. .

Let me introduce myself

Clement Leemans

Dialogic Organization Development
Gervase Bushe & Robert Marshak (eds.), (2013). Advances in Dialogic OD. OD Practitioner. Journal of the Organization...
Shaping the Organization
At the end, it's not about Strategy, but about execution and results. And execution depends very much on what people do,...
Change Management
Scott Keller & Caroline Aiken., (2000). The inconvenient truth about Change Management. Why it isn't working and wha...
Job Crafting
Leemans, C., (2014). Learning Organization & Job-crafting : A powerfull couple ? In this short article Clement Leema...
Support for internal facilitators Lafarge China
INTRODUCTION: Due to rapid growth and acquisitions, the Corporate University wanted to decentralize its integration prog...
INDAVER People Make Projects Work
Context & Issues Indaver is a waste management player, active on the Belgian, Dutch, German, GB and Irish market. Fo...
Carglass Belux Performance Improvement Process
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Context : The organization works with a lot of, relatively small, subsidiaries. The central HR depa...
Engaging Experiential Learning Activities
C. Leemans, (2010). Engaging Experiential Learning Activities Ideally experiential learning happens “at work” and is...
Organizations in the Collaborative Economy & Peer-to-Peer
Bauwens & Kostakis., (2014) Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Collaborative Economy. The thinking about dis...
Learning Organization
Garvin, David A., Amy C. Edmondson, and Francesca Gino. "Is Yours a Learning Organization?" Harvard Business Review 86,...
Job Crafting : A new look at job and workplace design
Amy Wrzesniewski, Justin M. Berg, & Jane E. Dutton., (2010). Turn the Job you Have into the Job you Want. Harvard Bu...
Practice Areas
We develop exclusively customized approaches geared to your organizational challenges and focusing on sustainable busine...
KBC Insurance A co-creative strategic process
INTRODUCTION: Process Consulting for a major ‘business strategy development’ project where we focused on involving a...
Sustainable Business Development
Barry Colbert & Elizabeth Kurucz., (2007). Three Conceptions of Triple Bottom Line Business Sustainability and the R...
Strategic HRM ?
Ulrich, D., (2010). Are we there yet ? What's next for HR ? Michigan Ross School of Business, Executive White Paper Seri...
Distributed Leadership & Autonomous Motivation
Paul Adler, Charles Hecksher & Laurance Prusak., (2011). Building a Collaborative Enterprise. Four Keys to creating...
The Lafarge Learning & Development Network
C. Leemans. (2004), The Lafarge Learning & Development Network. A collaborative effort to develop and implement orga...
Distributed Leadership
Leemans, C., (2017). Distributed Leadership. A powerful engine for Organizational Performance. Leadership Excellence Ess...
Coaching & Co : Community of Practice at UC Leuven Limburg
Move! worked with the University College Leuven-Limburg to set up a Community of Practice on 'Coaching & Co'. It bri...
Collaboration between Turkey and EU companies
C. Leemans, M. Ozgödek, et al. (2013) International Network for Organizational Performance (INOP). Collaborating in Div...
Cristal Union A Learning Network as policy driver
Context & Issues In the organization a number of sugar and alcohol plants come together. Traditionally those plants...
Organizing for Sustainable Performance
C. Leemans, (2016). Organizing for Sustainable Performance In this short four page leaflet, we present Move! as an OD Co...
Using Consultants in Organizations
Edgar Schein, (1990). A General Philosophy of Helping : Process Consulting. Sloan Management Review. Process Consultatio...
Move! 10th Anniversary
Move! 10 Years !!! In September 2004, so 10 years ago by now, Clement decided to change his Learning & Development D...
Learning & Change
Our focus is on building Learning and Change Capabilities in the organization. That can take place in different contexts...
SHRM Practices
Is our HRM triggering the individual and collective behavior we want to see in a learning organization : autonomy, intra...
ERM Towards a Learning Organization
Context & Issues ERM Belgium - Holland, is a subsidiary of a large US based Environment and Sustainability consultan...
HRD as a strategic business lever
C. Leemans & S. Duts (2013)., Human Ressources Development as a strategic business lever. This article has been writ...
Strategic Leadership
A high performing organization is agile, capable of inventing rapidly new answers to the global, fast changing, complex...
Strategic Process
Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes and Richard Whittington., (2005), Exploring Corporate Strategy (7th Edition) Prentice Hall....
How Organizations Trigger Sustainable Performance.
C. Leemans. (2012) How Organizations trigger Sustainable Performance. A Mental Model for Organizational Development. In...

