Why change doesn’t always work

Change that worksOne of the things I often notice when I am facilitating strategic planning programs for my clients is the wide range of attitudes to change portrayed by different business leaders in the room.

For some people the prospect of change is exciting and for others change is exhausting or even daunting.

It’s not unusual to find some participants with a gung-ho “any change is a good change” attitude literally facing off across the room against others with a more resistant “it’ll never work – anything but change” attitude.

And it’s true – change doesn’t always work!

But without change there is nothing.  As a strategic planning facilitator, ensuring that the changes your organisation embarks on not only work but yield positive results, is fundamental for me.

Whatever the attitudes strategic planning participants display, it is inevitable that some changes will arise from any strategic planning program.  So you can imagine I tend to spend quite a bit of time thinking about things like why change doesn’t always work.

Recently I joined Dean Holland’s Quick Start Challenge as part of my own continuing professional development and today I thought I might share with you some of Dean’s ideas about change and how to make it work.  I think you will find they offer a helpful perspective on why change doesn’t always work and why I am always wary of both the gung-ho “any change is a good change” people and the “anything but change” people.

We all know that change is inevitable.

In fact, everything is constantly changing.  Dean describes it as: “Change is automatic, like the weather.”

“However,” he goes on to say “PROGRESS is not automatic.  We have to take control and take action to see real progress.”

And this, it seems to me, is what lies at the root of the problems for the “anything but change” people.  When you feel like you have no control, or you adopt a passively resistant approach to change and implementing strategic planning outcomes, you will block progress even if you can’t delay change.  And so of course in this situation, change doesn’t work.

But it’s also a problem for the “any change is a good change” people .  Unless your proposed changes are aligned with well considered strategic objectives they will not yield real progress.  In fact they will become another example of change that didn’t work…

To achieve positive results with organisational change requires a process that brings people on board with the changes willingly, that develops understanding as to why the changes are important, what the benefits will be and how they will be shared, and that creates clarity about exactly what actions will foster the changes and who will take those actions.  Get this right and you will find change works!

So while change doesn’t always work, so long as your strategic planning process is well facilitated you can take control of the change process and be confident you will see real progress towards your desired results – and ultimately achieve true change that works!

Effective Strategic Planning

Strategic planningStrategic planning is more than just a long staff meeting.

The process of strategic planning is probably one of the most powerful tools available to an organisation, department or team. When a group work together to develop a plan they carry a strong commitment to implementing it away with them.

Yet too many people have had poor experiences with strategic planning sessions which fail to reach decisions, or where communication problems, dominant personalities and internal politics prevent constructive interaction.

There is a lot written about strategic planning, but much less on how to ensure your strategic planning session is effective.

What makes Strategic Planning Effective?

A successful and effective strategic planning session needs to:

  • build team commitment and establish a shared vision of your preferred future
  • forge agreement on the need for changes
  • provide direction, purpose and accountability
  • identify the resources required
  • renew your team’s energy and enthusiasm, and
  • ensure everyone is focused on the actions which count.

Achieving all these outcomes, as well as generating a sound strategic plan, is more likely with independent, professional facilitation. A good strategic planning facilitator brings structure, an impartial perspective and useful expertise, experience and feedback.

Experience shows that when your strategic planning session is run by a team member the most likely outcome is a long staff meeting, with all the inherent dangers of entrenched positions, ‘group think’ and resistance to change.

An experienced facilitator who is expert in the strategic planning process can guide your group to a successful outcome by introducing new approaches and helping participants think creatively about problems, issues and opportunities.

By keeping discussions focused, on track and on time, and ensuring all voices are heard, key decisions are taken in a positive way, making sure your strategic planning is most effective.

Special Offer

If you are uncertain whether to use an external facilitator for your meeting, or you need to convince someone else to use one, have a look at our Free Fact Sheet ‘Why Use a Facilitator?’

(More ideas on how you can facilitate effective strategic planning in the Quick Tips below.)

Strategic Planning Quote of Note

“A corporation without a strategy is like an airplane weaving through stormy skies, hurled up and down, slammed by the wind, lost in the thunderheads. If lightning or crushing winds don’t destroy it, it will simply run out of gas.”

Alvin Toffler

Strategic Planning Facilitation Quick Tips

Involve your facilitator in designing your planning session. Their experience with many other groups offers valuable insight and new perspectives into what will be most effective in achieving your goals for the planning process.

A competent and experienced facilitator will have the flexibility, skills and ability to guide your group to its ultimate objective via a range of different paths. Encourage and empower your facilitator to modify planned activities in response to the group dynamic on the day.

Consider using an external strategic planning facilitator for other important meetings such as project debriefs, incident reviews, evaluations sessions, change implementation programs, employee forums, community or customer consultations and leadership programs.

