Effective Solutions Through Partnership

Category Archives: Organization Development (OD)

7 Tips for Leading Successfully through Change

ADKAR, Communications, Corporate Training, Digital Transformation, Information Technology, Innovation, Innovation in the Public Sector, IT Modernization, Learning, Managing/Leadership, Organization Development (OD), Organizational Change Management (OCM), Process Improvement, Project Management, Prosci, Technology, Training, User Adoption

By Elizabeth Long, Prosci, CSM

Most people don’t resist change just to resist change. Most people resist change because of fear.

Fear of:

  • No longer being the knowledge holder or subject matter expert (SME)
  • Not being capable of performing the new work
  • Not being comfortable with or slow to learn the new job/technology
  • Having to do things differently—maybe they have been performing the same function the same way for a long period of time and they want to keep the status quo
  • Losing their job—in some cases, people choose to leave on their own; the truth is, sometimes jobs may need to be altered to keep up with changing technology

If your organization is going through a period of change—whether an update in technology or a corporate reorganization—it’s important to know how to address the fears and help users transition smoothly.

Here are a few actions you can take to make this happen:

  1. Get users involved by leveraging them to help document as-is business processes and create to-be business processes.
  2. Provide opportunities for people to have hands-on practice with the new system. If testing a new software system, consider which users are appropriate to participate in User Acceptance Testing.
  3. Address concerns about job loss—are they really losing their job or are they just going to perform a new job function?
  4. Empower SMEs to provide input on communications to the larger group.
  5. Leverage SMEs to help develop and review training material and assist with/support training.
  6. Provide honest and direct communication regarding job impacts and information about the project.

If you need help in managing a large change in your organization, we can help! Our change management experts can help you determine who your users and SMEs are, conduct a stakeholder analysis, determine the best approach for engagement, and more!

About the Author: Elizabeth Long is a professional Organization Development Consultant and Curriculum Developer/Trainer. She received her Certification in Organizational Change Management from Prosci and is certified in e-learning development from Langevine Learning Center. Elizabeth has worked in many industries: High tech, healthcare, and state and local government. Currently, Elizabeth works as an Executive Consultant with KAI Partners, Inc. as a contractor working in a variety of California State Departments. Elizabeth has lived in Sacramento for the past 20 years and appreciates the history of Sacramento as well as its convenience to many well-known destinations like San Francisco, Tahoe, and Reno.

The ABCs of OHAs

Onboarding, Organization Development (OD), Organizational Health Assessment

OHA

By Kris Lea, PsyD OD (ABD)

In the practice of Organization Development, one of the critical steps for a practitioner is to gather organizational data. The purpose of gathering data is to assist with specific problems that are preventing an organization from meeting its mission, vision, or strategic goals. The Organizational Health Assessment (OHA) is one method to help organizational members (aka: employees or staff) to give confidential input. The following three steps are necessary for successful implementation of an OHA:

  1. Engaging a professional OD practitioner/consultant
  2. Receiving leadership and key stakeholder involvement
  3. Gathering data and providing feedback to the organization quickly

Step 1: Engaging an OD Professional: Educated and trained OD Professionals have the theoretical and practical knowledge to design and implement a custom OHA. Gathering OHA data within organizations can uncover sensitive and confidential issues requiring professional and neutral handling. OD Practitioners are trained to work within many different client systems to gather the right data, while maintaining confidentiality—both are critical to the OHA process. It’s important to note that while there are many industry-standard OHAs available, a custom OHA is frequently a better approach as the consultant can tailor the questions to the organization.

Step 2: Leadership/Key Stakeholder Involvement: An OHA can be thought of as a small project and as with any project, key project management principles should be applied. Leadership in the form of sponsorship is critical. Leaders who hire consultants to perform OHAs are empowering the consultant, yet they should provide communications and behind-the-scenes support. Other key stakeholders should be involved in the design of the assessment, specifically questions to ask (in staff surveys and interviews), and preferred terms for the target audience.

