People are key to achieving high performance in any organisation. But, of course, individuals do not work in a vacuum. Leaders need to ensure the different parts and levels of their organisation function well overall – especially nowadays to adapt to continuous change. As team and organisation development facilitators, we can assist you with this challenge.
An holistic organisational approach to performance
At Owen Morris we emphasize an overall, integrating perspective for achieving organisational performance, with five key ‘levels’ in an organisation to plan and develop together:
- Individual level: the right indviduals with the needed skills, attitudes and motivation
- Job-level: jobs need to be well-designed, clear, motivational and well-supported
- Operational teams: teams should be well-constituted, well-led and members work well together
- Senior leadership: the top-team needs to provide direction and inspire as well as working well together
- Organisational-level: the overall organisation needs policies and practices that help pull everyone together effectively and keep it in tune with the external environment
Such a ‘systems‘ view gives a balanced, powerful foundation for achieving high performance by an organisation: all crucial levers can be planned to work together in sync. We use this perspective to assist leaders at all levels in an organisation – from departmental managers to the top-team.
Operational roles & team development
Everyone in an organisation has a role, of course. Vital factors include not just basic aspects like duties and relationships with others, but how well a job motivates in terms of opportunities for instrinsic needs like meaning, flexibility, automomy and learning.
Most roles also, of course, exist within a team. Few teams function as well as they could. Research indicates that it is the ‘structural‘ elements of a team that are usually most key, for example the team’s purpose, roles, and ways of working. But to make a team really shine, it’s critical also to address a team’s ‘softer’ elements, including team-leader’s management style, relationships between team members and perceived levels of trust, openness and ‘psychological’ safety. At the same time, a systemic view needs to consider the ‘external’ links and relationships a team has with the rest of the organisation.
We help managers both to establish new teams or develop existing teams. Our approach typically involves both confidential 1:1 discussion with team members and open, collective workshop discussion with the whole team to review issues and shape/agree future action. Initially, where helpful, we may also make use of one or two psychometric profiling tools (e.g. Belbin, DISC) and we also offer follow-up, more focussed 1:1 coaching support for individual team members.
Senior leadership-team development
Of course, the senior leadership team (the Board and/or executive team) is a special grouping in any organisation. It’s particularly vital its members work well together (for example, not letting strong egos or functional backgrounds skew objective decision-making) and that they provide strong direction for the organisation, defining key elements like vision, values, strategy and operating priorities.
The CEO plays a crucial role, needing to balance vision and drive with ‘softer’ aspects of leadership like empathy and openness. An external facilitator like our senior partner, Mike, can provide close support to a CEO, including, for example, helping to stimulate open feedback from team-members and challenging of current assumptions or accepted ways of doing things.
At the level of the total organisation, beyond a top-team’s leadership, several aspects of an organisation’s ‘health’ and how it functions can significantly influence overall performance. Examples include the strengths of external links/intelligence, innovation and learning, management structure, culture, communications, operating processes, staff support policies, resources, technology and performance management practices.
We work with an organisation’s board and/or senior exec team to collectively review, assess and discuss all these types of organisational driver and enabling leaders to identify and agree particular areas of opportunity for making changes or improvements.
An integral part of our approach typically is facilitating one or more (half- or whole-day) group workshops, progressing through a planned, structured agenda of key organisational factors and making good use of open ‘reflective’ discussion. Of course, in advance, wherever helpful, suitable data or information is collected or arranged to inform discussions – for example, an updated workplace/staff opinion survey, intelligence on key competitors, or updated financial forecasts.
Change management support
We can assist in turning the outputs from team or organisational workshops into firm action. Some issues may just need quite simple action steps but more complex or strategic issues – for example, transforming an organisation’s culture or digitalising a range of operational processes – may need more extended thinking or consultation or detailed ‘change project‘ planning (involving, possibly, action over many months ahead with many contributors).
Naturally, where needed, we can assist in designing, implementing or running any change project(s). And, of course, as a further part of our change support, we can design and deliver targeted 1:1 or team/group coaching to help with key areas like skill enhancement or changing attitudes.
If your organisation is looking to boost the performance of any of your teams or wider aspects of your organisation overall, do get in touch and have a confidential chat with Mike.
Contact us at the office on 01886 881092 or email us via the Contact page on this website.