This summer I finally made the leap to get our Capillary Values created formally. To no longer be an informal, undercurrent of beliefs and principles, we all kind of knew, but to actually be something tangible and real. This was a follow up to my previous declaration in an earlier blog post that we needed to get my act together and stop helping other create strategy etc. when we needed to do so ourselves.
We met for the day in early August and of course I used the Emotional Culture Deck (ECD) to help in our journey. It was a fascinating realization as we focused on words that meant something to us, the way we are and the way we deliver our offerings. We used the ECD to reflect on the comfort levels of various statements, highlight words we didn’t want, words we really had to have and other pieces of the essence we had to have driven within the core of what we were developing.
This was not an easy journey to undertake. I personally had to let go of a lot more than I maybe let on during the day. Capillary is my child, my baby, my creation and I am strongly bonded to it. However, like any parent, I want it to create its own persona and become its own self determined entity. So I bit tongue and lip and let the conversation flow.
As the conversation flowed and content began to solidify, we recognized three considerations about the content we were creating.
We didn’t want to create a list. That would indicate different values and confirm a hierarchy of position amongst the values.
Our values would also be our principles. We couldn’t separate them and recognized that it was all together in one train of thought.
We would be reflecting the experience of our audiences and how we would be present for them – its not about us, but about them.
So what did we end up with, I hear you ask. We created a Values wheel as shown below with five statements of behaviour.
The important thing to reflect is that it is a wheel, that is continually turning. All of these are equally important, and we cycle through them all regularly. Sometimes one or two may come to the fore, other times all of them but it is not for us to apply any one as more relevant or more important than another. The audience, client, customer, participant or whoever we connect with, will pull and embrace those elements from us they need at that time.
I’ve often had this said to me before people get to know me… “You are very opinionated and challenging, aren’t you?”
But this evolves into some statement, that says something like “I see you are a very values driven person and want to make sure that everything you do aligns with them” – which normally includes some reference to objectivity, fairness, giving space to all voices, non-judgmental and other words which do align with my personal values.
I’ve realised that for me, my motivation for change is often triggered by a need to see my values being realised and nurtured within organizations. To do this there is a strong alignment and recognized need to focus on the culture. This thought pattern has brought me to the conclusion that my currency for success is actually the delivery of my values as demonstrated within the cultural needs, shifts and repositioning I’m so often part of enabling.
Now I’m writing this within the Capillary Blog and I had a moment of horror as I realised, we don’t have a set of values that we operate within as part of our internal cultural dynamic. I will restate that. We don’t have a published set of values for Capillary. I think we all have a known values set when we work with and engage clients, learners and more. These strongly align with my personal values but really, we’ve never written that down and published organizational values. Strange I know!
This sudden moment of clarity, made me dig a little more into the whole values piece. Yes we’ve talked about values, beliefs, principles and more for many years as indicators of the behaviours seen within organizations. My second moment of clarity was actual a moment of confusion. I came up with this quandary… which is more important – publishing values or living values?
Now of course, my immediate instinct went to living the values. However, I reflected that if I don’t have them published anywhere, how will someone know what we hold dear, why we say and act the way we do and all manner of other elements. In fact how would anyone know you are living your values if they don’t know what your values are in the first place. Great, now I need to publish some fancy values piece, get it into the company handbook, publish on the website! This thrills me not, why? How many times have I been engaged with organizations who have some set of seven values (and it so often is seven), that nobody internally knows or understands? I don’t want to fall into that category!
My thought patterns continued to mix and merge until I arrived at a conclusion. Values need to be visible so that you can be held accountable by them and provide transparency to people who need to know where we sit on certain situation. Also, they are of no value (pun intended!) if they are not delivered upon and reflected by all within the organization. In summary, for there to be value in values they have to be seen and embodied by the people in the organization and those the organization serves.
What does this mean for Capillary? Well, I have a task to be undertaken very shortly. A piece of work I’ve done so many times with other organizations I have forgotten my own. We need to have our values clearly defines and fly them high from our flagpole of fairness. I guess that’s going to be published soon!
This has been such a valuable lesson to learn about cultural mindset in organizations – we have a duty to lead by example and demonstrate true leadership in all that we help others do. Now I’m off to audit our own organization!
As we move forward into 2022, we may feel a range of emotions related to the current health and resultant community challenges. I reflected on similar hope at the start of 2021 as I do now. This will be the year when things restart, when engagement is enriched by in person contact and more in person opportunities. I will get to the future aspirations in blog posts in the coming weeks, but for now I’m going to focus on the year that is now behind us.
