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Planning for Growth

AIM This unit is about proactively managing change to ensure the business remains aligned with the Vets4Pets vision and values whilst maximising opportunities locally OBJECTIVES To translate the company vision and values at a local level to create a clear and challenging business plan for the practice Use innovative approaches to grow and manage the business, thereby maximising results Understand how change can effect individuals in different ways and how you manage this effectively as a manager Identify how you make decisions and how you can be a more effective decision maker


Our vision & values Making great decisions Planning for growth Managing Change Managing a Project A simple business plan Tools for creative thinking

OUR VISION AND VALUES The objective for this module is to: Translate the company vision and values at a local level to create a clear and challenging business plan for the practice 1. To get started we will take a brief look at what a company vision is, its purpose and benefits and the Vet4pets Mission Statement and Vision. 2. We will then move onto gaining a greater understanding of the company values and how these drive behaviours. 3. And finally we will turn our focus onto what this means for our practice and our individual behaviours. Company Vision What is a Mission/Vision Statement?
A mission statement defines in a paragraph or so any entity's reason for existence. It embodies its Its not unusual for companieys to combine the philosophies, goals, ambitions and mores. Any mission and vision statements. If we were to entity that attempts to operate without a mission give each a definition it would probably be that a statement runs the risk of wandering through the mission statement asserts the companys world without having the ability to verify that it is fundamental purpose and the vision statement on its intended course. provides the description of what and where the company wants to be, the aspiration and the values. Together they provide the basis of a plan, the strategic framework.

Here are a few well- known brands mission and vision statements. Your task is to identify which well- known company each of the following belongs to: Mission Statement Be our customers' favourite place and way to eat. Vision To be the world's best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile. To be the most creative organisation in the world Which company? McDonalds

To enrich peoples lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.


Solutions for a small planet

At <..> we strive to lead in the invention, development and manufacture of the industry's most advanced information technologies, including computer systems, software, storage systems and microelectronics < > will be the veterinary group of choice.


We help ambitious veterinary professionals own and run their own business - Successfully. Vets4pets Mission


We help ambitious veterinary professionals own and run their own business - Successfully. Vets4pets Vision Vets4Pets will be the veterinary group of choice. The purpose and benefits of a Vision Statement Successful companies know where they are heading and what they want to achieve. A vision statement articulates the major goals and ambitions and is the basis for all budgeting, goal setting and planning. It ensures clarity for the company and most importantly states it clearly for employees, potential employees, customers, service users and all other stakeholders. A company without a vision statement is a company without a clear direction and as such stands less chance of growing, expanding and improving because it has no clear idea of what direction or form this growth, expansion or improvement should take. Without a clear idea of where the company is heading there is no sound basis for prioritising decisions with the risk of poor judgment, inappropriate allocation of resources, resulting in frustration, wasted effort, disappointing results and burnout. The vision statement establishes the 'big picture' and all levels of planning and decisions are made with the achievement of the vision statement in mind . Ask yourself repeatedly How does this help us to make Vets4Pets the veterinary group of choice? or as Kelloggs used to ask Will it sell more Kelloggs cornflakes?

Of course a vision is not a vision if it is not visible! ? ? ? Are all team members able to recite your vision? Do all team members understand their role in achieving the vision? When you recruit new team members is your vision clearly articulated in your recruitment and selection process?

If you answered no to any of these questions, make a note to take action now. We have already noted that successful companies know where they are heading and what they want to achieve and the same is true for successful people. A personal vision statement is equally important and can help to define what the business goals are too. Dont let your business run your life let your personal ambitions shape your business! Take time out to identify your Personal Goals and Aspirations now as these will help you to successfully complete the next activities. Personal Goals and Aspirations 1. What do you love to do when you have spare time? 2. What aspects of your current job or life activities do you thoroughly enjoy? 3. What do you naturally do well? 4. What do you feel have been your ten greatest successes to date? 5. Is there a cause, value or quality that you feel passionate about? 6. What are the ten most important lessons you have learned in your life?

7. What do you dream about doing? 8. What would you do if you knew you could not fail? 9. What are your personal goals for the next 5 years? 10. What other thoughts has this activity inspired in you?

