If good collaboration is the key for effective teams, and effective leadership is the key for an engaged workforce, what is the main thing organizations as a whole need to watch out for?
If you want to excel, your organization needs to provide the framework in which effective leadership and good collaboration can happen. The essential building blocks of this framework are:
- corporate values that people can align with,
- a physical and virtual environment that nurtures collaboration,
- the right mix between clarity of what is expected and self-supervised work
At hnauheimer.net we understand that organizational change is a challenge for everybody involved. We help people to come on board and embrace change through facilitation of strategic design workshops and individual coaching.
Case study: Facilitating change at Europol
When we were hired by the management of Europol our assignment was to deliver training in order to make people understand why change is important. They had just introduced a software platform that would change the working procedures in one of their departments, and faced strong resistance from the user. We strongly believe that people don’t resist as such to change but they have purposes, concerns and circumstances which need to be acknowledged.
We started with a series of interviews which revealed that the affected population did feel disrespected by their peers in other departments. So the objective of our interventions was to reestablish the pride in their craft. We did that by a series of workshops involving the entire department based on the Appreciative Inquiry approach, focusing on what works well instead of what was the problem. In consequence, the department’s staff developed a list of recommendations to management that would help them to increase their effectiveness. The new software became a means to their ends and wasn’t an issue any longer.
Case study: Post-merger process of two UN departments
Experience from profit and non-profit organizations around the world show that a mergers of formerly separated organizational units (whether from within the organization or from different organizations) are among the most critical and difficult change processes. Many mergers fail to produce their intended results because of inadequate engagement of employees and integration of the cultures of the merging units. Integrating organizational cultures, both from the institutional standpoint and at the individual level, creates some of the greatest challenges posed by a merger. In a post-merger environment, the challenge is always to bring different cultures together to build a coherent new whole. A common issue in such processes is for leaders to re-‐align teams to adapt to the new organizational structure, managing the cultures of the two “legacy” units and to bridge the gap of trust and uncertainty of employees who are integrating into the new team.
When the former Knowledge Management and Capacity Building groups of UNDP merged, we were asked to facilitate their change process. The two units had been parts of the same global organization but their history, and working and collaboration patterns differed in various dimensions.
The following image summarizes the road we took: