Leadership Development. Team Development. Personal Development.

"Consider The Alternatives..."

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Actualise Pty Ltd

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Case Studies

Real world, real issues, real results!

What types of situations bring our clients to request our services? While each situation has its unique features, the three case studies described below present some common issues confronting our clients.

  1. Breathing life into a new organisational model
  2. Salvaging what was once a great relationship
  3. Connecting people with the business at a personal level

The following group and individual case studies are from actual clients.

1. Breathing life into a new organisational model

The situation

A large division of a major government department introduced a new organisation model which required a reorganisation of over 800 staff from a technocentric model (being organised along technical specialities) into a servicecentric model (being organised along lines of services required by customers).

This reorganisation required to breaking up of existing work teams, the establishment of new functions and new teams, new organisation structures and position descriptions, new work procedures and the relocation of staff.

Staff were still confused about the changes, some were very angry and were rejecting the new model. Other staff were unsure what was expected of them. Some teams were performing well, others not. Overall, the level of performance was inconsistent.

What we did

We quickly identified that the reorganisation has broken many relationships and that trust between management and staff was being tested. We developed a leadership program based on the Reciprocity Approach which taught leaders that the best way to increase performance was to learn how to build mutually beneficial relationships. Further, as leaders we expected them to be able to teach others how to build these relationships.

During the program, the leaders used their own relationships with each other to apply the Reciprocity approach (practice on the inside). They learned about themselves, their preferences and their relationship needs. They also learned the importance of understanding others relationship preferences and needs.

We delivered the program to 6 leadership teams over 4 months.

Results

Participants reported high levels of satisfaction with the program and improved working relationships with each other. Management teams then sought each other out to continue the Reciprocity process.

Our greatest success indicator came after the program when the senior management team asked us to develop a shorter version of the program that could be rolled out to all 800 staff in the division. This program was created and rolled out to all staff within 4 months.

2. Salvaging what was once a great relationship

The situation

A manager reported to us that she was having difficulty with a staff member who she used to have a strong working relationship with. The staff member was taking increased sick leave, disrupting staff, was difficult to get along with and had a negative mindset. In response, the manager had moved the staff member to a desk closer to hers and was about to commence 'performance management' processes with a view that either the behaviour would have to change or the staff member would need to leave.

The manager had discussed the performance issues with the staff member but this seemed to have only antagonised the situation.

What we did

We first made sure we demonstrated that we fully understood and respected the managers perspective. We then helped the manager look at the relationship from a Reciprocity perspective. This helped the manager understand not only what was potentially driving the staff member, but also how the manager had perhaps exacerbated the issue in trying to satisfy her own needs.

We coached the manager in some of the approaches she could take when next talking to the person; primarily to understand what the staff member needed and to convey what the manager needed and then how they could build some mutual benefit.

Results

After some structured preparation, the manager discussed the issue with the staff member. They were able to build shared understanding around the issue and identify how they could resolve the issue by creating mutual benefit. Once they understood each other and their respective needs, the actual issue became a "non-issue" and the problems were resolved - permanently. The overall process took about 3 hours of management time (talking to us, preparation, and talking to the staff member). This would have been considerably shorter than the time a performance management process would have consumed.

3. Connecting people with the business at a personal level

The situation

A start-up business needed a workshop with the new staff so that the staff and the managing director could build shared understanding around the direction of the company, the needs of the staff, the needs of the company and the needs of the owner.

There was concern that these varying needs would be in conflict or that staff may have unrealistic expectations about what the company could provide.

What we did

We developed a one day workshop that would apply the Actualise Business Counselling model to the situation. In this model, the staff, the owner and the company itself would all be treated as individuals, each with valid needs and wants.

We facilitated a workshop where the staff lead every discussion. What were their needs? What did they believe the owners needs were? What did they believe the company's needs were? They then analysed those lists and were asked to identify areas of mutual benefit - where were the needs common? They were also asked to identify where the needs were in conflict and to rate the importance of all needs.

Results

All staff quickly realised that the fulfillment of their own needs were directly linked to the needs of the company and the owner. They were quick to put forward that their needs were best met by meeting the needs of the business. If the business was successful, they would be successful.

Expectations were set and the business owner was given volumes of information about what the staff saw as important. This both affirmed and challenged his ideas. The final result was a vastly improved way forward for the business and ongoing commitment to success.

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