Company Values As mentioned our .. Vets4pets Mission We help ambitious veterinary professionals own and run their own business - Successfully. And our Vets4pets Vision Vets4Pets will be the veterinary group of choice. explains the reason for our existence. Company values are the principles or standards that guide the way a business operates or behaves. They sum up what the business stands for and what makes it special. They are a key reason that customers and employees choose a company and remain loyal. Why? . Because when personal values align with a companys values we feel comfort and trust. Every business is different and will have its own set of values - whether or not these are articulated. For some businesses like Walt Disney, not surprising, innovation is one of their core values. For Body Shop its about the planet, we always strive to protect this beautiful planet and the people who depend on it. We don't do it this way because it's fashionable. We do it because, to us, it's the only way. Business plans and strategies may change, but the values of a business remain constant. For employees, values give them direction about how they are expected to behave. They inspire them to give their best. Shared with customers, values shape customers' understanding of why they should do business with the organisation. It is critical to ensure that the Vets4Pets values are clearly communicated and understood, and that you and your management team model them at all times. Vets4pets Core Values 1. Pets come first. 2. We treat each other with respect. 3. Build winning relationships 4. We do what we say 5. Getting better day by day 6. Create fun & recognise success

Take a moment to consider how you currently communicate the Vets4Pets values in your practice. What will you do to improve?

Communicating the values is important, showing what you expect from your employees and encouraging them to do the same is critical. Take a moment to think about how you are demonstrating the Vets4Pets values to your customers, team and stakeholders and what more you could do. Give a few examples for each of the values. Our Vet4Pets Value Pets come first. Ways I already demonstrate this value What else I will do ..

We treat each other with respect.

Build winning relationships

We do what we say

Getting better day by day

Create fun & recognise success

Share some of your ideas with the rest of the cohort either via Sskype or on the intranet.

You will find that you can share some of your ideas and that you can add to the what else I will do column To support you in leading your team Vets4Pets have identified 6 guiding behaviours ..the way our Leaders Behave. We; 1. Set clear expectations, 2. Set objectives that are aligned with company goals. 3. Create winning teams. 4. Are Firm & Fair. 5. Encourage Innovation. 6. Confront the brutal facts. Reflect back on Modules 1 and 2the Leadership module and consider what else you will implement to deliver these 6 Leadership behaviours .

And finally all of this is translated into tangible goals. Vets4Pets have seven business goals reaching out to the year 2020 Our Goals 1. We will have more than 300 Vets4Pets sites operating by 2020. 2. We will have 1 million active clients by 2020. 3. We will grow our existing like for like business by more than 15% each year. 4. The majority of our leaders will be developed from within. 5. We will have a world class Net Promoter Score (NPS over 50%) by 2015. 6. We will appear in the Times 100 Top Employer list (or equivalent) by 2018. 7. We will hit our profit targets every year.

AYour Practice Every practice is part of Vets4Pets and is responsible for delivering the Mission, Vision, Values and Goals of the company. And its equally important for each practice to have a clearly defined vision and short, medium and long term goals that will set them apart from their competitors and that are relevant for them, their local clients and their pets. Strategic Business Vision Start by designing a Strategic Business Vision for your practice or for your department.. Depending on the maturity of your business make this a 3 year, a 5 year or in line with the Vets4Pets timescales of 2020. Question What is unique about your Vets4Pets Practice or your support function? What values are true priorities for the next year? What would make you professionally commit your mind and heart to this vision over the next 5 years? What do pets and pet owners need that your practice can and should provide? As a support function, how can you assist the practices to provide this ? Strategic Vision Actions needed to achieve your vision

What do you want your practice/your support function to accomplish so that you will be committed, aligned and proud of your association with it?

Once you have defined your vision you can set yourself some goals aligned to achieving the vision. Yale University took a poll of each student as they graduated from the class of 1953 and asked who had identified and written down their personal life goals. Of the entire class only 3% had undertaken to complete this important task. Twenty years later, the 3% had earned 50% of the entire income of all of the rest of the class combined. And if this doesnt convince you here is a biological case for writing down your personal and practice goals . Your Reticular Activating System (RAS) in your eyes has four sections, two mediate sensations that give pleasure and enable learning and memory. This constantly picks up signals from you on what you are focussing on and stores them in your unconscious mind. When your RAS continuously gets sight of your goals it places them in your unconscious mind, which in turn finds the things that relate to them and helps you to achieve them. To improve the process make the goals your RAS detects more exciting and memorable. Design your own Treasure Map with pictures, words and phrases that reflect your goals. The more visually exciting and different, the more your unconscious mind will have to work on. Why not create a map as a team for your practice or department and have additional maps for individual goals. This will make a great focal point for your clients too. Keep it updated and fresh and consider laminating it. This is a fantastic team building exercise and also gives you a focus as a team as you move forward. If issues arise, you can refer back to what you are trying to achieve and pull the team back on track.

