Sunday, November 04, 2012

Berlin Change Days

At 4 pm on Friday the two-and-a-half-days gathering called "Berlin Change Days" related to Change Management started with a presentation from Holger Nauheimer on the Changing Ecosystems of Organizations and Companies. Even if I have purposelly "withdrawn" from the event scene in Berlin (there is so much going on in the city that if you could only dedicate to attend amazing events with too much stimula and not focus in your work at all if you are not careful) I chose to attend this particular event as a special learning experience for me.

My desired outcome was to use this moment to learn selectively and I am happy to have achieved it, although in the beggining I was afraid this would be yet many conversations maybe taking nowhere. I take away several valuable tools I didnt know before and that I cannt wait to have the opportunity to start using them and I think I will start at the INTEGRA Seminar for Citizens for Europe (will be working with integration officers from Europe that want to change... rings a bell?).

I think they will be truly useful both in my work as a freelance facilitator, trainer and project manager, as well as for my work within the HUB Network ("where change goes to work!"), which is called Global Virtual Hosting members and is mainly focused on community managing the global platform of 5000+ members and keep the knowledge flowing across the network of 200+ team members.

Some of the topics, ideas, thoughts or quotes I would not like to forget and would like to come back to in the future are harvested here:

Virtual is the norm?
  • 5 principles of the new ways of working to trust: 1) Trust your people, 2) Reward output, 3) Understand the business case, 4) Start at the top, 5) Treat people as individuals. Maitland/Thomson, 2011.
  • Do you want commitment or compliance? You could micromanage, but what for? Is you work location or time dependent or independent?
  • offices of the future, study on new work spaces.
  • All people have purposes, concerns and circumstances, many things are not only resistance to old habits. Time to adapt.
  • Change management has become a commodity. History of change. Meaning quote by Umair Haque.
Clean Space Process, Wendy and Wendy Nieuwland.
  • Facilitating change in organizations. Space is an intrinsic methasphore. Embrace the power of space. 
  • Change the perspective, the experience, the way you think.
  • It is a very structured process of 6 or 7 steps where you have the different levels of the individual to the group conversations. 
The People Side of Change, Chris Perillo.
  • She took us through a really good and energetic workshop where we started by differentiating change from transition, topics I had been deeply involved in in 2010 and hadnt had the time to reflect about in perspective.
  • She also gave us some tools from William Bridges "Managing Transitions".
  • We talked about resistance and reactance responses, what makes people want to change, coaching to influence change, the Force Field Analysis/Action Matrix and the Stop, Start and Continue.
Developing Collective Competence, Doug Gilbert.
  • Although a bit old school in terms of just presentation and little time for interactions, we did speak about the importance of paradigms in facilitating change in organisations.
  • And competence as the collection of knowledge, skills and abilities needed to manage the shared understanding of an organisation or the organisation´s reality.
  • Three dimensions to it: life world, social construction and understanding drives behaviour.
Trust in Virtual Teams, Jouke Kruijer and Holger Nauheimer.
  • The most intresting one for me in terms of everyday work of a distributed team in different cities in the world.
  • Where does TRUST comes from? It starts with perception on appearance, gender, voice, the way you move and ground yourself, the things you say.
  • Richness vs leanness in communications to build trust
  • We often see that we have different personalities when we work online with people!
  • Everything that is a problem face-to-face is magnified in the virtual world
  • It takes an extra effort to build trust virtually, the mechanisms are different
  • There is a relationship between TRUST and safety
  • TRUST is also reciprocal
  • TRUST comes slowly and goes easily
  • Three kinds of trust: 1) Swift trust: task based. You need to have it and you start trusting because you have no choice to work and deliver something but if you dont meet expectations you are out of the team quickly, 2) Cognition-based trust: is more mid-term, do you know what you say? 3) Affect-based trust is long term, there is a relationship.
  • Frequency of meetings as well as tools and ratio of virtual vs personal meetings are important
  • Exercise of the hands and looking at each other in pairs: it works for the most improbable groups
  • Try meetings with funny hats, Christmas party virtually. Do the crazy things!
  • Spending time checkin-in first really pays off
  • Do we know all the media tools? They are the 10% but can really screw-up everything else if people dont know how to use it
  • Slide about the virtual office and its componens: the meeting room, the shop floor, the water cooler or coffee corner, 
  • My contribution: Exploring the links and dependencies of our work together at first, having a check in day where you know other may need to talk to you and you need to talk to others once a week instead of eternal thread of emails, no news is good news? Taking notes when talking on skype not to fall asleep if its a multiple-people conversation. There are four elements of TRUST and the way we prioritize them will make us have a completely different way of trusting than another person: Coherence, Consistency, Flexibility and Transparency.
  • Creating patterns and rhythms of interaction
  • Virtual Leadership
  • Work on being vulnerable in virtual teams
  • How do you deserve TRUST? Trus in distributed teams: determines my engagement, impacts on team performance and contributes to well-being.
  • David Maister formula of TRUST equation: Trust = Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy / Self-orientation (the space that you take at the cost of others, the ego).
On the logistic side of the organization and as this was my first time at this conference and at this campus, I would suggest that the breakout sessions program and rooms are included in the entrance of the building or outside the main room also and not only inside, as it was very difficult to see if one could not start in the beginning with everybody. A description of the sessions at a board/poster on the wall to choose (if you could not hear the pitches) would be perfect too. I also didnt know that the lunches on Saturday and Sunday were not included, that was a bit weird. Other than that I enjoyed the facilities, good location and everything went smoothly. Now that I am writing I also realize it would have been great to have a convergence session or debriefing session where we could share what we had learnt or experienced in the different session and thus "cross-polinize" our learnings. I would have only one or one per day at the end of the day. Maybe it took place and I wasnt there as I could not stay till the end due to work commitments unfortunately.