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foodforthought2

We share with you links with articles, available on the internet, that have inspired and influenced us in our work as OD consultant. We clustered the links in a number of topics
for each of our four Move! practice areas.  Additionally we develop also a number of topics under the general OD Consulting umbrella.  This is work in progress, so topics and links will be added regularly.

Since Knowledge only grows when Shared, we gladly invite you to suggest topics or articles worth sharing here.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

On Organizational Development

Using Consultants in Organizations

 
Edgar Schein, (1990).  A General Philosophy of Helping : Process Consulting.  Sloan Management Review.
scheinfotoProcess Consultation is the creation of a relationship with the client that permits the client to perceive, understand, and act on the process events that occur in the client’s internal and external environment in order to improve the situation as defined by the client. (Ed Schein, 1969).  Process Consultation has become the most used term to indicate a form of consultation that is not so much focusing on expert advice or on 'bringing in a solution' but this form of consulting offers a 'helping relationship' to people in organizations.  It provides a way and an opportunity for the stakeholders of issues in an organization to start working together on the issue and invent their own solutions.  It is based on the assumption that the stakeholders have the content expertise to solve the issues, but that they need a consultant to support the process by which they can work together and find through the sharing of their expertise co-create the way to go. Sometimes the term collaborative consulting is also used.  An important part of collaborative consulting is about developing ownership for the issues and the possible interventions within the client organization. An important issue is the need for the consultant to work towards autonomy for the client organization and avoiding to develop some kind of 'dependence' on the consultant. (the marginality of the consultant versus the centrality for the members of the organization.
Scheinbook

Another term that pops up from time to time is 'systemic consulting' which is not in contradiction with process consultation. That term highlights the importance to look at the organizational system as a whole and the interrelations of the different parts of the system and how that creates meaning in the organization.

A few more articles on systemic and/or process consultation are listed below :

Ed Schein on Helping Leadership or Leaders as process facilitators Ed Schein on Helping Leadership or Leaders as process facilitators

Dialogic Organization Development

Gervase Bushe & Robert Marshak (eds.), (2013).  Advances in Dialogic OD.  OD Practitioner. Journal of the Organization Development Network. Vol. 45, n° 1.
 

bushe-marshakDialogic ODIn this edition of the OD Practitioner, Gervase Bushe and Robert Marshak, together with a number of renouned OD practitioners draw a status of our current thinking in OD and more particularely the evolution of a DIAGNOSTIC towards a DIALOGIC approach.  That doesn't mean that gathering data, or analysing issues suddenly became 'not done' anymore, but that we realize that it's not an objective analysis done by a team of experts or consultants but that it is the result of 'meaning-making' and the relational practice of all those involved in the organization.  Not an OD consultant, not a management team, but the whole social system of the organization is involved in meaning-making and creating the future functioning of that organization as a relational system.  Appreciative Inquiry is one of the possible methodologies used in Dialogic OD together with Large Group Interventions such as Open Space and Future Search.

diagnostic-dialogic-od

A few more articles on the concept of Dialogic OD are listed below :

 

On Strategic Leadership

Strategic Process

Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes and Richard Whittington., (2005), Exploring Corporate Strategy (7th Edition) Prentice Hall.  (full electronic version)

This handbook is an interesting collection of different models and checklists of questions that need to be asked at a certain moment of the strategic process.  Content wise you could argue that the strategic process consists out of three parts :

strategic process
  • The Strategic Position : This involves an environmental scan (PESTLE analysis), a decent internal analysis (SWOT), a stakeholder mapping and analysis to identify the different stakes, needs and expectations of all stakeholders (partners) of the organization.
  • Strategic Choices : The organizational vision needs to transformend into strategic choices that maximize the chances for sustainable performance and sustainable further development of the business.  A well known technique for that is the Confrontation Matrix, linking the external opportunities and challenges with the internal resources (strenghts and weaknesses) of the organization itself.
  • Strategic Into Action : This is the part where you start shaping the organization in order to effectively implement the strategy and drive with that strategy actual business results and added value for all stakeholders (including aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility).

Since the strategic process is always the start of an organizational change process, involvement of all stakeholders from the very beginning (the analysis during the Strategic Position phase) is key.  Not only because you need the expertise and experience of those stakeholders to gather all the information to enbale a valid internal and external analysis, but you also need the involvement of stakeholders during the process in order to build capacity, ownerhip, energy and accountability for the execution of the strategic choices during the 'into action' phase.  Furthermore strategies are living things certainly in a fast changing business context.  That means not only that the strategic reflection needs to be an ongoing process, but also that you need to build in different scenario's about how the context might evolve.  A good strategic process uses scenario planning as part of the process.