Getting your team engaged with the values. Vets4pets Core Values 1. Pets come first. 2. We treat each other with respect. 3. Build winning relationships 4. We do what we say 5. Getting better day by day 6. Create fun & recognise success

This can be achieved using a number of different approaches. Below are a few to get you going: 1. Set the team the task of defining how they will behave to each other and to their clients to deliver the 6 Vets4Pets values 2. Make up a song or poem about delivering the values 3. Ask your clients to rate you against the values and make suggestions on how you can improve verbally or as a Client Satisfaction Fform 4. Ask each team member to write down ways they will behave in their specific role e.g. Practice Nurse, Receptionist etc., for each value, or in specific duties e.g. booking people in, taking payments, vaccination reminders etc. 5. At end of each day recognise examples of individual and team successes and ways to make it even better 6. Dedicate a notice board for your values with fun ways to identify appropriate behaviours and recognise success 7. Review your business processes against the values do they help or hinder change them to fit 8. Stand in the shoes of different clients and measure your service from start to finish against your values do the same for your team members 9. Design a recruitment campaign with your values at the centre 10. Create a story with contributions from the team that encapsulates the values Chris-could you give an example of a story because these can be really powerfulHere is an example of a well known story. See how it touches our emotions and helps us to understand and to recall.


the blind man and the advertising story

An old blind man was sitting on a busy street corner in the rush-hour begging for money. On a cardboard sign, next to an empty tin cup, he had written: 'Blind - Please help'. No-one was giving him any money. A young advertising writer walked past and saw the blind man with his sign and empty cup, and also saw the many people passing by completely unmoved, let alone stopping to give money. The advertising writer took a thick marker-pen from her pocket, turned the cardboard sheet back-to-front, and re-wrote the sign, then went on her way. Immediately, people began putting money into the tin cup. After a while, when the cup was overflowing, the blind man asked a stranger to tell him what the sign now said. "It says," said the stranger, " 'It's a beautiful day. You can see it. I cannot.' "
Formatted: Indent: Left: 0", First line: 0"

What do you take from this story? Share it with your colleagues and see how rich a story can be.

There are also Margaret Parkins stories which could be referenced


A simple business plan- link from Strategic Business Vision and goals to develop a plan Does Vet4pets have one of these? The info that a partner will get is what I sent through to you. They dont get involved in setting the business plan-re. my email Welcome to the second objective for your Planning for Growth Module Objective Use innovative approaches to grow and manage the business, thereby maximising results 1. An essential tool for every business a Business Plan 2. Tips and tools for Project Management A Business Plan is an essential tool for all businesses. Every new practice has a business plan which is developed by the business analysis team. The plan will ensure the business knows where it is going, how it will get there and if it will make sufficient money to survive and grow. A business plan is equally useful throughout the life of a business as it is at its inception. Download the Business Link template now. Read through the document and allocate time in the next couple of weeks to complete the plan. There may be elements that you already do, like legal requirements. If so skip these aspects. Allocate a date in your diary every month to review your plan and identify opportunities to grow your business. A Business Plan needs to be more than a plan, it needs to be actioned. It is often useful to break this down into everyday activities and projects. This is the subject of the next session. Introduce the concept of a business plan and the need to implement the plan often involving projects


Managing a Project Dissertation Project

As part of your role as Practice owner or Manager you will find yourself implementing and managing projects. Whether these are large or small they can be tricky things to keep control of. Project Management is a highly skilled role and managing projects can be a daunting prospect for the un-initiated. 1. Project management has a definite beginning and end. It is not a continuous process. 2. Project management uses various tools to measure accomplishments and track project tasks, including Work Breakdown Structures, Gantt and PERT charts. 3. Projects frequently need resources on an ad-hoc basis. 4. Project management reduces risk and increases A project is a set of activities to the chance of success.
create something that is outside

Projects may mean different things to different people, but all involve bringing a number of strands together to produce a successful outcome in a given time and within a given budget.

of your day-to-day operations. A

project creates a unique

How do you get started? What approach and strategies do you need to consider? How do you ensure your project meets your stakeholders needs? If you are undertaking a new project do you have a framework in place to begin to scope what you will need to focus on to achieve a successful outcome? This module will help you to keep all your plates spinning. Module Content 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Defining your project Plan it Identify who has an interest and the power to help or hinder your Stakeholders Your project team Plan Do - Review

1/ DEFINING YOUR PROJECT Before you begin your project you need to gather some key information, a project summary document. This will serve as a useful checklist to ensure you have considered all the key elements required for your project plan, implementation and success.

Project Summary document Instructions for completion NEED TO AGREE ON A PROJECT??

Have asked the Board for suggested business project titles 1. Insert the name of your project 2. Terms of Reference- write a brief statement outlining the aim/scope /purpose of the project 3. In each of the 4 boxes summarise using bullet points key factors as follows: Current situation/issues what has led to the project being initiated? Stakeholders identify the key people both internal and external who will need to be involved/consulted Deliverables - detail the top level activities that will be evident and implemented once the project is completed Success Criteria what are the expectations of the stakeholders and how will you and they know that you are meeting their expectations 4. Sign off and date once agreed with your Project Sponsor (If applicable e.g. initiated by your Regional Manager) Project Name : Terms of Reference/Scope/Purpose: ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ CURRENT SITUATION/ISSUES STAKEHOLDERS

KEY DELIVERABLES (incl budget)



Agreed & signed by Project Sponsor:



I think we should make this module, module 3 as they can apply the project planning info to their dissertation and then continue to build on this as they move through the units. Hi Ruth yes agreed it might be useful to see what the Board comes back with and then offer it as a smorgasbord? Any news?


2/ PLAN IT The boxes below are out of line on my system. They are over some of the text. We will need to check that when they access it , it is in the right format. Project Lifecycle A project goes through six phases during its life. Put the following stages in the right order and match the activity that aligns to each Defining the goals, objectives and critical success factors for the project
Project Execution Project Monitoring

Detailed plans of how the work will be carried out including time, cost and resource estimate
Project Initiation

Doing the work to deliver the product, service or desired outcome

Project Definition

Project Closure

Ensuring that a project stays on track and taking corrective action to ensure it does
Project Planning

Everything that is needed to set-up the project before work can

start Formal acceptance of the deliverables and disbanding of all the elements that were required to run the project Project Stage Activity 1 2 3 4 5



Planning the key steps

1. Confirm the scope of the project Ask yourself: Who does your solution need to perform for? What results and benefits should the solution produce? What cost and penalties do you want to avoid? What limitations or restrictions apply? Have I got the resources? 2. Define your objectives Define your objectives and success measures. What outcomes will you achieve? Ensure they are SMART Link to the module for a reminder on SMART or duplicate here If we move this module to be no. 3 they will not have come across SMART. In module 2 they will have done setting business objectives and how individual objectives should be linked to this but SMArt is not mentioned. You can then go into more detail in Team Development module. Ruth think we said the other day that we could have SMART as a resource that could then be downloaded when needed wherever they are. I have done a PDF which I will attach 3. Breakdown the work All projects can be split into a number of smaller tasks that when completed will give a successful project outcome To do this you must identify and document: all the different streams of work and put them into order all the tasks to be done and when they must be completed in relation to other tasks the interdependencies -a task that relies on the outcome or completion of another task either first or is concurrent 4. Identify the milestones These are the significant outputs that need to be checked and measured throughout and documented at the start and spread over the lifecycle of the project They can include: Fixed points and critical dates Phase, task or stage ends Major deliverables

Payment Review dates with Project sponsor and key stakeholders Project meetings 5. Identify resources Check you have identified and built into the plan the range of physical, technological, financial and human resources the project requires to achieve the deliverables. Have all the Ms been considered? M ethods, M anpower, M achinery, M aterials, M oney 6. Compliance Ensure your plan complies with the law, company policies, safety, quality, environment issues etc. 7. Risk Management Look at your plan and identify anything that could be considered a risk, including People, Vets4Pets, Finance, time, interruption, change etc. 8. Communication Define the what, why, how, when and with whom you need to engage to ensure updates, issues resolved, new ideas and feedback is maintained throughout to keep the project on track


Project Planning Tools Here are a few popular examples of some of the commonly used tools in project planning and project management. Brainstorming Gantt Charts Critical Path Analysis Brainstorming Brainstorming is usually the first crucial creative stage of the project management and project planning process. Brainstorming creates new ideas, solves problems, motivates and develops teams. Unlike most project management skills and methods, the first stage of the brainstorming process is ideally a free-thinking and random technique. During brainstorming sessions there should be no criticism of ideas. You are trying to open possibilities and break down wrong assumptions about the limits of the problem. Judgments and analysis at this stage will stunt idea generation. Ideas should only be evaluated once the brainstorming session has finished - you can then explore solutions further using conventional approaches. Individual Brainstorming When you brainstorm on your own you will tend to produce a wider range of ideas than with group brainstorming - you do not have to worry about other people's egos or opinions, and can therefore be more freely creative. You may not, however, develop ideas as effectively as you do not have the experience of a group to help you. Group Brainstorming Group brainstorming can be very effective as it uses the experience and creativity of all members. When individual members reach their limit on an idea, another member's creativity and experience can take the idea to the next stage. Therefore, group brainstorming tends to develop ideas in more depth than individual brainstorming.


