Theories in Practice is pleased to announce The Conscious Leadership Program
What is the Conscious Leadership 360 Program?
The customized 360 developmental feedback program is designed to expand a participant’s self awareness in significantly researched competencies (and derailers) that define conscious leaders. Participant’s will grow immensely through a focused coaching process resulting in an actionable development plan that guides the individual in building their capability to become a more conscious leader and achieve future business objectives. Follow-on coaching is added to acquire deep and lasting developmental change which allows leaders to identify and practice new beliefs and behaviors, develop self-coaching techniques and create a feedback infrastructure for long term leadership development support.
How does the program work?
The 360 development is facilitated in multiple phases:
Who would benefit from this program?
The program is recommended for Emerging Leadership through Senior Executives. Individuals who want to learn how their leadership style is being perceived and are ready to make significant, and long-term change make excellent candidates. Our team utilizes a wide variety of assessments including The Leadership Circle 360, the Hogan Assessment series, and a variety of customized assessments based on the Harvard Business Competencies, and more recently researched competencies such as emotional intelligence, trust, consciousness, authenticity, and transcendent leadership. We choose the 360 competency assessment that is appropriate for the client’s level; however, each of these assessments has been developed with significantly researched competencies and include character traits and derailers in addition to attributes which have been identified for years as requirements for great leaders. The competencies which are currently being measured through the Conscious Leadership Program support individuals in making lasting change in their leadership capability because they are linked to core behaviors and problem solving ability.
Our current 360 system is built on ”state of the art” technology, is utilized through the internet and email, and is supported 24x7 by a global technical support organization. Our team of professionals can easily customize a survey that is specific for your organization or function including recently researched competencies, competencies which are accepted globally in your organization, and competencies that are linked to high performance for a specific function.
During a recent case study, we customized a 360 consisting of high performance company behaviors, conscious leadership behaviors, and behaviors linked to a key talent program. Coupled with coaching and our new class, Authentic Leadership, participants gained clarity around both the strengths and gifts that they possessed that needed to be leveraged, and behaviors and patterns that needed to be changed.
For more information or a copy of the case study, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ABC's of Managing Change
What Management Can do in Support of Change Efforts
By Beth Feild Pisculli, Theories in Practice, LLC
The survival of the fittest is the ageless law of nature, but the fittest are rarely the strong. The fittest are those endowed with the qualifications for adaptation, the ability to accept the inevitable and conform to the unavoidable, to harmonize with existing or changing conditions. - Dave E. Smalley
The first article in this change management series, From Change Chump to Change Champion, focuses on individual resistance to change. The ABC’s of Managing Change is written especially for managers and team leaders to assist you in understanding your role during changing times. As a leader, you have a critical part to play. You and your organization’s ability to respond to a changing environment is a key factor to being viable and successful in the short and the long term.
The ABC’s of Managing Change provides a simple model for understanding the key principles for helping your organization adapt during changing times. “A” stands for anticipate – anticipate approaching change and how it will impact your specific organization. “B” stands for believe – believe that your employees will come up with the best solutions for addressing change. Finally, “C” stands for coach – coach your employees through resistance, and to action.
Anticipating approaching change requires two things. It means first understanding the environmental factors that can impact your industry, organization, and more specifically your department or team. Secondly, it requires that you visualize what impending change means to your organization from a product, process, and services perspective. Typically, this type of thinking is part of a strategic planning process – something that occurs periodically. Being successful in a changing environment requires incorporating strategic planning into your every day responsibilities.
In order to better understand the environmental factors impacting your organization, you need to become an “information sleuth”. First and foremost, you need to understand what your customers are saying – what are their needs, what issues are they facing, what are their impending strategies. Secondly, you need to understand what your Board of Directors is saying, and, get your hands on any and all strategic information that is available. Ask for information that you think is not available. Have you seen your manager’s performance objectives? What about his/her manager’s plan? Also, take a good look at the problems occurring in your organization (Have you strolled through the customer service department lately? Have you googled your company name for news articles?). These are typically symptoms that some change must occur. Finally, seek beyond the walls of your organization. Developing an understanding of technological, government, political, and global trends, although they often seem out of reach, can help you to have the ultimate long-term view for your organization.