A few more articles & tools for strategy formulation are listed below :

Sustainable Business Development

 
Barry Colbert & Elizabeth Kurucz., (2007).  Three Conceptions of Triple Bottom Line Business Sustainability and the Role of HRM. Human Resource Planning.

The Grundtland report "Our Common Future" (1987) introduced with its definition :"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" the idea of 'Limits to the Growth'.  In the 25 years following this important milestone, business and organizations have been forced to think about their own sustainable development as a business and an organization.  Issues as environmental regulations, licence to operate, cost and availability of fossile fuels and raw materials, technical solutions for CO² emissions, renewable resources, waste,   etc... are top of mind in any business strategy or should be in order to create a viable future for the organization.  Some organizations are still in the phase of limiting the impact of their industrial activities, others have adopted sustainability as the main driver of their business strategy adopting for instance a Cradle-toCradle business model.  Besides the process and technological aspects of sustainable organizations, we also have the Human Resources side of things with talent & expertise development, ability to hire the best people and many other issues on the agenda.  The overarching key question is : Is your organization FUTURE PROOF ?

SustainabilityPyramidWebOrganizations begin to realize that their combined economic, social/societal and ecological performance will enable sustainable growth and development of organizations.  That also implies organizations are shifting from a shareholder to a stakeholder perspective, seing stakeholders more and more as partners to shape a viable (including industrial and economic) future.

A few more articles on the concept Sustainable Business & Organization Development are listed below :

On Shaping the Organization

Organizations in the Collaborative Economy & Peer-to-Peer

The thinking about distributed leadership in classic organizations is recently 'rivaled' or at least complemented by thinking about collababorative and peer-to-peer economy and organizations.

It's difficult to evaluate the importance of that collaborative economy as part of the overall economy, but this adjacent picture at least gives us some idea.

ADayInTheLifeF3 1 1024x640

It is a social dynamic between computers and between people, signalling the birth of a new social order: peer-to-peer (P2P).  It builds on the idea that peer-to-peer infrastructures are gradually becoming the general conditions of work, economy, and society, considering peer production as a social advancement within capitalism but with various post-capitalistic aspects in need of protection, enforcement, stimulation and connection with progressive social movements. Using a four-scenario approach, the authors seek to simplify possible outcomes and to explore relevant trajectories of the current techno-economic paradigm within and beyond capitalism.

The P2P Foundation is a knowledge commons and a global community of researchers and advocates that monitors the emergence of peer to peer dynamics in society, i.e. through peer production, governance, and property models that are characterized by open access, partipatory process of governance, and property formats that guarantee universal access.

600px-Bauwens-matrixIn these articles a few of those ideas are introduced :

Michel Bauwens., (2006).  The Political Economy of Peer Production

Michel Bauwens, et al., (2012). Synthetic Overview of the Collaborative Economy.

Kathleen Stokes, Emma Carence, Lauren Anderson, April Rinne., (2014).  Making Sense of the UK Collaborative Economy.  

 

 

In these videos you hear Michel Bauwens explain how he sees evolving a number of Peer to Peer oraganizations back into forms of Capitalism, away from the original idea of the Sharing Economy. 

On dutch television, some of the experts in collaborative economy look at how certain forms of collaborative economy seem to have degenerated into simple capatalistic money machines, far from the original values of the 'sharing economy'.

Job Crafting : A new look at job and workplace design

Amy Wrzesniewski, Justin M. Berg, & Jane E. Dutton., (2010). Turn the Job you Have into the Job you Want.  Harvard Business Review.

Justin Berg, Jane Dutton and Amy Wrzesniewski, (2013).  Job Crafting and Meaningful Work.  In : Dik, Byrne & Steger., (2013).  Purpose and Meaning in the Workplace. APA.

Nowadays organizations are looking at ways to improve their innovative power, their capacity to change, their ability to share knowledge, learn from each other, collaborate effectively... or in short to create a Learning Organization, where each and every employee and manager, regardless of level or role, feels entitled to initiative and is effectively contributing to sustainable performance and business development.

