Tag Archive for: Change Management

Concepta…what? You’ve probably never heard of a conceptathon. This brand new future format of New Learning comes directly from the TCJG forge and is full of teamwork, collaboration and visible end results.

This workshop design has its roots in the agile world and follows the approach: learning by doing. Within three days, concepts for pre-defined cases are developed in small groups – intensively and innovatively. Alternating between short inputs, units, and workflows according to the sprint logic and pitches of the interim results. Everyone can play to their strengths and push themselves out of their comfort zone. Everything for the grand finale, the final pitch and the opportunity to learn how to deliver quality conception work quickly.

We were able to prove in our pilot that this does not only mean spinning heads and hard work, but is also really fun!

10 people worked for three days on three different concept challenges and the results were overwhelming: multi-media, complex, agile and with a lot of heart and soul.

We’ll take you on a little Conceptathon journey and sum up at the end.

And if you want to learn more about the future format beforehand: You can find our blog here.

At the Conceptathon, we didn’t hesitate for long. We took enough time to arrive, meet the group and define our expectations and goals (TCJG top tip here: Expectations and goals are perfect as a task in the run-up; the group already deals with the topic of conception and the anticipation of the workshop rises), but we also quickly got to the part that everyone was looking forward to: the presentation of the cases and thus the kick-off of the Conceptathon.

In the case groups, they first familiarised themselves with their own task, did research (also with the clients as interview partners), then, after inspiring input on the topic of goal definition, formulated it (a step that many have always liked to skip in the past) and bundled and expanded the collected findings in a rough concept.

Aha results guaranteed

This is where the first aha experiences took place: The change of perspective presented the first challenge to one or the other. To empathise with the client(s), to ask the right questions and to explore the case without immediately finding a solution was a task that our participants sometimes had to work hard at. Their heads were already bubbling over with creativity and ideas – then taking a step back and looking at the requirements can be frustrating, but it is necessary.

The results then spoke for themselves: our groups were able to get to the heart of their cases and prepare their rough concepts in such a way that creativity could be given free rein on day 2 – without having to deal with legacy issues from the previous conceptual step.

And there was something else we learned: The templates and small aids we prepared for our participants served us well during the event. They provide orientation and give the group the chance to concentrate on the essentials: Conception.

Even after the event, the team spirit continued to be fuelled: over pizza and vino, we laughed, exchanged ideas and recharged our batteries for the next day!

Day 2 – Conceptathon – the creative minds are activated

The group started day 2 highly motivated, and things got off to a dynamic start, because we wanted to fill our concepts with life.

But first the theory: together we worked out which methods, formats and media we could best use at which point in our learning structure. What achieves the greatest effects? What helps us reach our goals best? What out-of-the-box possibilities have we not yet considered?

This got the creative heads activated and prepared them well for the rest of the day. It was precisely these results that could be used for the further development of the cases. The participants were able to be creative in their fine structure, use funky formats and work out architectures with great attention to detail.

Intensive work units with clear objectives, feedback sessions and slack time alternated again and again. We were amazed at how many ideas we could spin together in such a short time and, thanks to the previously prepared structure, steer them in a productive direction.

In the evening, the creative work continued: even the rain couldn’t stop us from having a BBQ. So the grill master got a roof over his head and the group set up the buffet indoors. With homemade salads from the team and conversations about things that are currently on our minds, it tasted even better.

Day 3 – Conceptathon – The Grand Finale

The grand finale – but by no means was the air out!

On the last day of the Conceptathon, our participants really stepped on the gas, put the finishing touches on their concept and produced material.

The final pitches and presentations of the concept consequently had it all: from 360° videos to trainer guides for workshops and passionate explanations, everything was there, and our participants set off a real concept firework!

Of course, it was difficult to decide on the best concept, which is why we quickly declared everyone a winning team and celebrated our new team spirit together with a visit to the wine bar!

Our event was rounded off with an intensive reflection on the last few days. What did the participants take away? What will they do differently now? Were they able to achieve their goals from the beginning of the event?

One sentence in particular stuck in our minds: “Now I finally know what should really matter in my job!”, one of our participants openly shared with us, thus giving us high praise.

We said goodbye as a team, as conceptathonists and with a lot of motivation for our next concept work!

Our conclusion: A future format that makes fun!

Our conclusion for the Conceptathon is entirely positive: It really is a future format that is fun!

With a lot of creativity, collaboration and dynamism, it helps teams to set a focus and get down to work in a short time. A conceptathon is suitable for a wide range of topics, strengthens individual competences and produces immediately visible results: finished concepts.

Our Conceptathon already had kids. See here the Main-Donau-Isar Projekt.

 

Would a Conceptathon be something for you and your team? You want to see visible results quickly and take your conceptual work to the next level? Then get in touch with us and we’ll realise your New Work Booster together!