Your visionary skills are extremely important when managing an organization through change. Helping employees to gain a vision of what the change will mean to them, makes it a reality. Paint a picture that is as specific as possible – this doesn’t mean to create all of the details your self. It means to present the strategic information to your organization, and do some dreaming together. Identify what people will be doing, how things will be managed, how new processes will work – create a vision that helps employees to see specifically “how” they will fit in. If you are a manager, you probably know how visions work. They act as an elastic band between the present and the future. A vision propels organizations forward, aligns decisions and actions, and helps to resolve systemic problems.
Believing that your employees will identify the best solutions for implementing change is easier said than done. As managers, we often believe that our ideas “should be” the best – after all, we have been promoted to management because of our ability to solve problems and implement solutions. Additionally, we feel “responsible” for knowing the answers – otherwise we would not be worthy of our positions. My recommendation is to ignore what your ego is whispering in your ear, and realize that once you involve employees in the creation of the solution, their resistance will go down and their buy in will go up. You can involve your employees with two easy steps. The first is to communicate, communicate, and then communicate some more; the second is to have your employees to join you as you develop solutions for change.
Many of the organizations that have experienced failed change initiatives identify communication as one of the top areas that with improvement could have increased their chances for success. Employees cannot successfully partner with you unless you believe that they can understand and make more effective decisions by being exposed to the same information that you receive. Communicate everything that is relevant – (and in a changing environment, almost everything is relevant!) strategic information; customer input; customer strategies; outcomes from executive meetings; stockholder perceptions; industry, technological, and political trends. Additionally, utilize many different opportunities and mediums by which to communicate – general information sessions, staff meetings, conferences, memorandums, the organization’s intranet, e-mail, posters, and informal discussions. The key here is to manage information overload – a method for helping with this is to keep your messages straightforward, focused, and without all of the commentary associated with decision making. Finally, listen to your employees and let them ask questions. Let them vent and communicate frustration – it is a part of the process. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t avoid the discussion. The more dialogues you facilitate with your employees, the more the trust increases in your organization – another factor to creating buy in.
Involving employees in identifying solutions for change is perhaps the most important key to a successful change initiative. After all, by human nature we are less likely to resist change when we identify and commit to the actions required of us. We are, in fact, changed our selves as we become involved in the process. We begin to understand the problems that our organization faces, the risks associated with not changing, and how we fit into the big picture. Additionally, who better to identify a solution that will work, than the folks who already know the details of the business today? Visioning is the first step, creating detailed implementation plans is the second. By becoming involved in the creation of implementation plans, employees begin to see what specific part they can play in the change initiative. But let me take this a step further as the concept of participative management has been around for years, and you may very well believe that you involve employees already. Do you set up “special project groups” when a problem needs resolution? Do you have “re-engineering teams” floating around? Unfortunately, engaging small groups of employees will not resolve the problem of resistance in your organization. These employees will no longer be resistant, but the rest of the organization will! You need to find more inclusive ways to get the entire organization involved in the planning process.
Getting the entire organization involved may sound like an impossible feat – but it is not! There are many Large Group Intervention processes available today which use the whole system to produce accelerated change in real time. Some of the more common ones are Open Space, Future Search, Participative Design, and Real Time Strategic Change. What do they all have in common? They bring all facets of the organization in the room at once and they shift the responsibility for change from the “top only” to “across the board”. There is a high degree of information sharing, they are focused on real time issues, and they produce system wide change. They create a high degree of “buy in” from the entire organization, and they use the knowledge of the room in an immediate way. The awesome thing about these processes is that typically everyone walks away with actions that can be implemented immediately to start the momentum in the organization. A simple internet search will yield a great deal of information about these types of processes and they are yielding fascinating results across the world!
The final component of our model involves coaching your employees through resistance and to action. It is important to understand resistance to change in relation to the status quo. The status quo that we perceive at any given time is the result of a dynamic process. There are always factors that work both for and against the status quo. As a manager, it is your job to reduce the resistance to change (factors for the status quo) and increase the factors driving toward change (factors against the status quo). Examining these factors and crafting an action plan to deal with them is called force field analysis.
When it comes to reducing resistance, there are typically two aspects that you will have to deal with - individual resistance and organizational barriers and roadblocks. Research indicates that there are four primary reasons why individuals resist change: powerlessness, habit, excess ambiguity, and concerns over capability. The first article in this series discusses these reasons in detail. It is important to understand the details of individual resistance, however; it is even more important to understand that most individual resistance can be reduced significantly through direct communication, listening and answering questions, and involving employees in change efforts. The things we have already discussed!
