( a one day workshop for 50 managers from 7 organisations within the local government sector )
    • ‘ Overcoming bullying and harassment  across the department’ ( a one day workshop for 60 managers)
    • How do we as strategic leaders and managers work across agencies and authorities to lead an improvement agenda for our respective Children’s Services and challenge performance?  (a one day workshop with political leaders , chief executives , Children’s services and social services managers from 2 neighbouring  local authorities)
    • How to provide an integrated services approach based on early intervention and prevention models with children and families in our township  (a one day workshop for 120 managers drawn across health, education, social services, police, voluntary sectors)

    How does it work in practice?

    You work with us to agree a challenge statement or question which gets at the heart of the dilemma or problem.  We think of how best to provoke the audience into engaging with the challenge in a way which is different and which begins to remove inhibitions about possibilities, ideas and ‘undiscussables’.  Challenging speakers, short dramas, video footage and recordings are all examples of how this can be done.

    Challenge for Change – follow on activities

    Clients have used these workshops in different ways

    • To kick start the development of new solutions and /or experiments in tackling the issues
    • To make visible the collective resources in terms of people in the room and budgets available to find ways of really delivering benefits from collaboration
    • To refocus strategic leaders on what we are here to do through  direct engagement  via the witness sessions  with people impacted by their actions or lack of actions

    Sometimes our engagement with clients is purely and simply around the design and delivery of the challenge for change workshop. Sometimes we continue to work with our clients on specific aspects of the action planning.