 

Written by: Victoria Durner

Sie gestalten Zukunft.
Mit uns geht das gut!

 

Consulting, although in the area of soft factors, has been a familiar core service of our company for business development for many years. Even as a boutique consultancy, we ask ourselves the provocative question from time to time in the context of strategy development:
Do we still need “consulting” or can it go away? And if it is still needed, in what shape or format?
Yes, that is our latest conclusion. Enabling, the new consulting.

How consulting was understood for a long time

There they were, those gray silverbacks and the large gaggle of motivated freshly graduated master’s students +, usually with excellence exams, who were certainly moving in the upper echelons of the companies. They were given ample freedom, conducted many interviews and collected valuable information in the organization at lightning speed. They routinely matched these with the concepts and competencies of their own consulting firm and documented them in a well-ordered and activating manner on slide decks prepared in a manner suitable for management. In manageable project periods. When they were gone, what remained was usually an excellent concept that had been coordinated with the C-level. Evaluated, provided with an action plan and “ready for take off”. Period.
These times are not over yet. Even today, this approach is still widespread.

That was really “expensive” and only low efficient

The slightly pointed undertone results from my own consternation. First of all, from the perspective of an employee who experienced how her knowledge, insights and experience were incorporated into the Big Concept without citation of the source and were reported without comment as the competence of the consulting firm.

And later, from the perspective of a consultant who came in after the big consulting firms were no longer there to support the levels below the C-level, to understand what was left behind or to work through and implement what was outlined in the concepts. Many a time we were the umpteenth consultancy that struggled to design what others had thought up or mixed for others. It was a miracle when a suitable added value emerged. With the many non-participants. Apart from the fact that, in addition to a high degree of demotivation, it cost vast sums of money.
If these concepts were ever implemented at all. We don’t even want to know how many of these high-end analyses and strategies were buried somewhere, in drawers in the past and in file folders today.

First it should then save the change management

The first attempt to get a bit of sustainability into it was to expand the idea of turning “stakeholders into participants”. Stakeholders should no longer only be asked in (stakeholder) interviews, but should also be involved in the development and implementation of solutions. This is where change management came into play. A large number of change projects were set up, most of them running in parallel, in which the added value and benefits of the high-end concept were explained. Naturally supported by powerful promoters. At least in theory, because with all the operational workload there was/is actually no time for this. Supported by a project management designed internally or by an external consultant and many Gantt charts. So a lot was done to explain and design how to make the concept make the transition from paper to everyday life. This was (at least economically) not bad for us. This was not a bad thing for us (at least from an economic point of view), because in addition to designing and implementing the concept, we also had to take care of change and project management. The external consultants continued to add value. And the so-called stakeholders became only indirect participants in the whole thing.

Even agile approaches did not bring the desired success

In the meantime, agility conquered the stage and now the sprints were supposed to fix it. Classic project management was given a new (admittedly pointy-headed) suit. The mood of those involved temporarily rose somewhat. Becoming a participant was within reach and finally, one’s own competence could be expanded a bit. How inspiring and beneficial. Finally, new faces came into play – Agile Coaches. They talked a lot about how to shape VUCA, the added value of vision and mission, and how to create team spirit. And they had funky tools in their little suitcase, e.g. retrospectives or techniques from Management 3.0. Great, Brought new motivation. And it was good that there were the consultants who created the deliverables in the meantime. Please don’t misunderstand: we are of course also Agile Coaches and continued to make our revenue with the externally delivered value.
However, it was really all just the same wine in new bottles.

Enabling, the new consulting

I don’t know whether we were driven by the fact that we no longer wanted to be primarily the extended workbench (although this will always be part of our service portfolio) or whether the entrepreneurs in us no longer see this incredible use of resources or – and perhaps this is it – we have seen that the greatest potential, namely that of the stakeholders, is not being used at all, but we decided some time ago: Enabling, the new consulting.

Since then, we have concentrated on enabling those affected, i.e. internal clients, whenever we create a deliverable for them. I.e. we apply what we have only talked about with the many approaches of the past. We co-create with our clients and share all our knowledge. Aware and with the intention to make ourselves superfluous at least with regard to this design. In this way, we make it possible for added value to be created directly and immediately by everyone concerned. In this way, those affected become participants and co-creators, and the personal and corporate competencies are strengthened.
With the perspective of creating much more.

The positive effect, which we have already experienced many times, is: the motivation of all participants increases and also their innovative power. Collaboration becomes tangible and spreads its effectiveness. And all parties have a whole lot more fun.

We call this enabling, the new consulting. And we believe this is the future.

You shape the future.
It works well with us.