Organizational roadblocks are a little trickier. They involve ensuring that other managers and departments are in alignment with the change strategies so that agreements can be reached. Participating in a Large Group Intervention provides a huge advantage because the entire organization is represented and gets quickly onto the same page. Other ways to accomplish this include partnering with other parts of the organization, customers, and suppliers in visioning and implementation planning activities, and networking throughout the organization on an on-going basis. Get yourself invited to other departmental planning meetings to determine how you can more effective work throughout the system. Additionally, ensuring that top management is supportive of change initiatives, and that they are actively demonstrating that support is imperative.
In addition to reducing resistance, you must also increase the factors that are driving your organization toward change. We have already talked about the importance of creating a vision for your organization. Additionally, by involving employees in the development of an implementation plan, roles will begin to clarify and they will begin to understand what part they will play during the transition and after. Both of these will increase the momentum toward change. But let’s discuss the fundamentals – although people react differently to change, one commonality they share is that they all want to know what is in it for them. Will the change be positive or negative for them?
As a manger, helping your employees to discover the gain in change is an important task. To do this you must get down in the details! Make sure that you have discussions about people’s career aspirations, facilitate visioning and planning exercises and ensure that you address the specifics such as what roles people would like to play, meet one-on-one with employees on a regular basis to discuss the impact to them individually and encourage them to identify how they can gain from the change, identify mentors in the organization and do some informal pairing. Additionally, look at your budget and find some extra funding to support employee development opportunities. There may be someone who does not have a role in your new organization, but you can always pay to send them back to school. Just remember that change is stressful – good and bad change. If you find that you have an employee that will truly be impacted negatively, or someone who just cannot get through the transition, don’t hesitate – get them some help. There are plenty of professionals including career counselors, grief counselors, personal coaches, and mental health professionals who can step in if you are unable.
The final aspect of your responsibilities involves coaching your employees to action. By this we mean two things. The first is to identify clear, measurable goals and objectives as a part of your implementation planning. The second is to take action. Go for it. Put one foot in front of the other. You have probably heard that you need to pick the low hanging fruits in any change initiative? What does this mean and why is it recommended? It means that you should identify some easy actions that can be taken immediately. This is recommended because we know that getting out of the planning stage and to the action stage is hard – and scarey – but if your employees start moving (even if they are not sure what direction to move in) and see some immediate progress, the momentum will begin to build. There may be setbacks, and there will be obstacles to overcome along the way, but I can guarantee that action feels much better than standing still and doing nothing while everything is changing around you.
From Change Chump to Change Champion
Why we resist change: real-world strategies to help you cope
By Beth Feild Pisculli, Theories in Practice, LLC
“We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is disappearing.” -- R. D. Laing
Let’s face it. We live in a world of change. We can’t watch the evening news or walk through the hallways of our office buildings without hearing about the latest merger, layoff, bankruptcy, or global partnership. And what about words like faster, better and cheaper? How often have you heard them lately? Let me guess. They’re included in your performance plans right now, aren’t they? Now let’s consider your impressions of all this change. Are you afraid of it? Do you think other people are afraid of change? In my change management workshops, over 90% of all participants answer “No” to the first question, but “Yes” to the second. What does this tell us? That most people are more afraid of change than they realize. Change is scary – not to mention uncomfortable, risky, and confusing. Of course, change can also be exhilarating. So, let’s examine how you react to change and explore some ways to help you embrace it. Nearly all of us resist changes in our work environment.
One extremely helpful way to deal with our resistance is to try and understand why we react to change the way we do. Research shows that there are four primary reasons: 1) Powerlessness 2) Excess Ambiguity 3) Habit 4) Concerns Over Capabilit
Reason #1: Powerlessness. “I can’t make a difference, so why bother"
Change is exciting when we participate, but threatening when forced upon us. Our reactions have a lot to do with whether or not we feel involved in the change process. And even if we’re involved, “surprises” can still uproot our tenuous sense of power. When deadlines are moved, decisions made, and problems “solved” without our input, we begin to feel out of control. We often react by throwing in the anchor and holding on for dear life. Everyone wants to be successful, so when a process we created or a project we implemented is deemed unnecessary, we fear losing face. We may even become petty and territorial. But there’s hope, because powerlessness is often an illusion. We tend to point to someone else as “the person who can make a difference,” but the ironic truth is that that person is usually pointing right back at us. What, then, is the key to regaining a sense of power when faced with change? Seize every opportunity to get involved with change efforts. Sure, this is easier when management encourages participation and gives employees decision-making power. But ultimately it’s up to each of us to take the initiative. Start with a discussion in your staff meeting regarding the potential impact of change to your department. Create an Intranet discussion board for your peers to provide suggestions for dealing with change. These are just a couple of examples, but I’ve seen them go a long way towards making people feel more positive and influential in the process of organizational chang
1. Identify three areas where your input could influence your organization’s success with a special project or process (Hint: think of your role as a team or department member, meeting participant, or task force leader.) Make a plan to initiate a conversation about how organizational change is impacting that group and how the group can get involved.
