15 April 2006

Grand Success

Wow, just completed a 3-day offsite retreat with a large enterprise here in Dubai. It was an experience of a lifetime. They all came in as individuals and they all left as a team. I can't imagine how much skill it takes for an external consultant to make something like this happen. But here are some helpful hints at achieving transformation in 3 days:

1. Develop trust with the entire system. You can't just take your client offsite somewhere without knowing them and them knowing you. We talked to everyone individually and had constant contact with the system for a month prior to our transformative retreat.

2. Don't be an expert. You will be rejected if you go into a client system and start telling them what to do and how to get effective. We must install self-confidence in the system by making them aware that all the answers lie within them.

3. The client is not the CEO. Never believe that the client is the top guy of the organization. As external consultants, we have a duty to ensure that even the CEO is accountable for his/her performance. So we work for the system as a whole.

These are just some principles that would help get the organization unleash its potential.

04 April 2006

New Client Work

People change just by participating in a revolutionary process itself. I just started work with a new client who is experiencing dramatic effects only because an external consultant is exerting positive energy in their office all day long. We are on a tight schedule with this client which has us in their office all day to meet our agenda.

We just finished interviewing members of the top team and are now getting a sense of what is important to their organization. I've always believed that all the answers are in the system and within the hearts and minds of the key individuals that make the decisions for the company. The Organizaiton Development consultant is no more an expert who gives advice. He/She is a guide who elicits the right answers to the right questions that organizations must ask themselves. Organization Development and Philosophy go hand-in-hand as they ask themselves what they truly stand for.

A comment we got from one of the team members is that she already sees changes in people and we aren't even done with our work yet. The HR Manager says that some people have started coming in at 8 a.m. sharp which never used to happen before. This is the beauty of a process that is participative and interactive. People change as they go along. The CEO of our new client said it best, "Our people are going through a tube, and when they come out of it they will be like new." As a consultant, I take great pride in being able to influence great change in little steps.