This is the organizational level in which we focus on bigger organizational units or whole organizations. We work on topics such as organizational alignment, cultures, context, structure, processes, vision, strategy and challenges. This is what we call the macro level.
Topics that we address on the macro level:
Organizational Development is a well-planned, holistic, systematic and structured change approach that fundamentally alters the way business is done. It is the outcome of shaping and aligning all the components of a company towards a clear vision or strategy.
OD generally focuses on increasing an organization’s readiness in coping with its present and future operating contexts and other business challenges, which are ever-changing. To accomplish this, OD measures address all the components and aspects of a company. Some of these are its systems, structures, processes, practices, culture, people and performance measurement.
As a company’s operating context is not static but constantly changing, OD needs to re-adjust itself and realign all its organizational components. So we speak about “Organizational Development Episodes”. What worked in yesterday’s episode may not work in today’s; what works in today’s episode may not be right for tomorrow’s. If the business results and the environment are signaling that the current design does not work, it is time to change it and start a new “Organizational Development Episode”.
We act as advisors and sparring partners to craft the best fit between an organization’s current and upcoming operating context and the “Organizational Development Episodes” ahead.
A culture change process starts by understanding the current culture with all its implicit details; it then designs the culture for the future organization and maps out the steps needed to implement the desired culture by using levers in both personal and leadership development and appropriate processes and structures.
As it is the accumulated experience of the whole organization, it has a strong influence on its members and is difficult to change. Typical development directions of corporate cultures:
Need to become more:
- Cost conscious
- Collaborative, cooperative
- Open and communicative
- Compartmentalization, silo-thinking and acting
- Putting personal wellbeing before organization wellbeing
- Communication gaps
- Talking behind people’s backs
- Failure culture
- Problem focus solution focus
This is about building a committed and mutually accountable executive management team, that is dedicated to lead the organization jointly into its greatest possible future while taking the entire organization along on this journey.
It is a top-down process, which in itself is deeply rooted in the organizational wisdom. In its essence it consists of 3 central elements, which build successively upon each other:
- On-Boarding. The executive management team onboard on committing to the process.
- The Art of the organizational backbone which creates:
- Executive Management Team building.
- A joint executive organizational understanding on why, what and how to proceed.
- The Craft of the organizational backbone:
- Generating buy-in for the organizational backbone elements inside the organization.
- Implementing the elements into the organization.
Agility & Self-Organization in Business
Transforming companies to becoming agile and self-organized means changing the paradigm from seeing an organization as a machine to seeing it as a living organism. At the centre of this journey lies the transformation into a Purpose Driven organization: Why do we exist? What is our unique contribution?
The increasing complexity of the business contexts favors Self-Organized groups. Speed, nimbleness and agility become crucial operating in a VUCA world. The transition in the corporate world is a continuous progression to becoming more open, fluid, adaptive, decentralized organization that empowers its own people while having at its core a strong shared organizational purpose. Teams work towards meeting their objectives with a more collaborative approach and take ownership of how they work and continuously evolve through having a continuous improvement mindset.
Co-creation is a choreographed process that brings the right people together to truly make progress on a complex challenge.
Co-creation as an innovative practice relies on:
- a well-designed structured process which achieves sustainable and tangible results and has a meaningful and effective impact on people
- solid guidance, leading participants to enjoy a quality of relationship that allows them to engage in generative dialogues and achieve breakthrough
Innovation is at the heart of present and future economic success. We specifically have a look at:
- How to set up tailor-made workshops for innovations
- How to connect an organization to its innovation potential
Our services cover two core areas:
- Designing, developing and facilitating Innovation Workshops or Campuses
We are experts in providing stimulating settings that allow people to open up and share their ideas, challenges and know-how. This is the starting point for creativity and innovation
- Bringing an organization and its culture into line with its best innovative potential
Helping an organization attune its culture to its greatest innovative potential means to: initiate, shape, and preserve a mindset of innovation within it. To obtain the intended shift in culture, an intelligent change process needs to be developed and implemented correspondingly.
Large Group Interventions (LGI)
LGIs are essentially collaborative inquiries into present and future organizational topics (such as systems, practices, processes or visions), that are designed to co-create alignment around strategic directions and system-wide issues.
Different LGI methods share a focus on achieving sustainable changes and maintaining stakeholders’ active participation across the whole system. The number of people involved in LGIs varies from 30 up to 500+. An important design principle is to get the whole system into the room. This diversity of perspectives, opinions, and experiences, when guided and facilitated through a generative group dialogue process, is what leads to new creative, innovative and sustainable solutions.
Despite the fact that involving everyone in a large group process to resolving a complex collective challenge requires a huge initial investment of money and time, the savings in implementing the solutions are huge. This is because involving everyone in a large group process creates the buy-in and commitment that makes the implementation much more immediate and smooth.