2. Brainstorm all the ways you could get involved with change in your organization. Identify one colleague who is already involved with change efforts. Meet with him or her and ask for additional input on how you might implement some of the ideas that you brainstorm.
Reason #2: Excess Ambiguity. “I like order and control. Change is too unpredictable"
Change involves a lack of clarity and a great feeling of risk. Typically the only clear impression is that “we need to be headed in THAT direction instead of THIS direction.” I’m no stranger to this lack of clarity myself. When I started my own business, my mentor said, “You need to become comfortable with a feeling of discomfort.” I thought, “Thanks. What the heck does that mean? And can you recommend something more specific?” She meant I had to learn how to deal with uncertainty and the feelings that come with it. Too much uncertainty also makes us feel as though we could be in a risky situation. Will we walk to the bank – or off the gangplank?
Great leaders understand the benefits of change and have the initiative to communicate these benefits to all levels of employees. As a rule, management should communicate as much information as possible about the environment, organizational strategy, and what’s next, to every person and by every vehicle available. They know that information is power, and if their employees are informed and believe that change will be positive for everyone, then ambiguity becomes less threatening and much more manageable. But what’s your responsibility as an employee? Recognize that change is unavoidable, and help the organization define its end result. Listen and gather additional information so that you can seek to understand. Be bold. Ask for strategic data and invite yourself to management reviews. Ask for or develop a plan of specific steps required to implement the change. No specific plan often means little or no accountability (and even less progress). If your manager hasn’t already done so, break large-scale initiatives into smaller chunks. Identify timetables, milestones, primes and measurement tools. Such planning doesn’t guarantee the project direction won’t change or re-work won’t be required. However, as you better understand the plan, the fog will begin to clear. Before you know it, you’ll be building momentum and making excellent progress.
1. Identify the three best sources of for learning about change in your organization (i.e. your manager, company newsletter, or the intranet). Take the initiative to read everything you can get your hands on. Ask as many questions as possible to clarify issues that may be confusing.
2. Viewing change positively will work to your advantage, I promise! Identify three ways you might gain from the changes occurring in your organization. Some examples may be an exciting new position, a promotion or increased responsibility, or an opportunity to learn a new skill. Tell others that you are looking forward to the change! You help those around you feel more positive, and in turn, you feel more positive yourself.
Reason #3: Habit. “But I’ve always done it this way"
Have you ever tried to change the order of your morning routine or the route you drive to work? Obviously, you can’t change these while you’re reading this article, so try this example instead. Holding your arms out in front of you, fan your fingers, then clasp your hands together. (Go ahead, I’ll wait.) Either your right thumb will be over your left, or vice versa. This has nothing to do with hand preference. It’s habit. Now try to clasp your hands together with the opposite thumb on top. Weird, isn’t it? Simply put, we’re creatures of habit. In order to break old habits, we must first identify them. Unless we’re conscious of and learn to question familiar routines, we won’t progress. This is true for individuals, and particularly true for organizations. Even after we identify changes, we have a natural tendency to slip back into routines. It takes energy and action to change old habits and reprogram an organization. It is precisely this extra initiative that causes mental fatigue and resistance when faced with change.
Great organizations create “champions of change.” These are people who facilitate the transition from old to new, and who monitor the new to ensure that the organization continues progressing. Even if your company doesn’t recognize the need for an “official” position, you can volunteer to become an informal champion for change. Propose to your manager that you take on these responsibilities, and you could be recognized as a major contributor to your company’s positive growth. Believe me, I’ve seen this happen in a variety of organizations. A word of caution is in order here. Don’t just trash the old for the fun of it. Often, the creation of something new builds on the strengths of the old. Make sure to maintain some familiar routines and surroundings in the process of change.