Brainstorming rules. Ideally you need a flip-chart or alternative for group brainstorming or post-it notes on a blank wall work well. Its not easy to facilitate as you need to manage the process, people's involvement and sensitivities and the follow up actions. Define the problem you want solved clearly, and lay out any criteria to be met. Agree a time limit and keep the session focused on the problem Ensure that no one criticises or evaluates ideas during the session. Get everyone to contribute and develop ideas, including the quietest members Let people have fun brainstorming. Encourage as many ideas as possible, from solidly practical ones to wildly impractical ones. Ensure that no train of thought is followed for too long Encourage people to develop other people's ideas, or to use other ideas to create new ones Categorise/condense /combine/refine Prioritise options/rank list as appropriate Agree action and timescale Control and monitor follow up Manage the brainstorming activity Your role as facilitator is to encourage everyone to participate, to dismiss nothing, and to prevent others from pouring scorn on the wilder suggestions (some of the best ideas are initially the daftest ones). During the random collection of ideas record every suggestion on the flip-chart around the walls. At the end of the time limit or when ideas have been exhausted, use different coloured pens to categorise, group, connect and link the random ideas. Condense and refine the ideas by making new headings or lists. Combine ideas within other themes to avoid dismissing or rejecting contributions. With the group, assess, evaluate and analyse the effects and validity of the ideas and develop and prioritise into a more finished list or set of actions or options. After the session circulate notes, monitor and give feedback. Develop a clear and positive outcome, so that people feel their effort and contribution was worthwhile. When


people see that their efforts have resulted in action and change, they will be motivated and keen to help again.

2/ Gantt Charts A Gantt chart allows you to assess how long a project should take. It lays out the order in which tasks need to be carried out and helps manage the dependencies between tasks. It assists you in the planning stage and its a useful way to present your proposals to others How to use tool: Gantt Charts are useful tools for analysing and planning more complex projects. They: Help plan out the tasks that need to be completed Give a basis for scheduling when these tasks will be carried out Help to plan the allocation of resources needed to complete the project, and Help work out the critical path for a project completion by a particular date. Sequential and parallel activities: An essential concept behind project planning (and Critical Path Analysis) is that some activities are dependent on other activities being completed first. It is not a good idea to start building a bridge before you have designed it! Dependent activities need to be completed in a sequence, with each stage being moreor-less completed before the next activity can begin. We can call dependent activities 'sequential'. Activities that are not dependent on completion of any other tasks may be done at any time before or after a particular stage is reached. These are known as parallel tasks. Example - To draw up a Gantt chart, follow these steps:

1. List all activities in the plan For each task, show the earliest start date, estimated length of time it will take, and whether it is parallel or sequential. If tasks are sequential, show which stages they depend on. You will end up with a task list like the one below: Task 1. High level Possible start week 1 Length 5 days Type sequential

Dependent on...

analysis 2. Selection of hardware platform 3. Installation and commissioning of hardware 4. Detailed analysis of core modules week 1 week 3 1 day 2 weeks sequential parallel 1 2

week 1

2 weeks


2. Head up with the days or weeks through to task completion 3. Plot the tasks Next draw up a rough draft of the Gantt Chart. Plot each task, showing it starting on the earliest possible date. Draw it as a bar, with the length of the bar being the length of the task. Above the task bars, mark the time taken to complete them. Do not worry about task scheduling yet. All you are doing is setting up the first draft of the analysis. 4. This will produce an untidy diagram like the one below:

5. Schedule Activities Now take the draft Gantt Chart, and use it to schedule actions. Schedule them in such a way that sequential actions are carried out in the required sequence. Ensure that dependent activities do not start until the activities they depend on have been completed. Where possible, schedule parallel tasks so that they do not interfere with sequential actions on the critical path. While scheduling, ensure that you make best use of the resources you have available, and do not over-commit resource. 6. Presenting the Analysis


The final stage in this process is to prepare a final version of the Gantt Chart. This should combine the draft analysis (see above) with your scheduling and analysis of resources. This chart will show when you anticipate that jobs should start and finish. A redrawn and scheduled version of the example project is shown below:

