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Organization development and culture transformation

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Essential 4. Transform the Critical Mass in Summits

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A summit of 300 to 1000 people (this group represents the critical mass to create a tipping point in the organization’s mindset) initiates engagement with the next level of leadership. Sessions are 2.5 days to allow enough time for natural group development to conclude collective change. The summit is designed so that highly interactive events foster deep and meaningful conversation that leads to committed action.

The design focuses on multiple levels of sub-system transformation-that is, individual, group, inter-group and enterprise-wide and extra-enterprise levels. A distinction from many of the newer change management philosophies is that there is facilitation of individual transformation.

FEATURED STORIES

The critical mass experience is backed up by principles of social dynamics. Activities will be designed such that each activity will influence the right organizational level needed to move the whole system. For instance, people sit at “max-mix” tables. Max-mix is the maximum mixture of the widest possible representation of the different parts of the organization. The design follows a divergent/convergent model of having table work (diverge) and then the whole room shares the results (converge) to create a shared system view.

Essential 5. Engage the rest of the organization’s stakeholders

Summits produce a positive energy that has substantial ripple effects throughout the whole system. Strategies are created to engage the entire organization.

Through osmosis others begin to change. Often day mini-summits by location/function are held to implement the direction. These are different to traditional cascading as the process continues to re-invent locally. A mix of social media, appreciative inquiry, project management, quality, work place learning and training programs begin to root the change in sustainability.

Essential 6. Use Face to face, Large Group and Multidimensional Communication

Large group interactive summits have two critical underlying elements related to communication:

  1. Relationships are deepened
  2. There is a free flow of information through a variety of communication avenues.

A key advantage of large group summits is that they bypass potential message dilution and the substantive time lag often associated with traditional layer by layer communications cascading.

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Essential 7. Establish a Strategic Transformation Office

This group of change champions has the responsibility to view the entire system from a lens of multi-faceted expert views. Typically it includes the following roles:

  • Executive team sponsor,
  • HR head,
  • Strategic planning head,
  • Chief Information Officer,
  • Middle management representative,
  • Lower echelon employee representative,
  • Customer advocate, and
  • Internal Change Agent.

The team meets on a regular basis to determine: What’s up? So what? What’s next? The role of the group essentially is to advise the CEO regarding the system-wide change journey.

Essential 8. Pay Attention to Metrics and Results

Measuring the impact of change practices on increased organizational effectiveness and subsequently enhanced business results is of paramount importance

The proponents of the WST approach strongly believe that there is an absolute necessity for solid empirical research that measures the key variables of this methodology and other approaches to change management.

Essential 9. Sustain the Journey

One of greatest metrics for an effective OD effort is when the organization continues to deploy the approach years after its inception. This means that the organization as a whole has mastered learning and change. It has the capability of being agile as it stays ahead of the external forces of disruptive change.

A tested and validated structure and process has been set up. The process is recycled annually birthing a plethora of innovative and transformative experiences. Since continuing change is the constant reality, WTS is the change process that the internal change agent needs to master to ensure the organization’s continuing success.

Essential 10. Use Action Research as the Pillar of All Change Work

Back in the 70’s, Sullivan simplified the classic OD action research intervention process to four facets. They are scan, plan, act, and re-act. This is the underlying conceptual framework in every micro and macro process of the WST methodology.

Conclusion

In sum, WST is a complex OD journey made simple by practices and theories developed and integrated into a single approach that enables and empowers human talent in organizations to accomplish faster, cheaper, and sustainable positive change. It involves and engages the entire system, allowing ownership of the process (people support what they co-create), suggesting the solutions, and focusing on an aligned rather than segmented change.

(Ric is considered a pioneer in the organization development (OD) field in the Philippines, having headed the first formal OD unit of San Miguel Corporation during the company’s transformative years. He was Senior Vice President of San Miguel Corporation and for over ten years, was an expatriate executive of the giant petroleum company, Exxon Mobil Corporation in HongKong, Singapore, Belgium and the United States. Ric was a lecturer at the Manila MBA program of the University of Western Australia, the Masters in Quality and Productivity Program of the Development Academy of the Philippines and is the Managing Principal of OrgTransformation Consultants, a strategic consulting firm operating in the Philippines and Asia Pacific. Ric was recently elected to the Asian Productivity Organization’s roster of Certified Productivity Practitioners (CPP). He holds the rank of Diplomate, conferred by the Society of Fellows in Personnel Management of which he is the current president. He is a past President of the People Management Association of the Philippines. His contact address: [email protected])

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