1. Identify two things “you’ve always done that way” (i.e. a policy, process, standard operating procedure, etc.). Think about the changes occurring in your organization and document how each of these items may be impacted.
2. Identify three actions that you can take immediately as a change champion. Some examples may include pointing others to sources of information on change, helping others understand how their projects may be impacted by change, and being an advocate for change at every opportunity – whether formal or informal.
Reason #4: Concerns Over Capability.
“I’m sure I can, I just don’t want to.” The last and probably scariest of all issues associated with change is that we all have concerns regarding our desire and ability to perform in the new, “changed” environment. Will I want to work in the new organization? Do I have the skills to be successful? Do I know enough to implement the new process? Change consultants call this “the elephant under the table". Everyone knows that the concern exists, but no one really discusses it. Due to lack of communication, we begin to fear failure or develop feelings of apathy (or even resistance) toward the organization. In today’s rapidly changing environment, it’s more important than ever to confront change head-on. We have to reach down, grab on tight, and address the *#@! elephant under the table! The best managers support employee development and provide opportunities to practice new skills. If yours does, then take advantage of it! Many organizations will pay for additional education or allow employees to take on short-term assignments to improve their skill sets. Some companies have set up programs where more experienced employees can mentor less experienced colleagues. If your employer hasn’t implemented such a program, then look to set up an informal arrangement on your own. Although it may not appear so at first, change typically means growth, development, and opportunity.
1. Identify three new skills that will benefit you in the changed organizational environment.
2. Identify at least one opportunity to develop each new skill identified. Some examples may be to attend training, receive mentoring from another employee, take on a new project, or coordinate a temporary job swap with someone else. Meet with your manager to gain support for your development plan. It all comes down to a matter of choice You may still be asking, “What if I just don’t like the changes or the effects that the changes have had on me?"
The truth is: Everyone always has a choice. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “ In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.
Take responsibility and take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. If you don’t believe this, you may benefit from this quip attributed to an anonymous sage: “If you get hit by a donut truck today, the organization will still post your job next week.” Your organization may care about you, but they still have to meet their bottom line. So there you have it. Become a change champion, not a change chump. Conquer any fears you have about powerlessness, habit, ambiguity and capability. Seize the opportunities that are presented by change … and reap the benefits. After all, if you were making the organizational decisions, who would you keep on board? The change champions, or the change chumps? I think you know the answer.
I do not want to leave this article without a dose of reality, especially regarding the last point about "capability" without being very realistic. Organizations do utilize downsizing opportunities to eliminate poor performers. That is no surprise to anyone. And the reason is that during difficult economic times, they need the best leaders in the organization to ensure that goals and objectives are met, costs are maintained, the best problem solvers are at their disposal, and employees with high integrity and values are on staff. Are you one of those employees? Most of us think we are because our ego tells us that "we are better than so and so" and therefore we must be! As your friend, let me say that if your company is undergoing siginificant change and you are on a performance improvement plan, you have received some subtle (or overt) feedback that you are not performing, OR you do not believe that your peers would rate you as a top performer, be realistic about your standing with the company. Realistically, performance improvement plans are typically set up so that someone can succeed, but reality is that if you are on one/have been on one recently, it takes TIME to move from PIP to an exceeds performer. And the company is looking at the EXCEEDS performers to take the roles after the re-org is done. Once again, you have a choice. You can hold out to "see" whether or not you will be impacted in a negative way from the change, or you can take some responsibility to start working on your "Leadership Reputation". Go through a 360 process, ask others for feedback, start marketing yourself, and by all means look at other opportunities within and outside the company. If you have a feeling that you might be let go....you might. Just be prepared. Once again, we all have choices, and althought it feels terrible to be layed off, I can't tell you how many of my clients say, "I am so much better off" afterwards.
We recently interviewed a transformational leader who is in the process of initiating a peer-to-peer coaching program within his department. He was anxious to share this information and is hopeful that other leaders will be encouraged to implement their own peer-to-peer coaching programs.
Beth: What motivated you to implement a peer-to-peer coaching program within your department?