By drawing this example Gantt Chart, you can see that: If all goes well, the project can be completed in 10 weeks If you want to complete the task as rapidly as possible, you can identify what additional resources you may need. While this section describes how to develop a Gantt Chart, there are a number of software packages available that make it easier to draw up Gantt Charts and make modifications easier as well as providing facilities for monitoring progress against plans. Summary: Gantt charts are useful tools for planning and scheduling projects. They allow you to assess how long a project should take, determine the resources needed, and lay out the order in which tasks need to be carried out. They are useful in managing the dependencies between tasks. When a project is under way, Gantt charts are useful for monitoring its progress. You can immediately see what should have been achieved at a point in time, and can therefore take remedial action to bring the project back on course. 3/ Critical Path Analysis


Critical Path Analysis is a very logical and effective method for planning and managing complex projects. It is normally shown as a flow diagram, whose format is linear (organised in a line), and specifically a time-line. They are very good for showing interdependent factors whose timings overlap or coincide. They also enable a plan to be scheduled according to a timescale. Critical Path Analysis flow diagrams also enable costings and budgeting, although not quite as easily as Gantt charts. CPA flow diagrams are very good for showing interdependent factors whose timings overlap or coincide. They also enable a plan to be scheduled according to a timescale. How to use tool: As an example, the project is a simple one - making a fried breakfast. First note down all the issues (resources and activities in a rough order): Assemble crockery and utensils Assemble ingredients Prepare equipment Make toast Fry sausages and eggs Grill bacon and tomatoes Lay table Warm plates Serve.

Note that some of these activities must happen in parallel - and crucially they are interdependent. If you tried to make a fried breakfast by doing one task at a time, and one after the other, things would go wrong. Certain tasks must be started before others, and must be completed in order for others to begin. The plates need to be warming while other activities are going on. The toast needs to be toasting while the sausages are frying, and at the same time the bacon and sausages are under the grill. The eggs need to be fried last. A Critical Path Analysis is a diagrammatical representation of what needs to be done and when. Timescales and costs can be applied to each activity and resource. Here's the Critical Path Analysis for making a fried breakfast:


This example shows just a few activities over a few minutes. Normal business projects would see the analysis extending several times wider than this example, and the time line would be based on weeks or months. It is possible to use MS Excel or a similar spread sheet to create a Critical Path Analysis, which allows financial totals and time totals to be planned and tracked. Various specialised project management software enable the same thing. Beware however of spending weeks on the intricacies of computer modelling, when in the early stages especially, a carefully hand drawn diagram - which requires no computer training at all - can put 90% of the thinking and structure in place.


3/ YOUR STAKEHOLDERS Stakeholder Management is an important discipline that successful people use to win support from others. It helps to ensure them that their projects succeed where others fail. Stakeholder Analysis is the technique used to identify the key people who have to be won over. You then use Stakeholder Planning to build the support that helps you succeed. The benefits of using a stakeholder-based approach are that: You can use the opinions of the most powerful stakeholders to shape your projects at an early stage. Not only does this make it more likely that they will support you, their input will usually improve the quality of your project. Gaining support from powerful stakeholders can help you to win more resources, making it more likely that your projects will be successful. By communicating with stakeholders early and frequently, you can ensure that they fully understand what you are doing, and that they understand the benefits of your project. This means they can support you actively when necessary. You can anticipate what people's reaction to your project may be, and build into your plan the actions that will win people's support.

The steps of Stakeholder Analysis are explained below: Identify Your Stakeholders: The first step in your stakeholder analysis is to brainstorm who your stakeholders are. As part of this, think of all the people who are affected by your work, who have influence or power over it, or have an interest in its successful or unsuccessful conclusion. Analyse and Prioritise Your Stakeholders You may now have a long list of people and organisations that are affected by your project. Some of these may have the power either to block your efforts, or help to advance them and some may be interested in what you are doing, while others may not care.


Map out your stakeholders using the Power/Interest Grid and classify them by their power over your work and by their interest in your work. For example, a boss is likely to have high power and influence over your projects and high interest. Your work colleague may have high interest, but unlikely to have power over it.

Understand your key stakeholders You need to know more about your key stakeholders. You need to know how they are likely to feel about, and react to, your project. You also need to know how best to engage them in your project, and how best to communicate with them Stakeholder Communication Plan The next stage is to plan your communication so that you can win them around to support your projects. Stakeholder planning is the process by which you do this. Implement the plan Once you have prepared your Stakeholder Plan, all you need to do is to implement it. As with all plans, it will be easier to implement if you break it down into a series of small, achievable steps and action these one-by-one.