We have designed and held LGIs with very different aims, including:
- analysis of the current reality and context
- building a collective vision, creating a clear picture and focusing collective energy on implementation
- information and knowledge sharing to generate innovation
- designing and implementing change roadmaps, creating buy-in, momentum and commitment for the change implementation
- dealing with complex situations and challenges
- tapping into the collective wisdom of the many to research organizational contexts and realities
- building organizational alignment and focus
- complex problem solving and searching for solutions collectively
We see Change Management as a situational approach that supports the movement, alteration or transition of individuals, teams, or organizations from a current state to a desired future state.
So-called “people processes” focus on managing the internal dynamics of individuals, groups, teams or the organization that inevitably arise in a changing business environment.
On an organizational level, Change Management is the term we give to all tasks, measures and actions that are designed and implemented to support profound, cross-functional, far-reaching, substantial changes related to organizations. We call these Business Change Processes.
The Change Management Process serves and pursues Business Change Processes.
What is a Business Change Process?
It is a Business Adjustment with a considerable impact on parts of or the entire organization. [PMI, Carve Out, Hard Restructuring, Reorganization, New Strategy and Organizational Alignment etc.]
What is a Change Management Process?
It serves, facilitates, safeguards, sets the frame and enables the implementation of the Business Processes. The Change Management Process is intimately connected to the Business Change Processes and is set up and designed to support and serve them. It is the sum of different interventions and measures that allow an organization to shift from its current reality to the intended future reality and, by doing so, consider the implications this has on an organizational, team or individual level.
Post Merger Integration (PMI)
Understand the importance of the people side of an integration. Knowing how to set it up and manage it properly is considered the key premise for a successful PMI.
The integration needs to go beyond systems and processes. It should integrate the heads and hearts of the people affected.
The success of a PMI depends on the active support of the key players on both sides. Winning their buy-in is a crucial executive and management task during the integration.
The profound changes that accompany a PMI naturally cause broad irritations, uncertainty and fears, which then easily lead to negative emotions, resistance, frustrations and conflicts. It is essential to focus on these emotions, which unfortunately are rarely considered, and often end up blocking the progress of change intents.
The best lever for success is making sure that people undergoing a PMI can process and cope with the changes on an individual, group and organizational level. This means allowing the organization, teams and people to explore and find ways with which to deal with the complexity, irritations, distress and pain that are part of an integration.
Preparing and managing a Carve Out (the divestment of a company or parts) is one of the greatest leadership challenges. We explore what to keep in mind and how to set it up from a Change perspective so that the people affected are not left behind.
The following points are the main goals of Change Management in a Carve Out:
- regaining and maintaining the trust of stakeholders (employees, business partners, management, customers, the public)
- regaining and maintaining the capacity to act (individually, as teams, as an organization)
- supporting managers in leading in times of transition
- fostering order in an ambiguous, threatening and therefore stressful situation for the organization
- fostering a proactive spirit of optimism in the relevant organization
- changing views on the situation from a feeling of being a victim or of losing perspective to a mindset that is open and focused on opportunities
- giving the affected managers and employees a voice in the carve out negotiations
- driving future success for individuals, teams and the organization
A carve out is more than an extended and complex project. Special focus has to be put on the organizational, team and individual processing of the current and future situation. The management has to be prepared for dealing with the powerful emotions that come along with a carve out.
A Hard Restructuring Process is a profound and usually agonizing Change Process in an organization. Frequently, severe and rigorous measures and actions need to be decided upon and executed in order to secure the organization’s future. This causes pain and turmoil in the entire organization, from the management down to the employees.
The success of a Hard Restructuring Process depends greatly on the ability to swiftly and efficiently implement the necessary but tough measures in the organization. This is often only possible if broad acceptance, support and buy-in can be generated inside the organization and its members. Therefore the entire process must be set up carefully and executed mindfully in such a way that the people affected are fully involved and have the chance to cope with the adverse situation.
After executing the necessary measures, it is important that an organizational healing and reconciliation process is set in motion and sustained. It is this active support that will help the organization’s members to cope with the painful situation and propel them towards the future.
PMI-Carve Out Formats
The following two workshop formats are specifically designed to overcome two crucial challenges that naturally arise in Post Merger Integration and Carve Out situations.
The Nature Reserve concept is about understanding and capitalizing the deep underlying implicit, tacit organizational success factors which often become destroyed in the course of an integration or restructuring.
The Nature Reserve Workshop focuses on value capture, to preserve the strengths and values both of the Buying organizations and the Bought ones, in the creation of the newly joined business.
In most severe change processes, leaders face the issue that their organizations, teams and employees are more difficult to lead than before.
This programme is designed to support leaders in this leadership challenge.
What is the programme designed for?
This pain and turmoil of transition is the starting point for a number of Transition Dynamics that leaders need to cope with. Managing Transition is about managing these dynamics. We help executives to manage the transition period between announcement and the completion of the integration in order to:
- minimize impact on productivity, safety and day-to-day business
- facilitate a smooth, seamless integration for all stakeholders
- support managers to handle the effects and the consequences of transition
- equip leaders to communicate face-to-face with employees about the tough choices required to drive growth in the future
- tailor actions to the needs of each unit or team (in collaboration with management and HR for example)
- build acceptance for change and help improve retention