Step 3: Gathering Data and Providing Feedback Quickly: Once the scope of work is determined, consultants should move quickly into design, data gathering, and analysis. After the findings and recommendations are clear, the OHA project leader/sponsor within the organization should determine the method of providing data back to the participants of the OHA. Waiting too long on either of these steps is problematic. For example, if one waits too long to design and gather data, the organizational issues may have changed. Remember, we live in a rapidly changing world, which means rapid changes in the workplace. In addition, those staff who have participated in a survey or interview are waiting for the results; waiting too long can cause a dip in morale, which defeats the purpose of the OHA.

These are just the basics of creating and performing an organizational health assessment. KAI Partners, Inc. staff regularly works with clients to engage with them in the creation and implementation of customized OHAs. These assessments have led to organizational improvements through the implementation of targeted recommendations. Need an OHA for your business? Reach out today at info@kaipartners.com.

About the Author: Kris Lea, PsyD OD (ABD), is a professional Organization Development Consultant and Curriculum Developer/Trainer. She received her MS in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco, CA and is finishing her doctoral studies with Alliant University in Fresno, CA. Currently, Kris works as an Executive Consultant with KAI Partners, Inc. as a contractor working a variety of California State Departments. She is the Executive Director of a start-up non-profit, the American River Parkway Conservancy (ARPC), which intends to focus on a partnership with the City and County of Sacramento in the day-to-day operations of the parkway. Kris has lived in Sacramento for the past 15 years and is a fan of Old Sacramento, valuing both the history and present social capital of Sacramento.

How Small Group Formation can Benefit Onboarding

Employee Engagement, Human Resources, Onboarding, Organization Development (OD), Team Building

Onboarding

By Kris Lea, PsyD OD (ABD)

Have you ever entered a large organization and felt a little lost? As individuals enter existing organizations or especially large corporations or networks, it can be a bit daunting.

Introverts and extroverts alike can feel overwhelmed and it can limit successful organizational growth or the assimilation of new members. This can happen with any organization, whether a knitting club or a high-tech corporation.

As a member of the national Organization Development Network (ODN), I helped co-create a small-group program called the Welcome Group, designed to assist graduate students, post-graduate students, and new ODN members in building close relationships within a safe setting.

Small group participation like the Welcome Group can help any organization to encourage relationships and reinforce company culture among new employees. I recommend a short program, about three-weeks-long in length, which is enough time to build these relationships while not taking too much time away from your new employees’ work assignments.

Research has shown that the best number of participants is seven. These participants have the opportunity to get to know six new people, find common ground, and explore cross-mentoring opportunities. This creates a platform for organizational learning and bonding in a non-competitive way.

These types of groups are different from teams, as teams are assembled to meet specific goals, whether in sports or in the workplace. Teams have a natural pattern and lifecycle (see the Tuckman model of Forming, Norming, Storming, and Performing), which always includes a period of competition.

While competition is not necessarily negative—in fact, if there is a high degree of trust, it can propel organizations to increased performance—groups, especially small groups, can maintain cohesion through affinities and relational support. This cohesion builds trusting relationships and minimizes the risk of unhealthy competition.

Small group formation programs are one of the many types of OD methods that can help organizations to become more effective and healthy places to work. Consider putting together welcome practices for your new employees; for more information, please contact us at info@kaipartners.com.

About the Author: Kris Lea, PsyD OD (ABD), is a professional Organization Development Consultant and Curriculum Developer/Trainer. She received her MS in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco, CA and is finishing her doctoral studies with Alliant University in Fresno, CA. Currently, Kris works as an Executive Consultant with KAI Partners, Inc. as a contractor working a variety of California State Departments. She is the Executive Director of a start-up non-profit, the American River Parkway Conservancy (ARPC), which intends to focus on a partnership with the City and County of Sacramento in the day-to-day operations of the parkway. Kris has lived in Sacramento for the past 15 years and is a fan of Old Sacramento, valuing both the history and present social capital of Sacramento.

Community Service Profile: Sacramento Steps Forward

Community Service, Organization Development (OD), Sacramento, Sacramento Steps Forward

ssf-logo

Image credit: Sacramento Steps Forward

KAI Partners is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all who live in the Sacramento area. To that end, we have been working closely with Sacramento Steps Forward (SSF), a local 501c3 organization which works to end homelessness in the Sacramento Region.

We have been working regularly with SSF on a variety of activities, including facilitating the SSF Board Retreat and facilitating board member engagement for their envisioned growth in the region. We are confident that helping SSF from the inside will result in helping SSF’s cause externally, as well.