Jay: As you know, a year or so ago I participated in a 6 month executive coaching and 360 feedback process with your support. Although the process required significant reflection and was difficult at times, I believe I came through it with a much clearer understanding of the perceptions of my leadership style. I have been working hard to become a more genuine, transparent leader and my stakeholders have noticed the difference. I wanted the leaders in my organization to have a similar opportunity because they are responsible for solving complex problems that impact global resources and systems. Our daily interactions require a high level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence which coaching can facilitate. Unfortunately, right now we have a tight budget for “formal” leadership activities. A colleague provided an article on peer-to-peer coaching written by Marshall Goldsmith. I am implementing a similar process with the help of my HR business partner, and the initial reactions to the program are very positive.
Beth: What is the ideal outcome for your program? How will you know that you have been successful?
Jay: When I kicked off this program I outlined our corporate values including integrity and transparency, collaboration to achieve innovation, a passion for achievement, and accountability. I am challenging my departmental leaders at all levels to be “corporate poster children” so to speak because I believe that we must model the behaviors we expect to see demonstrated. My ideal outcome for this program would be that my leaders develop a keen awareness of the behaviors that they are currently demonstrating, and they develop some new behaviors aligned with our values. Don’t get me wrong, I have some very strong leaders in my organization; however I consider this activity “sharpening the saw” to use a Covey metaphor. I will know that we are successful when our followers and key stakeholders notice a difference.
Beth: Can you give us a brief overview of the process?
Jay: Yes, and I can summarize in six steps. 1) The first step is for each participant to become clear on a particular area of development that he/she wants to address. I implemented this program right after performance evaluations so that participants have recent feedback to work with. 2) The second step is to select a “learning partner”. Each person serves as both a participant and a “peer coach”. 3) The coach then observes the participant in a total of 4 meetings (or other opportunities such as a presentation), and documents their observations in writing. 4) The coach meets with the participant after each observation and provides the feedback. An important requirement is that the coach withhold judgment and document observations only. 5) The leader then decides how to make improvements. The coach doesn’t give suggestions unless asked. Although we won’t follow the Marshall Goldsmith process exactly, he created something called “FeedForward” which is a method for asking random stakeholders how to improve. This is a great way to solicit suggestions and additional feedback. 6) Finally, after working on a particular area for development, the participant is responsible for collecting follow-up feedback. Many times I do this after meetings by saying something like, “I am working on my active listening skills. From 1-10 how would you rate my active listening skills (1 being the lowest, and 10 being the highest), and what suggestions do you have for improvement?”
In my staff meetings, I have started asking a few people to volunteer what they have learned to date. My HR business partner is helping us think about how our behaviors impact our performance overall. After four observations are completed for each participant, we will consider that to be one “round”. We are planning to go through four rounds in total this year.
Beth: You mentioned that the early feedback regarding the program is positive. Are there any concerns?
Jay: Some of my leaders are concerned that they are too busy to participate in something like this; however, I met with a colleague from another company who has successfully implemented peer-to-peer coaching. He said that it has become a way of interacting within his group. His employees are in many of the same meetings anyway; now they just follow-up with a cup of coffee to get some additional feedback. I anticipate this being the case with my group as well. We work together closely and there are always opportunities to observe each other in action. We just need to take the extra step of providing the feedback. Another question that was posed was whether my team members have the ability to be “formal coaches” for one another. This is already a part of their job description and what we expect of our leaders...to coach their employees and team members. My HR business partner did facilitate a short training program to outline the responsibilities of the coach and to give each person some practice doing things like asking open-ended questions.
Beth: What is the number one benefit you hope to see from this process in the short term?
Jay: I hope that my leaders will begin to coach each other more in the moment, and we will be able to work quickly through complex issues as a team. With this coaching process I hope that we will be able to eliminate some of the behaviors that often get us stuck. I am guilty of letting that happen to me. Right now, I have one or two mentors who provide me with real-time feedback when possible. When I am asking for (and they are giving) feedback, I always have a greater level of clarity in my decision making. And the coaching model is actually a problem solving model that we already use today. It involves 1) uncovering issues, 2) collecting data, 3) making decisions on how to address or improve, and 4) following up later to see if we have accomplished what we intended. The missing link for us is that we don’t regularly apply this process to our own areas of development. Through this peer-to-peer coaching program, we will be doing so.
Beth: Is this program part of a larger leadership development initiative you are supporting?
