- Posted by Louis Harris
- On July 3, 2015
- 0 Comments
- facilitation tips
For Successful Change, Involve Representatives from the Whole Organization
I witnessed an excellent example of how including every part and every job level of an organization can fuel meaningful change after a facilitation exercise.
A while back I assisted the Rocky Mountain Center for Positive Change and Spartina Consulting in facilitating an Appreciative Inquiry Summit for Colorado Access, a major health insurance provider in Colorado. At this 2-day event 150 employees came together to expand their internal relationships, share stories of success, and create a vision of truly exceptional customer service. During the process, participants created models of various ways to build on those successes and visions by, for example, creating a system of on-line training and by improving their performance evaluation process. At the end of the second day, internal teams were formed and plans put in place to convert the models into projects to implement the envisioned improvements.
Since the Summit, work has continued to develop the teams and plans to implement all of the high priority initiatives that emerged. In doing so, team members integrated the projects seamlessly into the pre-existing strategic plan. Efforts are also underway to instill within the whole company a culture of positive facilitation that replicates what everyone agreed was a marvelous and productive two days.
While considerable work remains, in the five months since the project was first initiated, the corporate culture has been transformed. It is only a matter of time before this transformation shows up in improved customer satisfaction, employee retention, and other key metrics.
There are many root causes of this success, several of which I will address in future postings. Something that struck me as especially critical was the active and direct participation of senior management, from the Chief Operating Officer on down. Having senior executives engage directly with front line team members who, for example, take customer phone calls, sent a powerful message that the company takes every employee’s views seriously and equally. Everyone felt safe and comfortable to contribute their insights, ideas, and strengths to moving the company forward.