4/ YOUR PROJECT TEAM Depending on the project type, select an appropriate team. Refer to their learning styles They talk about learning styles but dont complete the questionnaire in module 2

I have found some sites where you can take similar questionnaires for free. Ruth I wouldnt use Learning Styles here. Id be more inclined to link it to the team module and the Belbin variation. Can we sugest they dip into a specific page of the module and then direct them to the website. Take care when picking your team. Selecting and gaining commitment is crucial to the quality of the project, and the ease with which you are able to manage it. Identifying or appointing one or two people even during the terms of reference stage is possible.


Appointing the team early will maximise buy-in, ownership, and accountability and you will benefit from their input at an early stage. Project management with tight resources can be a lonely business - get some help from good people you can trust, whatever the budget. Some of the most valuable team members are informal advisors, mentors, helpers, who want nothing other than to be involved and a few words of thanks. When forming teams, the Project Manager should consider the team's purpose, member participation and placement, as well as team processes and plans. Purpose Will the team understand why it exists, what it is to do and how it will know they are successful? Creating a powerful vision that provides challenge with clear business outcomes will motivate/influence people to provide support and dedicate time to the project. Participation - Who would be the best people to include on the team and how large should the team be in order to accomplish its purpose? Get people on board with the skills, knowledge and passion for making a difference, allow them to get involved in things they are good at when agreeing roles and responsibilities. Look for a balance between personality types -both task and people focus -so solutions the team design will be more diverse and innovative. Placement - Where will the team members be physically located and how often should the team plan to have meetings? If the team is to be an intact work group, this may make some things simpler. If the team is spread over multiple sites, consider conference calls to minimise travel and costs. Process - How will the team get to where it needs to go in order to accomplish its purpose? Develop and agree ground rules, identify and agree any constraints related to decision-making authority or functional boundaries. Initial team discussions should include meetings management e.g. a framework for meetings, record-keeping, communication, problem solving, and if relevant to team's work include process mapping. Plan - Will the team know what it needs to accomplish and complete the project? Are there SMART goals to focus on achieving the vision and outcomes? Is it clear what success looks like? Is there time scheduled for review, reflection, learning and celebrating achievements?


Communicate, communicate, and communicate!

5/ PLAN DO REVIEW Great planning and implementation are important but never forget to review progress and the project Here are some key points to remember: Check the progress of activities against the plan. Review performance regularly and confirm against the plan. Adjust the plan as necessary depending on performance, changing circumstances, new information but stay within original terms of reference. Identify, agree and delegate new actions as appropriate. Plan team review meetings. Analyse causes and learn from mistakes.


Do Review

Project management almost always involves change management too, within which it's very important to consider the effects of the project on people who have to adapt to the change.


Change Management

The objective for this module is to: Understand how change can effect individuals in different ways and how you manage this effectively as a leader Effective leaders help others to 1. Understanding change understand the necessity of 2. Personal responses to change change and to accept a 3. Changes in your Practice common vision of the desired outcome John Kotter 1/ Understanding change Change can be large or small. It can occur over a number of months or years or happen in a moment. It can affect a few or many. It can impact on our environment, our work, the way we do things, our relationships and many more. One thing is for certain it will have an impact. Charles Darwin wrote: Its not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Business Change Change is any alteration in business processes or behaviours required to deal with internal and external pressures more effectively. External pressures are increasing as a factor of globalised business, quicker and more effective communication/information technology, changing world markets and demographics.

2/ Personal responses to change Firstly lets consider how we respond to change The reaction to change Change means:


which means


learn, which means at first a loss, in whole or part, of what was familiar to what may feel (at first), is an
uncomfortable transition. William Bridges wrote: It isnt the changes that do you in, its the transitions. Change is not the same as transition. Change is situational: the new site, the new boss, the new team roles, the new system, policy etc. Transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation. Change is external, transition is internal Identify a recent change that you have experienced at work. Write down how the change personally affected you. Consider this in a chronological way, starting with your initial reaction to the change. e.g. A new member of the team e.g. A new member of the team I feel a rather sad, as Ill miss the Im not sorry to see Susan go, cant previous person, but I expect this one will say we ever got on. Im quite excited as this will give me an be all right. Im a bit frustrated, she doesnt seem opportunity to train up someone to our to have grasped things very quickly, I way of doing things could do the job quicker Use the following questions to guide you: What was your initial reaction to the change? How did you feel about the change? What were the low points? What were the high points? How did you feel at each stage? How did people around you help or hinder? What was the impact on you outside of work? How did you relieve any stress? How are you feeling about it now? What helped you to cope?