While navigating the challenges of the pandemic and almost half a year of local lockdown restrictions, I’m very grateful for the progress that’s been made, the continued both personally and professionally at Capillary.
If you know me well, I have been very transparent that I found the first part of the year emotionally challenging and had to take good care of my health. It was a time of feeling trapped and contained, of churning through the same as before and trying to respond to opportunities as best I could while keeping my energy tried to match. It progressed well through the year until I was able to light the spark and truly embrace a way forward with my usual gusto!
I am pleased with all the achievements of Capillary in 2021. We started to bring Certified Change Agent Partners on board, and we now have providers in several geographies developing change thinking. I launched the organizational design qualification that I’d worked on over the past year. Developed the CARL model more and looked to present this several times. I’ve also been thrilled that we have been engaged in several meaningful consultations this year, supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts within cultures that need progressing this area.
I’m always enthusiastically sharing my knowledge with anyone who will listen to me and I’ve personally enjoyed speaking at conferences (even if they were virtual). These have followed the theme of CARL in the main and I’m so pleased to have such positive feedback on my virtual delivery approach.
A highlight for me, is the election to the ACMP Board of Directors in September. I am honoured and excited to serve and I currently sit as treasurer for the organization. That follows the successful work leading the formation of ACMP Ontario in the first half of the year and they are strengthening every week that goes by.
Toronto Change Days 2021 was a tremendous success, and everyone involved did an awesome job. Special thanks to all the volunteers, Dani & Giulio for hosting, Michelle, Fede, Kelly, David & Hilton. It was great to see past faced attend again and new faces join and engage with us.
In December, I was feeling very positive about the achievement. I’d delivered my first in person workshops in over 18 months and I’d had traveled internationally, with two trips to the UK for workshop delivery. The Certified Facilitator in Organizational Design (CFOD) was a highlight of delivery at that time and 2022 was looking rosy.
It wouldn’t be a blog post from me without some reference to change. I think I’ve really been able to empathize and feel compassion for folks going through such an amount of disruptive change this year. Its reflective how the lift of anticipated change can so easily be negated when the expectation doesn’t happen. This makes me consider the number of times a promised success doesn’t materialize and the excitement for the next best thing is deflated quickly when things don’t arrive as planned. I will reflect on my hopes and aspirations for the coming year in my next post. I ask you to share how the year was for you? What were your wins and what were discomforts? How did you navigate another year of disruptive change?
The above three emotions were the result of a short future focused self reflection for me, using the Emotional Culture Deck (ECD). How are you feeling today? How are you really feeling? What emotions are you connecting with today?
I have been on a six-month learning journey and I’m reflection and future spying on the impact of the ECD to me and my approach professionally and personally. I have played the game many times now, with individuals and teams and I’m about to share its approach with a group of individuals who are not a team, but I want to see the ECD and the opportunities for it. As I prepare for this session – and I think there may be more – I thought it would be good to summarize my discoveries.
People confuse their real emotions with those expected of them by others. There is often a belief that people are expected to show a certain emotion in a situation but want to express something else. Consider the challenge of a person who wants to laugh when fearful, or does not want to say how challenged they feel, for fear of belittling by others.
Leadership teams often struggle to understand their organization because they lack the empathy to address the emotions present. This causes disconnects and a challenge to be successfully aligned.
It is equally important to recognize the emotions you readily embrace and the emotions you don’t want to see but know are there. When you look at both sides of the coin, its easier to understand the why and how of the emotional responses.
A focus on emotional responses to a situation, give you the power to accept, manage and direct that situation to a desired outcome. Emotion based action planning can be highly effective.
Emotions are the fuel that energizes the culture of an organization. Culture is driven by the how and why of the relationships within an organization and understanding this network of pushes and pulls are part of the construct of the culture.
Giving space to talk emotions can help build a psychologically safe space where it previously doesn’t exist. When people can talk freely about emotions, in front of others, in collaboration with others, and gently challenge choices with meaningful and respectful dialogue, then they are prepared to move to the more difficult conversations.
Its ok to draw a blank! Sometimes you can’t find the right words to express an emotion and so going with the closest or more resonating can help to fine tune. Sometimes, you just can’t get the right words to express yourself and I’m ok with that.
Never be surprised how much can be achieved in a short time when emotions are in play! I’ve undertaken 60-minute sessions and over half day sessions and found myself always surprised at the pace and amount of discovery happening through the time.
The ECD is an incredibly powerful tool that helps you build a great action plan, canvas or strategy for development of a whole range of areas. The past 6 months have been an amazing journey – great to connect (and reconnect in some cases) with some amazing people who think so cleverly about the human centred situation. I look forward to many more journeys with this little game, and fun times exploring its potential … now to hack the pack!