That means that we are looking for new ways of organizing, no longer based on ‘managing and controlling’ what people do in organizations, but on intrapreneurship, innovation, ownership, shared leadership, ... We realize gradually that in a fast moving knowledge economy control is slowing down innovation and costs ultimately a lot more then confidence and autonomy.
That will not only result in very different organizational features such as the desired organizational structure, culture, processes, job and workplace design, management and leadership practices, information sharing, decision and problem solving processes, etc…It will also affect the process we use to ‘shape’ our organizations in the future : How we do it, who does it, how often we do it, how much it is prescribed or actually emerging as we go, etc…
If we look at one of those organizational features : JOB & WORKPLACE DESIGN we see mainly two challenges :

  • How to create engaging, challenging, rewarding jobs and workplaces for everybody, so people can maximize the use and development of their talents, energy and experience. And in that way optimizing their contribution to the organization TOGETHER WITH experiencing personal fulfillment.
  • How to make sure that jobs and workplaces are flexible enough to cope with rapidly changing environments and customer demands. How do we change timely objectives, tasks, priorities, internal customers and suppliers relationships, etc… in order to keep up organizational performance.

That the classical ‘job-descriptions’ and yearly individual objectives will probably not longer do the trick, is becoming obvious.
An interesting alternative for DESCRIBING JOBS as a process initiated from HR or somewhere centrally in the organization might be JOB CRAFTING. Job Crafting indicates a process by which an individual is shaping his own job in such a way that it is a better fit for his/her needs, talent, energy and interest as individual.

jobcraftingmodel

A few more articles, exploring the nature of Job Crafting and how it can contribute to sustainable performance and job satisfaction in organizations : 

Distributed Leadership & Autonomous Motivation

 

Paul Adler, Charles Hecksher & Laurance Prusak., (2011).  Building a Collaborative Enterprise.  Four Keys to creating a culture of trust and teamwork. Harvard Business Review, July-August 2011.

Marylène Gagné and Edward Deci. (2005)  Self-Determination Theory and Work Motivation.  J. Organiz. Behav. 26, 331–362 (2005)

ethicofcontribution2The realisation that organizations can only cope with the very unpredictable, changing and complex context they operate in, if the initiative, the creative thinking and the leadership in the organization is very much DISTRIBUTED and people behave as 'owners', and feel accountable for what happens in and with the organization as a whole.  That awareness has been developed from very different directions and in this Food for Thought item, we bring together a few of those directions and schools of thought that all go in that direction.

In essence they all are about developing contribution of all to a shared purpose, collaboration and learning from working together, enable people to act, develop autonomous motivation and intra-preneurship, etc...

Most of these schools of thinking also express the need not only for a shift in leadership and management roles towards a more process facilitation role of that collaboration.teamleadership

The idea of distributed leadership goes beyond the classical idea of delegating responsibilities to team members, but introduces the ideas of an oranizational culture that allows people to take leadership in areas or at particular moments they feel that it is beneficial for the organization, they are well equiped to do it, they have the energy for it and others are willing to support them and collaborate to reach the expected results.  In that sence it is a very different view on leadership as the 'heroic type' of leadership which was advocated in past decades with a lot of focus on people like Steve Jobs.

In these articles a few of those ideas are introduced : 

On Strategic Human Ressources Management

Strategic HRM ?

Ulrich, D., (2010).  Are we there yet ?  What's next for HR ?  Michigan Ross School of Business, Executive White Paper Series. 

 

110Strategic Human Resources Management is largely about integration and adaptation.  Its concern is to ensure that: (1) human resources management is fully integrated with the strategy and the strategic needs of the firm; (2) HR policies cohere both across policy areas and across hierarchies; and HR practices are adjusted, accepted, and used by line managers and employees as part of their everyday work. (Schuler 1995). Strategic human resource management involves the development of a consistent, aligned collection of practices, programs (strategies), and policies to facilitate the achievement of the organization's strategic objectives. (Mello, 2002).

If you read those definitions you immediately understand that HRM is up for a vast program the coming years, creating vertical and horizontal fit (Stewart, Brown, 2008, p 527).

Often it is seen as 'one way trafic', where business strategy is translated in and supported by HR policies and practices. But for organizations who are working on the sustainability of their performance in the midst of a very volatile and quickly changing business environment, HR is also a contributor to a viable business strategy.  HR can do that in two distinct ways :

  • By designing and facilitating a 'sound' strategic process in the organization that involves all stakeholders and is truly outward looking and is willing to critically analyze their business environment as well as the organizational strengths and weaknesses.
  • By sharing from the start their expertise on change, organization development, labor market evolution and other HR related fields in order improve the quality of the strategic business decisions and the organizational consequences of these decisions.  HR co-shapes business strategy.

businessstrategy2This also means that the role of HR is drastically changing and evolving into new expertise areas an that much of the traditional areas such as learning and development, performance management, etc ... are being nearly totally taken into account by line managers.  New roles in the future probably include  :

  • Internal Consulting (process facilitation + expertise HR advice)
  • Team process facilitator (for teams, projects, communities of practice, learning networks, ...)
  • Management Coach
  • Change Manager
  • Organization Development Consultant (process re-engineering, lean, TPM, etc...)

