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27. Real-Time Strategic Change

Holman, Peggy Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

27 robert “jake” jacobs

Real-Time Strategic Change

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion.

—Thomas Jefferson

Collaborating Instead of Competing

In New York City, 1.1 million children require care after school, on weekends, holidays, and during the summer. Several city agencies have overseen these critical, yet complex services. They have relied on multiple funding streams. There has been great need for consistent, high-quality care. Collaboration in the past had been low. Out of School (OST) programs in the city have been principally provided by several hundred nonprofit agencies and community-based organizations. Each of these multiple stakeholders has competing needs, since there is a fixed sum of money to allocate. Though all are well intentioned, they have suffered from a lack of alignment.

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5. Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Revolution in Change

Holman, Peggy Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

david l. cooperrider and diana whitney

Appreciative Inquiry

A Positive Revolution in Change

Be the change you want to see in the world.


Approaching Problems from the Other Side

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) begins an adventure. Even in the first steps, one senses an exciting new direction in our language and theories of change—an invitation, as some have declared, to “a positive revolution.” The words just quoted are strong and, unfortunately, they are not ours. But the more we replay the high-wire moments of our five years of work at GTE/Verizon,1 the more we find ourselves asking the same kinds of questions the people of GTE asked their senior executives: “Are you ready for the momentum that is being generated? This is igniting a grassroots movement . . . it is creating an organization in full voice, a center stage for positive revolutionaries!”

Tom White, president of what was then called GTE Telops (with 80 percent of GTE’s

67,000 employees), replied with no hesitation: “Yes, and what I see in this meeting are zealots, people with a mission and passion for creating the new GTE. Count me in, I’m your number one zealot.” People cheered.

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Holman, Peggy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

—Carl Sagan, Cosmos

For most of us, the notion of emergence is tough to grasp because the concept is just entering our consciousness. When something new arises, we have no simple, shorthand language for it. The words we try seem like jargon. So we stumble with words, images, and analogies to communicate this whiff in the air that we can barely smell. We know it exists because something does not fit easily into what we already know.

Emergence disrupts, creates dissonance. We make sense of the disturbances that emergence creates partially through developing language that helps us to tease out useful distinctions. As the vocabulary to describe what is emerging becomes more familiar, our understanding increases. For example, disturbance, disruption, and dissonance are part of the language of engaging emergence. These terms are cousins, and I often use them interchangeably. Disruption is the most general of the three words. If something involves an emotional nuance, chances are that I call the disruption a disturbance. When conflict is involved or the disruption is particularly grating, with a lack of agreement or harmony, I will likely refer to its dissonance.

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53. Employee Engagement Process

Holman, Peggy Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

53 marie mccormick

Employee Engagement Process

Our work in the world is to change the nature of the conversation. . . .

A conversation of ownership and possibility is the antidote to blame.

—Peter Block

Global Pharmaceutical Distribution

The distribution network of a global pharmaceutical firm was beginning a three-year journey to achieve a new strategic vision. Its improvement framework covered: quality, service, costs, and people/culture. While the first three areas had metrics in place, people/culture did not. The

Employee Engagement Process was selected not only to quantify people/culture but also to evolve the culture itself toward greater engagement and shared responsibility.

The process began by educating managers, preparing them for a more open environment in which they shared information more freely and heard employee feedback without emotional resistance. This presurvey work was an important part of the change process. Once the managers were ready, the McCormick Employee Engagement Inventory (MEEI) was distributed to all

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17. Conversation Café

Holman, Peggy Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

17 vicki robin

Conversation Café

How do I listen to others? As if everyone were my Master speaking to me his cherished last words.


Passionate About Intimacy

I’m sitting next to Jerry Garcia at the Grateful Bread coffeehouse. Okay, I’m actually sitting next to a life-size painting of Jerry—so, like everyone else in the café, I am technically alone. Typical, isn’t it, in our disconnected world? Ten people, and just one person per table. But tonight is different—it’s Thursday evening, Conversation Café time.

Five regulars and three drop-ins arrive, get their tea or coffee and snacks, and settle in. We are engaging in a strangely normal activity. We’re talking to strangers. We have followed the first rule of good conversation: showing up. In six weeks of meetings, I’ve noticed three basic ingredients to the magic of Conversation Cafés: showing up, shutting up, and speaking up.

Showing up is not only arriving in time to talk. It’s arriving in soul, ready to engage. Shutting up is about listening deeply. It’s having as much curiosity about what others say as about parading out one’s own opinions. Speaking up is taking a risk by saying what’s real for you. Ah, and there’s a fourth rule: “Up.” Conversing to enrich everyone. Good conversation has the quality of an infinite game. You play for play, not for winning.

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