Ever wondered how it would feel if you could box up all your emotions and hide them away? It’s strange how we are driven, led or even coaxed down pathways we wouldn’t normally travel, just because of an emotion? We can decide the excitement of the new is greater than the fear of the unknown. We move the limits of confidence because of commitment, and we peer into the uncomfortable because of the joy the result may bring.
If you have read my previous blogs, you will know that I am currently undertaking a deeper exploration of emotions and their role in achieving workplace cultural success. This journey is prompting me to go through a range of different activities with individuals and groups, playing with the Emotional Culture Deck (ECD) to discover and develop a range of activities.
I recently undertook one of these ECD workshops with a leadership team at a purpose driven non-profit organization. They are not a large team, with a variation of skills and experience. I was exploring their leadership capacity and focus for the organization achieving its potential. As I prepared for the workshop I reflected upon recent conversations that had taken place between myself and the executive director. I had undertaken some leadership assessments as part of the bigger professional development journey for them. I was confident that all this insight into the team would make me fully prepared for the few hours we would spend together. I was very wrong!
When it comes to emotions and discussions about their presence, not even I was prepared for the variation of responses within the group on the day. There were those that leapt at the chance to share while there were those that were a more reserved. Fortunately, I have many years experience in facilitation, and I was able to judge the group dynamic pretty fast, even with this being online. It quickly became apparent that one individual was out of step with the rest of the group and what I first thought was reserve was actually a passive resistance.
Exploring the emotions that leaders lean into and shy away from brings to the surface some interesting observations. There are people willing to sacrifice their own wellbeing for the greater good of their organization. Others, only want what is good for them. These latter people are often square pegs trying to fit in the proverbial round hole. They may lack a certain authenticity and watching their team dynamic is a confirmation of this. Unfortunately, the situation I was in today, showed our passive resistor to be disingenuous and lacking authenticity in supporting the purpose of their organization. A situation that I had to navigate, while still allowing the others to contribute in a safe way.
This was not an easy session, but it was a valuable discussion. The outcome of the experience was that the team discovered they were not the team they thought they were. The follow up required some difficult conversations and the resultant self realization was acceptance of poor fit and eventually a resignation by the misaligned individual.
This was the outcome of playing a card game. Yes, it was an emotional card game but an important one of reflection and candid conversation. The result of the commitment statements I concluded the game with, is a better organization, with a more cohesive and stronger leadership team. I’ll take that as a good result!
This ever-growing portfolio of transformation
needs change professionals to keep adding capabilities to their toolbox,
developing deeper intervention practice and broader approaches to engage in
these new and exciting spaces. I do not use the word exciting lightly. I think
that we are in exciting times for change, but this means that the way many
people successfully deliver also needs to evolve.
There was a time when the primary focus of change management practice was rooted activities surrounding technology implementations. Times have changed. The focus for change support has broadened with an increase in activity for culture shifts, strategy development, organizational design, and workspace reorganization, to name but a few new spaces of change.
It has been many years since I did
a technology implementation, but I speak to many in the change community who
are still primarily doing this work. It concerns me that the desired approach
of their organizations is a template driven project managed change management.
This style doesn’t create a good fit for the change but rather forces a fit to
an approach. I know many of these practitioners are frustrated by the confines
this expectation places on them. There is a time and place for document driven
change, but its not the panacea to all change. These practitioners want to give
so much more than a few documents inside a project delivery. When you work in
supporting people’s responses to the new, different, and strange, you want to
have meaningful engagement with them that delivers solutions to their pain
points. This means expanding the offerings you give to meet the greater needs and
expectations being placed.
It was approximately 4 years ago that
I was at a change management conference and I said organizational design is
part of change management. I pushed for someone to come up with a case study or
paper at the following year’s conference, I think I even offered to buy them a
drink if they did. However, it did not happen, and I am still to see an
organizational design reflection at a change conference. I have taken an
organizational design journey of discovery these past few years. Adding to my
existing knowledge and bringing myself up to date with current practice and
approaches in the organizational design space; I found the commonality is
significant. The activities needed for organizational design is definitely overlapping
and complimentary to change management and no more or less than I see with
project management or organization development. I do strongly believe that
change professionals need to add the organizational design skillset within
their portfolio to better meet the needs of their clients or leadership expectations.
There is no gain to be had in helping to implement a change with the confines
of a badly shaped organization.
