Archimedes said, "Give me a big enough lever, and I will move the world." A big lever might work for moving the world, but changing an organization is too complex a job for any one lever, no matter how big. You need a variety of change tools, each applied at the right place at the right time.
The Change Artist Workshop introduces many helpful change tools: skills, models, and techniques for accomplishing your change goals. Through activities and dialogues, you can practice these new change tools, understand their appropriate uses and their limitations, and combine them with your own experience for richer learning and greater success.
The Change Artist Workshop is designed for people who want to increase their ability to make significant improvements in organizations. Past participants include people from many roles and organizational levels — executives, project managers, software developers, support staff, process improvement team members, quality assurance managers, and others.
In this workshop, you will review basic concepts, gain new knowledge, and practice many skills essential for change artists, including:
- Understanding the organizational climate, and how it affects change
- Managing and facilitating meetings
- Communicating effectively
- Dealing with resistance and conflict
Through a variety of exercises, dialogues, and experiments, you will have an opportunity to:
- Practice applying these techniques, to learn from personal experience and the experiences of fellow participants
- Increase knowledge
- Build confidence in using the knowledge and techniques
The Change Artist Workshop is an experiential workshop. You learn by doing. Each tool is introduced in a brief lecture, followed by activities and dialogues designed to provide rich experience from which you can learn.
A typical Change Artist Workshop runs for two days, and is designed for approximately 20 people.
I will be available after each day’s session for additional discussion. There is some required preparation before this workshop: completing the Organizational Climate Survey.
Customizing the Workshop
Instead of presenting a "canned" workshop, I prefer to tailor the workshop to the specific needs of each unique client.
First, I would like to work with you to select and organize topics that are most relevant to your goals. In addition to the typical workshop topics described in the outline below, I have other modules that I can incorporate into the workshop. Some of the possibilities are:
- Problem solving and decision making
- Basic quality tools
- Team chartering, effectiveness, and growth
- Interpersonal style
Also, I would like to understand the critical issues facing your change artists. With this information, I will design examples, exercises, and dialogues to be highly relevant to those issues, to provide maximum immediate value — value that you and others can achieve during the workshop.
Because each client has unique needs, I have no predefined outline and set of topics. Here is a sample outline for a two day Change Artist Workshop:
- Introduction and Context Setting. Introducing the entire workshop’s topics and logistics. Getting acquainted. Sharing information about current change projects.
- Building Safety. The importance of safety in managing change. A technique for sensing, discussing, and increasing the safety of a group.
- Where the Organization Is. Eliciting people’s views about the climate of the organization. Understanding how the organization’s climate affects efforts to introduce change.
- How the Organization Got That Way. Making visible the events that led to the current situation. Understanding and appreciating what has happened in the past. Interpreting events, and assessing how historical forces support or hinder significant change.
- Possibilities for Moving Forward. Determining next steps and preparing for the work ahead, given what we have learned about the past events, present climate, and goals for the future.
- Effective Meetings. The role of meetings in change projects. Fundamentals of good meeting management. Tools for improving value before, during, and after meetings. Participating in and facilitating effective meetings.
- A Model of Communication. A powerful model of communication. Understanding difficult communication in situations such as change, resistance, and conflict.
- Communicating Effectively. Active listening, attending, paraphrasing, using "I" messages, gentle confrontation, checking intake, checking meaning, and checking assumptions. Applying these skills to real communication situations.
- Models of Change. Two models of change. Understanding behaviors, thoughts, and feelings when people go through change. Designing effective ways to navigate change.
- Managing Resistance and Conflict. Factors that motivate or hinder change. How change and communication skills relate to resistance and conflict. Techniques to respond effectively to resistance and conflict.
- Getting Support. The importance of support when going through change. Identifying specific personal and organizational needs for support. Identifying sources of support inside and outside the organization. Negotiating for support.
- Temperature Reading. Sensing and building a group’s cohesiveness as the group prepares to move forward. Inviting and offering appreciations, puzzles, complaints, new information, and hopes for the future.
- Next Steps Review of the topics covered and issues remaining from the workshop. Defining goals to accomplish after the workshop, and next steps toward those goals. Resources for further learning.