Jay: That is an interesting question because with our budget constraints over the past few years, we have reduced the funding that was previously spent on things such as formal classes. I know that some of my colleagues are only spending money on their “key talent”; however, I believe that my strategy is better and will yield greater results. I am looking for low-cost but effective initiatives that touch more of my employees, because I expect all of them to demonstrate transformational leadership skills in alignment with our company values. I plan to use coaching in its various forms across the board because it is targeted, and it can be cost effective.
Beth: Jay, thank you for your time and for sharing this information about your new program. I wish you great success, and would love an opportunity to follow up with you next year to review your overall learnings.
Roving Coach International is an employee engagement company based in the Triangle that uses an innovative coaching methodology to boost and measure employee engagement in mid to large-size organizations. The company, which has made a name for itself stateside by turning the established corporate coaching paradigm on its head, will now be making waves across the pond. Earlier this month, they opened an office in London, England, which will serve as their new UK base of operations.
Roving Coach’s Chief Rover, CJ Scarlet, was present to oversee the opening of the company’s London office on February 4, as she was taking advantage of a free international business trip the company won through British Airway’s “Face of Opportunity” contest. The contest, intended for entrepreneurs with big ideas for international expansion, awarded Roving Coach with free business travel and access to networking events in London.
The new office will be led by Beth Pisculli, Roving Coach’s Senior Vice President of UK Operations, with the assistance of Certified Professional Coach and Human Resources expert Rod Higgenbotham. The UK base of operations will allow Roving Coach to better serve global clientele.
“It is so great to have our UK office operational so we can serve our US-based clients who have employees around the globe,” said Scarlet. “The timing is perfect; within a week after opening our UK office we secured a client who selected Roving Coach to provide on-site and remote coaching services to employees at their London office. Under the leadership of Beth Pisculli, this new presence there will ensure we have coaches at the ready across the UK and Europe.”
Roving Coach International (RCI) isn’t your typical coaching company. They coach employees at all levels (not just the “big dogs!”) and measure their levels of engagement over time to enable companies to best respond to their needs. RCI provides clients with real-time employee engagement and data to attract, grow, and retain employees. If you are part of an organization that is, or aspires to be, a great place to work, contact RCI immediately by calling Nicoa Dunne at 800-611-3161 or visiting www.rovingcoach.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Source: Roving Coach International
Media Contact: CJ Scarlet
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Raleigh, NC: Overwhelming statistical data suggests that a large percentage of top-performing employees plan to jump ship when the economy recovers. As a result, the need to enhance retention and productivity by improving employee experiences through nonstandard methods has become a growing need in business.
Roving Coach International, a revolutionary Triangle-based startup that works within organizations to make career development coaching a benefit for employees below the executive level, has been providing solutions to this rising need since its inception, and has experienced a steady growth phase as a result. Recently, that growth was amplified by the company’s addition of nine highly qualified, highly enthusiastic professional coaches.
Colleen Slaughter, Alan Cohen, Janet Ladd, Moira Killoran, Jennifer Conaway, Michele Brant, Betsy Smith, Will Eill, and Sy Blaesser joined the ranks of Roving Coach International last month, bringing with them an impressive collective level of experience and accreditation in the field of career development coaching.
Colleen Slaughter brings over 13 years of international experience in change leadership, coaching, and consulting to Roving Coach. Slaughter founded Authentic Leadership International, a personal and executive coaching firm, in 2009. She is a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF), a 2010 Board Member at Large of the ICF – Raleigh Area Chapter, and a 2010 Program Committee Member of the Triangle Organization Development Network (TODN).
Alan Cohen, president of Acts of Balance Executive Coaching, brings more than 25 years of experience in business to Roving Coach. Cohen is an Energy Leadership Master Practitioner and an accredited member of the ICF. He received his professional coach training from iPEC, the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, where he currently serves as media specialist and trainer.
Janet Ladd is a professional coach and organizational development consultant with over 25 years of experience in business, technology, consulting, and human resources. She has obtained coaching certifications from both Newfield Network and iPEC. Prior to founding Ladd & Associates, Janet was Vice President of a leading human resource technology consulting firm.
Moira Killoran, PhD, ACC, is an executive, leadership and career coach who brings over 20 years of behavioral change research to Roving Coach. Killoran is a Certified Professional Coactive Coach and a member of iPEC.