I have been a coach for many years
and have been utilising the skills throughout my change engagements. I truly
find that taking a coaching approach helps me to build trust, find the true
cause of responses and understand the needs of anyone experiencing change. In
the past couple of years, I’ve seen more connection between coaching practice
and change delivery, but its still evolving. I recommend that coaching skills
are developed for every practitioner to understand their communications style,
language choices and engagement techniques. Coaching is often seen as a 1-1 arrangement,
but every organization is made up of individuals and the best way to change an
organization is to change the individual’s relationship with that organization.
I am fascinated to see how other
disciplines and areas of practice influence the future of change delivery in
the coming years. I’m intrigued by the potential for ergonomics and physiotherapy
are going to influence the how we approach changing workspaces, particularly
given the impact of Covid-19. I am
excited to see the evolution of Agile and agile within change, the links to
process improvement practices and continued connect to the learning and
development space. Neuroscience and psychology have long played a part in
explaining change responses, but now we seem them being flipped to work on
supporting others through the change. There are more than just these area that
can connect to change management, but these are just the few that come to front
If you are interested in learning
with me to gain deeper skills in change delivery, organizational design and
coaching for change I have a number of advanced courses coming up.
I am very aware that change has significantly affected
everyone this year. It’s been a tough 2020. The conversations I’ve been having,
discuss how so many organizations and individuals have been pushed sideways (and
many other directions) by the impact of Covid-19. We need to start thinking how
we recover, reshape and prepare for the after-effects of this massively
Like many businesses, my springtime pivots probably looked
like pirouettes! Far to much reaction and not enough proactiveness. I recently
chatted with a business owner who said that their biggest pivot in 2020 had
nothing to do with the lay-offs and reduced revenue, but actually their
personal realization that now its time to focus on what I need to survive this.
He no longer has the freedom to try out and spend on the hope that it works.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot and realise that maybe its also time to pivot how we apply our change skillsets. The need is no longer about delivering change but how to make the right responses to the changes, how to sustain the impacts and how to move ahead in supporting businesses recovering from the aftermath of change. There will be needs for further changes to do this – consider organizational shape and size, process and workplace modifications and a whole raft of needs to refocus direction. Organizations are now going to need change practitioners to help them move forward from the change and not sit back hoping for a return to what was before. That isn’t an option!
We are fortunate to be well supported by government financial
plans here but these will not last forever and by the fall of 2020, like many
other businesses, will have to be self-sufficient and ready to move forward
with our new approaches. Capillary has refocused a number of activities to be
better placed for this time. We have we reshaped functions and roles, flexed strategic
plans for new priorities and are in the midst of designing a number of more
efficient processes to compliment more virtual working and a new kind of physical
workspace in the months ahead.
In doing this for Capillary I realized these are things we’ve being doing for years as part of our consulting engagements. المتاهلين يورو 2024 And is something we can offer other growing organizations at this time of challenge. العاب الفواكه
I have created a business recovery program that brings all these tools and techniques together. كازينو (فيلم) With two fixed price options, businesses know how much they are spending and what they are getting. The cashflow is tight right now and gone are the days of open-ended consulting activity. If you are a growing or developing organization that needs help in building your recovery strategy, let us help you. More information can be found here: BUSINESS RESTART PROGRAM
If you just want to talk about options or you are struggling
to find your way clear of the current disruption, just get in touch and lets
have a conversation – for free! I want to see us turn the negative impact into
positive opportunity and reflect on making the possible come true.
00Rich Batchelorhttps://capillaryconsulting.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Blue-Left-217x300.jpgRich Batchelor2020-07-13 18:19:042022-08-14 15:40:13Change Practitioners should now be supporting Change Recovery
For some time, I’ve been having this conversation that an agile organization, is an organization that is much more resilient and ready for change. Although I’ve had my Agile journey’s of discovery, I must admit that I’m surprised that, so few people get this. Being agile is about a mindset. Its about culture. Its about people. Its about having the presence of mind and personal self awareness to flex, bend, move and work with a change and not try and snap.
When we consider determining how
ready an organization is for change that’s coming, we often think of readiness
for a planned change and revert to out tried and tested process. We get “that
template” printed off and start ticking boxes and assessing change readiness
with some magic formula that then presents us with the planned activities we
need by some systematic gap analysis. Its all very dry and functional in
approach but it’s the best we must work with. At the start of any change event,
we have to assess change readiness. But what if we didn’t?
How about an organization that
never needs more than a confirmation of change readiness? An assessment that is
nothing more than a short conversation? And no need to create a change
readiness plan of action. It may sound far fetched but its not. When you build
agility into the workplace culture, you build readiness into the DNA. Now there
may be a little work to confirm specific details of each change, but Agile
organizations flex to accommodate the changing needs and the people who work in
them are up for the challenge, with higher levels of resilience and capacity.