And Call us on 03-9859 3924 to discuss how we can help make your next strategic planning workshop your most effective yet!

Facilitator quick tips

facilitator tipWhen you are using a professional facilitator, involve your facilitator in designing your strategic planning session. Their experience with many other groups offers valuable insight and new perspectives into what will be most effective in achieving your goals for the planning process.

A competent and experienced meeting facilitator will have the flexibility, skills and ability to guide your group to its ultimate objective via a range of different paths. Encourage and empower your facilitator to modify planned activities in response to the group dynamic on the day.

Using a Facilitator

Consider using an independent external facilitator for a range of important meetings, including:

  • project debriefs
  • incident reviews
  • evaluations sessions
  • change implementation programs
  • employee forums
  • community or customer consultations
  • teambuilding workshops, and
  • leadership programs.

 

Quote of Note

“A corporation without a strategy is like an airplane weaving through stormy skies, hurled up and down, slammed by the wind, lost in the thunderheads. If lightning or crushing winds don’t destroy it, it will simply run out of gas.”

Alvin Toffler

 

(Download more ideas for using a facilitator in the Facilitation Fact Sheet)

Group Facilitation Services

KMG Consulting provides professional group facilitation services for your strategic planning and review meetings, conferences and workshops or consultations programs.

Workshop facilitationResourceful, persistent in achieving results, experienced and well qualified academically, Kerrie Mullins-Gunst works with you personally to ensure you achieve the results you require.

Click here for more details about Kerrie’s background.

Group facilitation services

We offer effective and professional group facilitation services for various types of situations including board meetings, department planning or crisis team reviews, strategic planning retreats, and advisory or stakeholder consultations as well as conference facilitation, meeting facilitation, workshop facilitation and general group facilitation services. We employ a range of different facilitation tools, including Open Space Technologies, selecting the most appropriate for your particular purpose, to ensure our facilitations services meet all your requirements.

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Why use an external facilitator?

Download our Free Fact Sheet Why use a facilitator? It details all the reasons why independent external facilitation services will add value to your strategic planning, business planning, incident review and other critical meetings and lists 35 different types of events for which you should consider using expert group facilitation services such as ours.

Business Marketing and Leadership Consulting Services

Our consulting services help you get more business – especially from the web.

How we do this varies according to your needs.  Our expertise includes marketing and strategy consulting, group facilitation and leadership development.  We share our expertise as a professional meeting facilitator and via conference presentations and seminars, online training and website development. The scope of our business consulting services covers the three key areas which underpin your business success:

Strategic Planning FacilitationStrategic Planning Facilitation Services

Successful organisations are built on a strong strategic foundation. With her depth of insight and practical experience, Kerrie Mullins-Gunst is a highly sought-after meeting facilitator who specialises in helping leadership teams to navigate complex business issues.

  • Facilitation of strategic planning, evaluation and review for business owners, leadership and management teams, executive groups and boards
  • Business strategy implementation and change management programs for special project groups and specific departments in business, government, professional and industry associations or other organisations
  • Stake-holder communication and group facilitation services, incident management or review meeting facilitation and identification and proactive negotiation of smouldering crises and controversial issues facing industries and organisations

See more details about our Group Facilitation Services

Marketing Plan TemplatesCustomised Marketing Plan Templates

Successful organisations translate their strategy into actions of value for their clients. As your marketing consultant, KMG Consulting will create a special customised marketing plan template, including powerful internet marketing strategies, to translate your marketing objectives into real business growth.

  • Conduct a marketing audit, clarify your marketing objectives and develop a customised marketing plan template for your business, including relevant online marketing strategies
  • Internet marketing consulting and review of your online marketing strategy, including website development, social media marketing and internet marketing promotion, mobile websites, QR code marketing, interactive marketing, video marketing, membership systems and more

See more details about our Business Consulting Services and Internet Marketing Consulting

Leadership DevelopmentLeadership Development

Strategic plans and Marketing templates are worthless if your people don’t have the leadership skills to deliver. Fortunately developing these skills is easier now than ever, thanks to new online technologies.  We offer time-saving online leadership coaching and training as well as and face-to-face contact to ensure your key people quickly develop all the skills they need to deliver your strategy.

  • Individual executive coaching services
  • Management group coaching, training or mentoring programs
  • Seminars, workshops and presentations to develop the full range of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours required for successful and meaningful leadership.  These can be delivered either online or at your workplace, meeting or event
  • Online and email support packages for mentoring and leadership development programs

See more details about our Leadership Coaching Services We facilitate your organisation’s success through professional consulting services that identify and implement the most effective business strategy, marketing templates and leadership development programs for your individual situation and requirements.