According to Kris Lea, KAI Partners’ Organization Development (OD) expert, the work that SSF does is unique because it involves multiple organizations, such as businesses, churches, and all levels of government. Kris says, “OD is a field of practice that helps individuals, teams, and organizations be more effective. Although most frequently OD is applied to one company, the values and techniques are applicable to the type of social change work that SSF is doing to end homelessness.”

Looking ahead, KAI Partners is excited about SSF’s expansion of the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), a software program that works as a homeless information database by matching people who are homeless with appropriate levels of housing. SSF hopes to soon partner with other cities in the region to expand this system and help even more people in need.

We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with a compassionate organization like SSF to help give back to our community. To learn more about Sacramento Steps Forward, or to get involved yourself, please visit http://sacramentostepsforward.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/SacramentoStepsForward/

 

ODN-IODA World Summit Conference Recap

Conferences, Event Recap, Organization Development (OD)

ODN Board
Organization Development Board

By Kris Lea

The Organization Development Network-International Organization Development Association (ODN-IODA) World Summit recently took place in Portland, Oregon. As KAI Partners’ Organization Development (OD) expert, I attended the summit and want to report back on the highlights from the conference, as well as my thoughts on the future of OD.

This was the second year the two organizations—Organization Development Network (ODN) and International Organization Development Association (IODA)—partnered together to plan and execute this world-class conference. Taking place over four days, the conference was attended by over 500 people from around the globe and included many outstanding speakers and fascinating topics. The conference was an inspiration for both experienced and new practitioners alike.

A central theme of the conference was the focus on the work OD practitioners do to advance social change. Given my education, training, and experience, I typically spend my day-to-day work helping a single organization with fairly straightforward problems. However, at this conference, I listened to practitioners who were working directly on social issues, which was inspiring.

One conference speaker in particular, Adam Kahane, was especially inspiring. In the 1990s, Adam Kahane had the opportunity to work with all parties who were involved in the reconciliation period in South Africa. During this time, Nelson Mandela was released from incarceration and a new government was being formed with the African National Congress in place.

Hearing about Adam’s work in South Africa made me realize that OD practitioners can and should work to help their communities, regions, nations, and the world solve problems. Democracy, respect, inclusion, justice, and empowerment are just a few of the values that represent the OD field. These values are needed to help not only individual organizations, but our communities and the world.

Historically, while the OD field has been filled with brilliant scholar-practitioners, in recent years, some have begun to question whether the field is still relevant. Looking at the OD work being used to affect social change, however, it’s clear to see OD work is needed now more than ever.

In order to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for social justice on both personal and professional levels, OD practitioners must be well-equipped to handle complex and rapid change. Effective OD practitioners are armed with the education and training to work on teams of all shapes and sizes and are skilled at fostering partnerships to help solve complex problems. These skills and values will be even more integral as OD work continues to shift and change in the future.

In closing, the 2015 ODN-IODA World Summit was a global experience. I encourage all my fellow practitioners to stay informed with news, new technology, and opportunities to help facilitate positive change at all levels of our collective lives.

For more information, please visit the ODN website: http://www.odnetwork.org/

About the Author: Kris Lea, PsyD OD (ABD), is a professional Organization Development Consultant and Curriculum Developer/Trainer. She received her MS in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco, CA and is finishing her doctoral studies with Alliant University in Fresno, CA. Her dissertation research focuses on the “measurable attributes of a Healthy Organization.”

Kris has worked in many industries: Hospitality, high tech, healthcare, and state and local government. Currently, Kris works as an Executive Consultant with KAI Partners, Inc. as a contractor working a variety of California State Departments. She also works part time as adjunct faculty for California State University Sacramento (CSUS)’s, College of Continuing Education (CCE) in their Human Resources (HR), Master Analysis Program (MAP) and their State Supervisor Basics Program. 

 She is the Executive Director of a start-up non-profit, the American River Parkway Conservancy (ARPC), which intends to focus on a partnership with the City and County of Sacramento in the day-to-day operations of the parkway. Kris has lived in Sacramento for the past 15 years and is a fan of Old Sacramento, valuing both the history and present social capital of Sacramento.