Now what about unexpected change,
you know the disruptive kind of change? Yes, the changes we face living in a
VUCA world! Building organizational agility supports the successful negotiation
of these types of changes too. In fact, being agile, supports the resilient
mind that doesn’t panic when the unexpected arrives, but stays calm and carries
on when it is presented to them.
Now becoming an agile organization requires dedication and hard work as that is a change in of itself. However, the hard work pays off time and time again on all future change initiatives. So my challenge to you is to find a way to develop your organization’s agility and make all those future changes less painful.
About 6 years ago I first starting consciously noticing the Agile word coming up in many of my professional social feeds. I think it had been popping up before then, but the volume of its presence became more noticeable to me at this time. In total honesty the word scared me for several reasons.
I was afraid
The first reason was my fear of the unknown. I didn’t really know what it was, and I’ve always been someone who prides myself on being current and up to date on terms, approaches and the like. This was something I didn’t really know a lot about and what I did know added a secondary fear. I knew it was something from software development and back in the dark ages when I was a Mathematics undergrad student, I never got on well with my software development courses – I did what was required but it wasn’t the same comfort zone as the rest of my courses. Thirdly I have never wanted to be at the back of the line for something new, and I physically felt myself slipping back on this Agile thing! In reflection I was afraid of the unknown and yet I was also afraid of the known, or at least my known. Not a good place to start.
During 2013 my curiosity began to get the better of me. I was working at a location anchored in a traditional waterfall project management mindset, in fact they weren’t doing that very well, and I was frustrated by this among other things. So I started exploring and spent the next 12-18 months trying to get my head around this Agile thing that people were talking about. My rapid learning was fueled first by the musings of Jason Little and his Lean Change Agent book, then my mind double flipped with the 2015 Spark the Change Conference in Toronto, and a particular shout out to Riina Heldström who was at that Spark conference and made me ignite my mind to Agile beyond software and PM where she talked Agile HR and my thoughts raced through “of course, isn’t it bleeding obvious” through to “why am I stuck fighting against what is so f**ked up here”?
the proverbial gauntlet
Anyone that knows me well, knows that this is throwing down the gauntlet to me. And my Agile adventure began. An accelerating learning curve over the last year or two has brought me to the place I’m at now. I’ve learned about elements of the practice, from scrums and huddles, to product-based ownership and customer centric drivers. I’ve learned how people practice it in a way that some think is wrong, and others think is right (isn’t this true for every business practice?) I connected my background and experience in the lean six sigma activity and operational excellence. I looked at the manifesto and then researched the multiple operational translations of the manifesto. I dug and dug until my brain was ready to go pop!
I discovered that there is a kind of hard Agile focused on project management, product development and all things connected to physical delivery. Then there is a softer, almost “agile agile” anchored in mindset, values and behaviours. This latter is where I emphatically gravitated, demonstrating agility in the workplace, with people and their thinking, no doubt heavily influenced by my change management background. I guess I would call it cultural agility in my head and I felt happy in this space.
I felt happy
I have continued my learning journey in Agile and discovered some really cool people with thoughts and ideas in the space – my thanks go to recent contributors Sarika Kharbanda and Evan Leybourne (do check out the Business Agility Institute) As with all disciplines, I’ve unfortunately found some people who have an arrogance about the practice – unless you have this cert or that qualification, you don’t know what you are talking about – but I’ve had that in every area I’ve been exposed to over time and let it slip by. I’m now reflecting on so much activity I’ve done over the years that has had an agile ethos about it, leadership styles, HR practices, business improvement activities, even my strong desire to only do what is needed, not what people would like… I think I’m a convert, I just don’t think I have a label for what I’ve converted to … I think I’m going to go with cultural agility as a label, for something I don’t think I really want to label.
00Rich Batchelorhttps://capillaryconsulting.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Blue-Left-217x300.jpgRich Batchelor2018-07-25 19:06:032022-08-14 15:40:13My Agile Awakening – an Adventure towards Cultural Agility
So my last post was a little saccharine coated in terms of the reasoning to do the certification but having had some feedback I decided to bring this post up a few weeks. I’m not totally in agreement with all these reasons but given the feedback I had here’s why your boss, compatriot or you should think about doing the CCA.
https://capillaryconsulting.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/detective.gif432293Rich Batchelorhttps://capillaryconsulting.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Blue-Left-217x300.jpgRich Batchelor2015-09-16 15:27:242022-08-14 15:40:36The Real Reasons to become a Certified Change Agent (CCA) – maybe!