ODF is initiating new virtual and participant centered approaches to learning and collaboration, by focusing on actual experiences and “real time” organization design issues and topics. We are hoping blended face-to-face and virtual environments can become a way to offer learning forums between conferences that capitalize on the ODF members unique and explicit expertise as resources for learning from, and with, each other.
Kiersten shares the benefits she derived from being our first/pilot participant in the ACE-it! process . . .
Held on 02.02.18
The Situation: A 350-employee HR, payroll, and benefits company serving the 200-1000 market has been challenged to build an organizational review and design process that is:
– Data driven
– Light touch
The real challenge lies in the “light touch” element. The process needs to not only be light touch, but also align with the company’s current life cycle stage, recent high growth, and the reality of available time. The host consultant for this peer-to-peer session is part of the People Operations team who has been tasked with the development of this review and design process.
The Question: How do we do “light touch” workforce planning and organization design in a high growth environment with a lean team?
Following up on a blog by ODF Advisory Board member, Naomi Stanford, this session discussed how work process flows almost always cross organizational boundaries, either internal boundaries or between organization boundaries. This can create difficulties, bottlenecks, and failure points at the intersects and hand-overs. Assigning a single person accountability for the process flow does not allow for the fact that the accountable person may not have control over the people along the flow. These people may be working on other flows, have different priorities, and different performance measures. Along the flow, people may have the power to slow or stop the flow.
Imagine a design that assumed a collective accountability to maintain process flow. How could this be designed?
The situation: A large national client is feeling pressures from the public and competitors to respond more quickly and with greater effectiveness. Based on a 3 month analysis of changes in their industry, leadership and management have acknowledged the need for greater engagement, and completed a 6 month training program for frontline employees on teamwork, collaboration, and participation. However, with continued decline in key performance metrics, they have admitted that it has not had much impact.
The question: My role is to assist this client group in first recognizing/accepting that their current culture is built around habits and long-standing norms that reinforce directive behavior, policy, and processes; regardless of their use of participative rhetoric and employee training. I have been asked to intervene minimally (no big programs, which is code for not disrupting the ongoing work). My task and my question is how to design a high impact and minimally invasive intervention that can begin to build capabilities supportive of more collaborative practices.
The situation: A geographically diverse and completely virtual leadership team who has not taken the time or has an overall common interest in developing agreements around how they agree to work together (operating agreements), where the stresses of time pressure and challenging human dynamics are beginning to hinder productivity and smooth trajectory towards common goals.
The question: How might I design the conversation(s) which leads to an increased awareness of the long term value of team operating agreements and ultimately to developing the unique set of agreements that will help bring about high productivity and mutual accountability towards achieving our shared business targets?
Using Zoom, a virtual platform, ODF will facilitate 75-minute sessions offering the opportunity for any community member to present a challenge and receive input from fellow designers encouraging knowledge exchanges that support the theory and practice of organization design.
We intend to hold two pilot sessions in early 2017 and then see how the community engages going forward.
Each session will use the Ace-It Guide (Analyze, Create, Explore) process, which stimulates conversation within guidelines and time frames.
What this process is good for…
The sessions will offer ~5 “consultants” (comprised of ODF community members) and the person presenting their challenge. The beauty of Zoom is that, beyond the participative group, there is no limit to the number of observers to the session. And, we’ll record each session and make it available for future viewing.
This is an effective process for organization designers looking to solve a “design conundrum. ” It is clear, easy, efficient and inclusive! It needs to be carefully facilitated in order to raise helpful questions and perspectives for the “presenter.” The process is straightforward and easy to learn. Great forum for design!
Fun, relaxed and engaging way to help another org designer while spending time in a creative and stimulating discussion.
” I felt that the process was really liberating, enabling me to just focus right in on the ideas and be in dialogue with other experienced practitioners, where otherwise I’d be limited to building the relationship with the client, and only sharing ideas between me and the client. I think this made it more valuable for the ‘client’ in this case, too, by having a group of experienced practitioners working together in very condensed time frame.”
I found the process to be extremely engaging. The methodology enabled us to quickly identify the areas where we needed to dig deeper with the client as well as enabling multiple experienced practitioners to offer their insights in a collaborative manner.
The value of real experience Peer-to-Peer consulting offers immediate benefits to everyone involved in the process. Creativity manifests itself through collaborative inquiry where the sharing and the learning extends to all.
Our intent is to build a resource library of these conversations categorized by design themes.
To help prepare for participating in a session, you’ll find the following helpful: