07 November 2005

Magic Meeting

Today was a big day for O1. Mr. Yogi and I facilitated a meeting attended by all 12 retreat team members. It was organized to a tee by the Internal Agent's (who we have identified as the client) techie professional. We had a wireless microphone, with superior audio quality for Mr. Yogi to talk via Yahoo Messenger in their presentation room. He always emphasises a flawless process with no glitches.. this could be the make or break of the magic of change. Organization and testing facilities prior to any event are very very important.

To get to the point.. It was nothing short of magic. I wonder how the retreat will play out if this is only the beginning! Anyway, our agenda was fairly straightforward.. but I could tell all these key people have never been in conference together. They got to know each other's roles and personalities on a deeper level this bright 8 a.m. which is more than just their designations of "sales manager" or "accounting head". These were people. Emotion, perspectives, opinions, views, beliefs, and ideas replaced members' average perceptions of what the person sitting next to them is about. The "employee" became the "leader, thinker, contributor, generator".

Ok back to the straightforward agenda that brought a hint of magic in the conference room. Here's what happened:

1. Members introduced themselves in terms of what their role in the company is, and were asked to state one line about why they liked working in the company
2. Roland went through the process steps up until the retreat
3. Members were asked to write down their questions and get clear on what the consultants' roles are. "There is no such thing as a stupid question" was what I encouraged them with.
4. Roland went around the team again. Each member asked their own questions about how their company/department/team would achieve change and the methods of how this could truly happen. They were truly ingenious questions which showed a great interest and excitement in this change process. I will write another blog entry to cover some of the questions which came up, integral to making change happen.
5. Members were then asked to take a few minutes and write out on 3 sheets of paper the following:
I. Issues needing attention among the top team
II. Issues for the entire company as a whole to be more effective
III. Areas that need to be addressed regarding customer satisfaction

The meeting lasted 2 hours and post-meeting comments included:
"Wow I feel rejuvenated"
"I have faith that my views will finally be acted upon"
"Thank you for this lovely start to my day. When do we do this again?"

What we do now, is take all their responses and create the tool which will be used for the next step: individually interviewing each of the team members in strict confidence. As our process demands, no question will be a surprise to anyone. They will know what they will be interviewed on. They will have time to prepare and answer to their heart's desire. More importantly, no item on the interview questionnaire will go unapproved by the Internal Agent. We do not go against the owner(s) of the company.

More importantly, the top executive team not only owns the company. They also own the deep positive change coming their way. Mr. Yogi was right all along though. The CEO and/or the top executive team could never do something like this on their own.


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