The evolution in the role of HR will also have consequences for the competencies of HR managers and officers.  The CIPD developed a competency model that tries to depict the management competencies for the future. 

SHRM-HR-CompetenciesA few more articles on the concept of Strategic HRM are listed below :

On Learning & Change Management

Change Management

Scott Keller & Caroline Aiken., (2000).  The inconvenient truth about Change Management.  Why it isn't working and what to do about it.  Mc Kinsey & Company.

This article is making a stunning observation.  Since Kotter an astonishing quantity of research, books, process flows etc... have been produced to support organizational change.  And yet, a decade (article was written in 2000) later there has been no influence whatsoever on the success rate of change projects in organizations, what logically would have been expected.  And there is no reason to believe that another 15 years later that situation has changed.

This Mc Kinsey article was one of the first to try to understand : "what are we doing wrong?"  This is what the article proposes as answer to that question : "Literally thousands of prescriptions are put forward in various change management publications regarding how to influence employee attitudes and management behavior. However, the vast majority of the thinking is remarkably similar. Colin Price and Emily Lawson provided a holistic perspective in their 2003 article, The Psychology of Change Management, that suggests that four basic conditions have to be met before employees will change their behavior:

  • They must see the point of the change and agree with it, at least enough to give it a try
  • Role modeling: They must also see colleagues they admire modeling the desired behavior
  • Reinforcement systems: Surrounding structures, systems, processes and incentives must be in tune with the new behavior
  • The skills required for change: They need to have the skills to do what is required of them.

This prescription is well grounded in the field of psychology and is entirely rational. Putting all four of these conditions in place as a part of a dynamic process greatly improves the chances of bringing about lasting changes in the mindsets and behaviors of people in an organization—and thus achieves sustained improvements in business performance." 

Through our experience, Move! comes to a similar conclusion, although we formulate it a bit different and our viewpoints are broadly based on elements from social constructionist theories, experiential learning and self determination theory.  The big issue is not whether those four 'building blocks' of effective change are necessary... because they probably are, but 'HOW' they are created withing the organization.  It's not about the blocks, it's not about the steps, but it is about the process.  And then we see that at a crucial condition for success is mostly overlooked :

People need to precede the what and the how of change.  Most change processes start with an 'analysis' of the issues, finally creating a compelling story for change. Problem is that that analysis is mostly done by a small group of people, most of time senior management.  And that creates two major problems : the analysis in a complex organization can no longer be done from the top, it needs serious involvement of all stakeholders in and outside the organization in order to create a valid strategic change agenda.  And that being involved and co-creating the whole change process bring a solution to many problems in change processes often (wrongly) referred to as resistance to change :

  • you don't need to 'convince' your organization of the 'need for change'.  They concluded together, from their observations and analysis that change is necessary and why change is necessary.  It's their decision, so no reason to resist it afterwards.
  • they will not experience a situation where they are less informed, skilled, noticeable than others towards the new situation.  The skill building and development is done as they go through the change process... They 'make' the knowledge, they don't have to be trained afterwards.
  • The additional work the change brings will not be in 'competition' with their 'regular work' because the change has become their regular work.

The conclusion could be : It's not about communication, it'a about involvement and co-creation.  Or with words of Aiken and Keller : "You’re better off letting them write their own story"

A few more articles on Change Management are listed below :cocreationblog

 

Learning Organization

Garvin, David A., Amy C. Edmondson, and Francesca Gino. "Is Yours a Learning Organization?" Harvard Business Review 86, no. 3 (March 2008).
 

LOdimensionsThe fast changing, unpredictable, complex and globalized business context most organization operate in create a new challenge.  Where once organizatons were successful (in stable markets) copying their success formulas and producing standard products, with high standard quality at the lowest possible price, today the game has totally changed.

Copying the successful recipies of the past is the reason of failure in the future.  An orgnazation needs to be capable of finding totally new answers to the challenges and opportunities that are coming towards them.  And company that can do that, that is good at becoming good rapidly in totally different things, is a learning organization.

It's about creating a workplace that creates learning and innovaton, it's about sharing knowledge, it's about allowing challenge, contradiction and mistake, it's about collaboration, shared decision making, maximizing involvement, developing sense of belonging etc...  The concept is now over 30 years old, but still in organizations we struggle to create truly organizational learning, creative energy and deep, cross the board engagement for a shared purpose.

 

 


A few more articles on the concept Learning Organization are listed below :

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