Current Thinking: Are you Ready?

When you are ready to learn, the teacher will appear
Ancient Chinese proverb,

What has this to do with stairs?  As a Consultant over the last 20 years I have gained considerable experience working with clients going through change and learning.  This spring and summer we have been working with two clients who have set up and managed major changes in their organisations.  A coaching client we have worked with has experienced some amazing personal development.  What has struck me in these cases is a dramatic switch from; accepting the ‘status quo’ to dramatic action.

These clients have experienced some or all of these factors:

  • A real and personal realisation leading to a dissatisfaction with the current situation (e.g. ‘We won’t survive if we carry on like this’)
  • A real and personal sense of inspiration that things can be different and better (e.g. ‘We have the best team in place I have ever known, we are ready to own and then grow into this new sector’)
  • A personal tipping point and spark of recognition that I or we ‘can do more and be better than this’ (e.g.  ‘I need to tweak something in my behaviour to move me up to my next level of leadership’)

In all cases above the individuals and organisations were not clear what to do next, they were however very clear and passionate that some things needed to change.  Deciding what to change and how to do it is part of the process we support.  Once at this tipping point the process of change is ready and welcome.

One of the barriers to change is filtering or ignoring information to enable us to stay the same – this is called Discounting.  It is an amazing phenomenon that individuals, teams and even whole organisations can Discount information.  If a problem is not being solved something is being Discounted.

The antidote to Discounting is to take ‘Account’.  The clients mentioned above all personally took ‘Account’ of their situation.  Julie Hay developed a valuable concept to counter Discounting and structure taking Account, called the ‘Steps to Success’ (see below)

Steps to Success

(Start on the bottom step!)

Success What does success look and feel like? Am I committed?
Strategies What is my or the teams plan to implement?
Skills Do I and my team have the required skills?
Solutions What are the potential solutions for me, the team, and the organisation?
Significance What is the significance of the situation?What is the significance of staying the same?
Situation What is the current/likely situation; Financial?  Market?  Operational?  Business and people Growth? Or Personal?

Adapted from the original source: Hay J (1998) Donkey Bridges to Developmental TA.  Sherwood Publishing

Contact us to see how to initiate structure and support individual, team and organisational change!

Malcolm Walton