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Tackling the Undiscussables: Taming the Elephant Without Getting Your Head Bitten Off Sherry Schiller, Ph.D. President, Schiller Center

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Presentation on theme: "Tackling the Undiscussables: Taming the Elephant Without Getting Your Head Bitten Off Sherry Schiller, Ph.D. President, Schiller Center"— Presentation transcript:

1 Tackling the Undiscussables: Taming the Elephant Without Getting Your Head Bitten Off Sherry Schiller, Ph.D. President, Schiller Center 801 Duke Street, Alexandria VA USA

2 Goals for this Session Review key elements of Collaborative Strategic Leadership Share effective strategies for addressing the most common “undiscussables” Offer ways to frame “undiscussable” issues that benefit all 2

3 Best/Worst Exercise What are the traits of the best/worst social systems you’ve experienced?

4 The Essence of Collaborative Strategic Leadership : Spirit & Order

5 The Collaborative Strategic Leadership Loop Define DesignAlign Refine

6 What are the Elephants Sitting in Your Organization? Lack of transparency? Rumors about cutbacks? Leadership issues? Low morale? Lack of clarity about where we’re going? Internal hunkering down/competition? Not much fun any more? Expected to keep doing more with less? ?????

7 Are There Any Elephants in Your AFP Chapter? If so, what are they? What are they costing the Chapter? What could/should be done about them?

8 The Three Biggest Elephants 1.Culture 2. Leadership 3. Change

9 1. Culture Elephants Culture: –The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns Organizational Culture: –The basic assumptions, shared values and beliefs that guide the way organizational members behave toward each other and approach their work

10 1. Culture Elephants Understanding Culture Styles

11 1. Culture Elephants Strategies to Build a More Constructive Culture

12 2. Leadership Elephants Failure to lead? Wishy-washy? Personal agenda? Manipulative? Authoritarian Micro-manager? No drive? No vision? Worse?????

13 2. Leadership Elephants Strategies for Helping Your Leaders Lead Motivators in the workplace Understanding communications issues Confusion about leadership Competing leadership roles Others?

14 2. Leadership Elephants Summary of Leadership Skills Key Points 1. The two basic objectives of any group are to: Achieve its goals Maintain the relationships among members in good working order 2. Leadership Is the performance of any actions that help the group achieve its goal and maintain cooperative relations among members

15 2. Leadership Elephants Summary of Leadership Skills (cont.) Task Behaviors 1. Share information and opinions. 2. Seek information and opinions--ask questions. 3. Give direction and guidance to group work, keep group focused. 4. Summarize. 5. Give energy to the group. 6. Diagnose group difficulties. 7. Encourage group to move beyond normal boundaries and to be creative. 8. Make sure that group has the information and resources needed. 9. Test reality--how practical are solutions? 10. Evaluate group products as compared to group goals.

16 2. Leadership Elephants Summary of Leadership Skills (cont.) Group Maintenance 1. Help members know what is expected of them, and how to plan to accomplish those expectations. 2. Encourage others to participate. 3. Relieve tension. 4. Clarify communications. 5. Monitor and evaluate emotional climate about work and each other. 6. Practice active listening. 7. Harmonize and compromise--search for common elements in conflict, be a peace- maker. 8. Set standards--keep the group's goals in focus. 9. Solve interpersonal problems (constructively keep anyone from dominating the group, keep the group comfortably moving toward its goals, etc. 10. Communicate with group members between meetings--send notes, follow up with promised or relevant items, greet others in passing.

17 2. Leadership Elephants Competing Leadership Roles Internal FocusExternal Focus Flexibility Stability Domain: The Organization Domain: People Role: The Motivator Domain: The Future Domain: Innovation Role: The Vision Setter Domain: The Operating System Domain: Efficiency Role: The Analyzer Domain: The Market Domain: Performance Role: The Taskmaster From Deep Change, by Robert E. Quinn

18 2. Leadership Elephants Influence & Roles What are the issues? Can they be re-framed? How can you increase your influence? Some basic truths…..

19 3. Change Elephants Understanding the Change Process Holding on Ending and letting go Void, Abyss, Wilderness Renewal, Moving On

20 3. Change Elephants How Change Occurs Incremental change Transformational change Tipping points Transformational change as a subversive activity

21 3. Change Elephants Often-Used Strategies that Seldom Work When Dealing with Resistance Break it down Avoid it Discount it

22 3. Change Elephants Strategies for Dealing with Resistance Share Change Agenda Widely Act on change agenda Heighten awareness of resistance Honor and support Inform Engage, Explore and Learn Check and modify Establish organizational accountability and support

23 3. Change Elephants Successfully Communicating Innovations The Cardinal Rule for Introducing Innovations The key to successfully introducing innovations is the perspective of targeted users. The innovator's perspective is irrelevant and often counterproductive.

24 3. Change Elephants What Adoptors Must Perceive in an Innovation 1. Values compatibility 2. Perceived advantage 3. Significance 4. Simplicity 5. Trialability 6. Communicability 7. Reversibility 8. Relative Costliness 9. Credibility 10. Observability 11: Reliability 12. Safety

25 3. Changing Elephants Recommendations for Effecting Positive Change 1. Involve and empower all stakeholders as early and as completely as possible. 2. View every communication as an opportunity to "sell" the innovation. Communicate about it differently with different audiences, depending on their needs and perspectives. 3. Focus on the quality and effectiveness of implementation activities as well as promoting the initial idea. 4. Give it time--remember, different people and institutions have different rates of acceptance. 5. Be ready for the unexpected--and ready to capitalize on crises, which often cause people to seek innovations.

26 3. Changing Elephants Recommendations for Effecting Positive Change (cont.) 6. Stay flexible and adjust to changes in leadership. 7. Keep your eyes on the goal, but stay open to modifications in how to get there. 8. Take advantage of temporary and informal systems in building support for your innovation. 9. Expect more of yourself than you do of others; periodically reexamine your goals and methods. 10. Remove your ego and personal identity from the "sale" of the innovation.

27 Applying it all without Getting Your Head Bitten Off


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