 

created by: Eva-Maria Danzer

30.10.2021

Until the 1960s, upper and middle management were oriented toward the cybernetic control loop as a fundamental management model. Deviations from the norm were regarded as controllable or regulable by means of “correct” methods. But the changes became more profound, more comprehensive and increasingly rapid. The so-called “disturbance” thus became the normal case, and regulating or remedying it became increasingly costly and complex. Management no longer comes to “rest”, but is an object of constant adaptation to changing conditions.

Yesterday’s recipes for success are no guarantee of tomorrow’s success

What was gently called “change” 20 years ago has today undergone a rapid acceleration, so that some would like to speak of a “revolution”. Economic history shows new phenomena, such as globalization, new work, Internet, multimedia, etc.. These then led to new terms such as, Change Management, Leadershift, Chaos Theory or Business Transformation.

Yesterday’s recipes for success are no longer a guarantee for tomorrow’s success. Many new tools and models are offered: Lean Management, Learning Organization, Knowledge Management, Design Thinking, Agile way of working, and many more.

Suddenly, employees, executives in upper and middle management had to deal intensively and directly with the topics of change, permanent learning, disruption, new formats and chaos management. This inevitably led to a loss of familiarity, status and control, and caused uncertainty. From this state of affairs, a new “recipe”, change management, was established. Change was not only to be seen as necessary and inevitable, but was also to be actively shaped.

Employees not only had to be made less afraid of the new, but they also had to be won over as essential building blocks in the change process and allies for the new.

Change Management – all dimensions of change

As a kind of “container term,” change management is not as clearly definable and adaptable as project or quality management. Management of any kind aims at change. In this respect, all the great concepts of recent economic history were and still are part of change management – Taylorism as well as Lean Management or Knowledge Management. Even more: every merger, reorganization, and even well-managed employee appraisals, every suggestion for improvement or management review meeting is about change. In this respect, the question arises: What is not change management?

In Anglo-Saxon literature, change management is primarily understood as the human dimension of a change. In German-speaking countries, on the other hand, technical aspects are also taken into account. This leads us to the conclusion that change management is about technical, strategic, organizational, managerial and human-social changes, which are realized with a multiple combination of hard and soft factors.

Consequently, the essential task of a change manager is to manage people, information, resources and processes in a targeted manner in order to bring about change and adaptation. The main focus is on human resources management, because changes – as proven by our own projects – are met with resistance, cause fears, resilience and learning blockades.

Another finding from many of our own projects is that change is not possible without the participation of employees.

Change Management

Source: Study Institute for Learning Organization and Innovation, Munich in cooperation with the Institute of Business Administration of the University of St.Gallen

All approaches to change management pursue a common concern: they should create “infrastructures” for change. It is not the changes alone that are important, but their implementation and the provision of a climate and environment conducive to realization. Above all, proactive change management strives to create a change-friendly climate in which new ideas and concepts can emerge.

It’s not just about the new

Today’s change management also aims at continuous sustainable corporate development. In addition to growth or consolidation, revitalization, reorganization, accountability or value enhancement are among the common objectives for the development of organizations. Today’s goal is to create structures in management and a mindset that shape change itself and are no longer fixated on constant constancy. Consequently, in the change process a company should not only acquire the ability to change its own rules according to the learning process, but at the same time to develop rules for the rule changes and thus to become reflexive.

Change Management – step-by-step

Models and concepts for a successful approach to change management can be considered from two main points of view – to change the content and direction, companies should work with common models in terms of content and concept, with Business Reengineering, Lean Management, Total Quality Management or Balanced Scorecard dominating the opportunity scene here so far. When it comes to the question of “how”, there are two answers. Depending on the point of view or the basic model, a more management-technical approach is interested in the typical course of a change process. For the phases of diagnosis, goal formation, planning, decision, realization and for sustainable support control. Human resources managers, for example, tend to focus more on the actors involved in the change and ask about the necessary motivational resources.

Usually, such a process goes through several phases until the psychological changes are stably adopted into the behavioral or attitudinal repertoire.

The Company Journey Guides proceed with minor deviations from the generally accepted seven-phase model:

Shock – Rejection – Insight – Acceptance – Trial – Realization – Integration. Change Management step-by-step.

Extensive changes, such as transformations, cover a period of at least 24 months. In each of the phases mentioned, a different set-up and procedure is useful.

From our point of view, supporting consulting/coaching and facilitation play an essential role for a successful change. This creates a suitable methodological, spatial and temporal structure and ensures sustainability. A facilitator is therefore first and foremost a process designer and structure provider, completely neutral in terms of content and impartial. He/she has a high level of competence in relation to change, groups and conflicts and has a well-stocked toolbox of methods for conversations and creative processes in meetings, workshops and conferences. Thus, he/she is able to pick up people from where they currently stand.

 

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