Jennifer Conaway is a business coach, consultant, speaker coach and the owner of Your Next Level, Inc. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she partnered closely with small business owners, worked as a program manager for Cisco Systems for eight years and received her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.
Michele Brant is a leadership, wellness and career coach in her own practice, Complete-Living. She is a professionally certified coach and brings more than 20 years of corporate and consulting experience to Roving Coach. Her experience includes project management, training and development, online marketing, leadership and life coaching.
Betsy Smith is the founder and principal of E.L. Smith Consulting. She has both a Master’s and a PhD from Texas A&M University’s College of Education, which named her one of its Thirty Distinguished Graduates. Smith has served as a senior executive and consultant at organizations such as Pensacola State College, the Texas A&M Center for Community and the Austin Independent School District.
Will Eill is a Certified Professional Life Coach with iPEC. He has 15 years of corporate experience working in the greater New York City area with companies like Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Sony BMG Music.
Sy Blaesser is an iPEC accredited coach with 36 years of experience in the mental health field. Her work as a therapist has given her a deep understanding of human behavior that has propelled her into the field of coaching. She has worked within organizations and businesses such as hospitals and universities, and has owned and managed her own business on numerous occasions.
Chief Rover CJ Scarlet believes the addition of these nine new coaches is the spark the company needs to reach the next level: “We have some of the most qualified and talented coaches in the region on our team,” she says. “With this group, we’ll exceed client expectations everywhere we go.”
About Roving Coach International:
Roving Coach International (RCI) isn’t your typical coaching organization. RCI provides coaching in crisp, confidential 30-minute sessions—focusing on what matters to employees at all levels (not just the “big dogs!”). Why? Because what matters to each employee matters to the bottom-line. If you are part of an organization that is, or aspires to be, a great place to work, contact RCI immediately by calling Nicoa Dunne at 800-611-3161 or visiting www.rovingcoach.com.
I love a find on the internet! Recently I was hitting all of my favorite search engines with "Edgar Schein" and I tripped over an article that was published in 2002 regarding the shadow side of organizational learning. For Howard Gardner fans, and those of you leading Global Learning organizations, you will be interested in this article.
Have a wonderful week!
Character Strength Assessments
Recently, I was asked by a client to recommend a character strengths based assessment to utilize in her global leadership development programs. Her company is working towards changing their culture with the goal of increasing the conscious awareness of all leaders!
I identified three assessments. The first recommendation is The Leadership Circle. This is an excellent model which balances creative competencies with reactive tendencies, and includes complimentary character traits such as integrity and trust in a 360 assessment format. This assessment is well researched, and seems to be a perfect fit for this company. They have the constant challenge of continuing to strive for creativity in how they can market to and service their customers; however, they are currently seeing very reactive behaviors in the workplace due to the current economic issues. This assessment is in a 360 format (which means they will ask for feedback from their supervisors, peers, customers, and subordinates) which often provides an enlightening view of how leaders present themselves in the moment.
I also checked into Martin Seligman's work (he wrote the "bible" of Character Strengths and Virtues, and also the book Authentic Happiness) who has developed an assessment called the VIA Survey of Character Strengths which is in alignment with the concepts of Positive Psychology. You can download a sample assessment that I created here. This is an excellent self-assessment that utilizes around 140 questions to identify your top character strengths. The results of the assessment is a bit like the Strengths Finder; however, this model uses understandable Character Strength words and definitions, and doesn't try to cloak the definitions with flowery marketing terms....like "Woo". (That one always bugged me - maybe because it wasn't one of my top 5!) You can actually take the VIA Survey of Character Strengths for FREE; however, you have to pay $40.00 to get the whole report, which in my mind is also a bargain! Their website provides excellent tools to support "strengths based coaching" as well.
My final recommendation (last but certainly not the least) is the Tilt 360 Leadership Assessment which I use often with my own coaching clients. The Tilt 360 measures character strengths similar to Martin Seligman; however, each of the 48 strengths is correlated to an overused character strength on the Tilt model. This is very helpful when coaching because high performers weaknesses are often strengths overused. I am also a big fan of the Hogan Assessment Series (which also identifies overused strengths) which I have not outlined in this brief; however, I have written a case study that you may download which outlines a coaching process and reviews both the Tilt and Hogan results and draws correlations between the two assessments. From this you can get an idea of the output report provided by each.
If you have any questions about the assessments above, or are interested in using these for yourself or other leaders in your company, please contact me!