Firstly, I just want to thank you for all the feedback from Issue 1. The emails and calls have been fantastic, and it has been great to catch up with so many people. I look forward to lots more from this issue.
Remember that True North is not just about blowing our own trumpet! We aim to challenge, inspire and motivate. If you want to talk to us about any of the ideas contained in True North, or if you would like someone else to receive a copy, then please email me on email@example.com or call on 01479 811900.
people=positive™ on the buses
Metroline Travel has asked people=positive™ to work with them on a major business change programme. As operators of a high percentage of London's buses, they face increasingly stringent performance targets. people=positive™ is working with their Operations Team to plan and implement a programme of performance improvement initiatives.
people=positive™ Inc is now officially up and running in Houston. With our first major project completed for Exxon Mobil, and lots more in the pipeline, we are off to a great start.
We are in the process or redesigning our web site. The new site will focus on giving visitors an up to date insight into our work, as well as giving clients a place to share their “extraordinary journeys” with their team-mates. The new site will be up in early July. We will send you a link when it is ready.
people=positive™ on screen
A “product” like ours is very much a living experience. To help us give people a true sense of what makes our approach to people development special, we have just completed a short film in DVD format. Please get in touch if you would like us to send you a copy. You will also be able to view a shortened version on our new web site.
people=positive™ in Baku
Our work in Baku continues to develop momentum. people=positive™ has been asked to stage a major HSE forum for the Caspian region in June. This comes as part of a number of other top level projects over the last few months.
The Winning Conditions for Change
Why do some change projects work and others fail? The co-authors of “Fast Forward: Organizational Change in 100 Days”, Elspeth Murray and Peter Richardson, were driven to challenge traditional views about the wisdom of a gradual approach. They worked closely over a number of years with CEOs of many major international companies to try and identify the conditions for success. Their 10 “Winning Conditions” should be a mantra for anyone determined to make change stick:
- Diagnose the “change challenge” properly at the start
- Align the Leadership Team behind with the challenge and the process as soon as possible
- Treat the plan as a living thing, with regular opportunities for feedback and review
- Have a sense of urgency and insist on early tangible deliveries
- Have a limited and focused agenda for change. Have up to 4 priorities and drive them hard and fast.
- Employ rapid strategic decision making and resource deployment in order to build speed and momentum
- Focus on gaining rapid commitment from the early adopters in order to help bring the fence-sitters on board
- Eliminate “drag” by being ruthless in dealing with sources of resistance
- Follow through on key enablers by aligning structure, communications, performance evaluation and recognition/reward with the new direction
- Demonstrate strong and consistent leadership. To paraphrase Ghandi –
Be the change you want to see in the world
To buy the book, click here >>
A word to the wise
How to make a workshop more than a talking shop
Principles for running an effective team workshop
Making it Clear:
■ Spend time before the session clarifying the aims so that you can prepare effectively.
■ At the start, make sure you get agreement from all the participants about the purpose of the session.
Making it Consistent:
■ Check that the issues are relevant to everyone not just one or two vocal individuals.
■ Work in small groups to ensure input from the whole team
■ Be disciplined with time
■ Individuals with specific expertise can be used as champions for specific topics to help ‘keep the ball on the field'
Making it Personal:
■ Right from the first invitation, encourage each team member to consider their personal contribution to the event
■ Check-in using short time-outs where participants can work in pairs to share their experiences during the workshop, with partners presenting their thoughts back to the group
■ Leave time to share commitments before leaving the session. Record these as follow-through actions.
Making it Stick..
■ Capture key outputs in a clear and logical manner.
■ Provide each participant with a record as a follow-through tool
■ Send reminders to the team on a regular basis to ensure the commitments stay ‘live'.
Schedule a follow-up session to keep the momentum going. Make sure you add some fun – you'll get more buy-in!
Finding the Rhythm of Success
One of our favourite tools for helping teams to achieve their true potential is samba drumming. If you need to get your team making sweet music together, then this is the way to do it!
To begin to deliver results as a team, first you need to build strong foundations. As anybody who follows football knows, any amount of individual talent can quickly be diluted if the team isn't playing well together.
Using Brazilian samba drums and rhythms, people learn to work together as integrated ‘band'. Even if they have never made music before, they will quickly get in to the groove and start to deliver an excellent sound. Samba drumming is a superb way to get people out of their comfort zones and show them what is possible if they work together.
The first step is to establish a shared pulse - what a great business metaphor! The essence of great teamwork after all is alignment behind a shared vision of success. As the players perfect their own role, they realize that they need to listen to everyone else to make sure that they stay at the top of their game and to allow the other instruments a chance to come through. Once the basics of good teamwork have been established, the band can then tackle increasingly challenging goals with new rhythms and phrases as their confidence grows.
As a delegate on a recent programme said, “If I can learn to drum then I can learn to do anything!”
Extend Moves Ahead
eXtend's first major milestone was crossed last month with confirmation of the people=positive youth development charitable trust as a registered Scottish charity. Although we have been busy with paperwork establishing the Trust, we have certainly not been confined to the office! Here are a few of things we have been up to:
- Development workshops with Badenoch and Strathspey Youth Forum
- Facilitating the Launch of the High-life Young Scot Cards in association with the Highland Council.
- Running 6 successful Personal Development Weekends in partnership with Fulcrum Challenge throughout the UK.
We have lots of exciting projects lined up for the future and there are some great opportunities for organisations to get involved as sponsors. I am sure that as someone who knows about people=positive™, you will appreciate the potential difference that our involvement can make to the lives of young people. If you would like to get find out more about supporting eXtend, please get in touch.
If for any reason you would like us to remove your name from the True North list, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
1st Floor, Inverdruie House, Aviemore, Inverness-shire, PH22 1QH
Telephone +44 1479 811900 Fax +44 1479 812714