The Transition Curve A model to embed change

The transition curve was originally developed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross to explain the grieving process. The Change Curve has since developed as a model to describe the stages everyone must go through when faced with a change in their lives. From grieving a loved one to changing an IT system, people have to experience the same stages of personal development in order to move on. The model describes nine states of emotion, which can be simplified into three phases of the transition process- Endings, Neutral Zone, and New Beginnings. These three stages are shown in a Transition Curve and whilst this curve is over simplified, it is a useful tool for understanding the sorts of issues people might be facing during a change.


Many different versions of the change curve have been developed since the work of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. All agree that people respond differently to change depending on their experience of it, their levels of optimism, values, beliefs about own and others abilities and so on. It is important as leaders that you can anticipate and plan what to do in the different scenarios that result from change at different stages.

A description of each of the stages from the point of view of someone experiencing the change process:

Source: The gluecurve from the glueless about change game

Disruption - the change, expect an emotional reaction, ranging from avoidance, confusion, apprehension and uncertainty to excitement. Ostrich mentality resist the reality and hope it goes away. Ill be okay It wont affect me Ive heard it before. Head buried - work harder, avoid the issues deny the inevitable! Victim mode position, skills, knowledge, status have gone. Fear and fall into the trap of blaming everyone they the bosses, the economy, friends, family and even self. Angry, undervalued, out of control and not taking responsibility. Washing machine good looking ahead days and bad, everything is in a spin, counterproductive and pointless days. Constant churn, want to fit in but not knowing quite what or how. Explorer starting to go forward, makes more sense, clearer, more controlled and planned. Scared, or is it excitement? Embrace mistakes - expect too much and its back to the washing machine.


Breakthrough the jigsaw puzzle is coming together and the start seems a long way away. Confidence is increasing and you feel more like the old you, but different!

Patterns of Behaviour

Part 1 - Take yourself back 5 or even 10 years What do you see as different?
Where were you? What was your job? Who did you work with? What methods/technology were you using? What motivated you about what you were doing?

So what have been the major changes since then?

1. Enter the changes in the left hand column of the table. Change Initial Reaction Current View


2. What was your initial reaction to the change? Enter a score out of 10. - 1 being a negative reaction to the change and 10 positive. 3. How do you view the change now? Enter a score out of 10. - 1 being a negative reaction to the change and 10 positive.

Part 2 1. What were the 2 most significant changes over that time? 2. How long did it take to realise that the change was past? Enter this in the box provided. Change Transition period

Part 3 What helped you move forward?

What for you was a barrier to moving forward?

Change 1

Change 2


3/ Change in your Practice The ability to manage change is the critical differentiator between successful and poor performance in todays world. Successful implementation of change management tools and completing the first parts of this module are critical in preparing you to lead change in your practice. Some of the changes you implement will be because you want to and others because you have little or no choice. Make a mental note now of how different this feels. You might be wondering what change it is that you have no choice in. After all this is your business. We are going to review eight key factors that affect change in business in a change wheel with equal emphasis to each factor. The eight factors are: Social/Environmental. Political. Competitors. Customers. Stakeholders. Economics. Demographics/Workforce. Technology



Social/ Environmental

Demographics/ Workforce




Owners/ Stakeholders


Ideally click on each section to reveal the information below: A. Social/Environmental It is no longer acceptable to ignore issues of pollution, long-term health and societys welfare. Similarly, businesses can no longer operate in a clinical environment outside of the communities they interface with. What effects do the following factors have on your Practice or Department? High areas of truancy or long term unemployment? Your Practice as part of the community? Environmental pressures?

B. Political - changes in political direction at both a local, national and European level can have dramatic effects. Some political decisions have obvious economic issues, others have indirect effects (e.g. local policy and its effects on the public).


What effects do the following factors have on your Practice? What is the local political direction? How might it affect you in the short, medium and long term? What political changes are likely to occur in the near future? C. Competitors Who are our competitors? might not be as easy to answer as we might think. Having identified our competitors, the key challenge becomes one of finding out what they are focusing on and why. What effects do the following factors have on your Practice? What is the impact on your services? What is their strategy for the next five years? D. Customers/Public businesses are often well equipped to measure the closeness of their current relationships with the customers (e.g. customer service levels, complaints, feedback surveys), but are not always as successful at predicting customer reaction in the medium and long term. What effects do the following factors have on your Practice? Loyalty/retention rate Consumer/buying trends Increased/decreased buying ability? Responsiveness to marketing

E. Owners/Stakeholders perhaps the most relevant aspect of this factor is your relationship with Vets4Pets. It can also be changes of ownership with people you do business with or the impact of other stakeholders. If you are not sure who these may be complete the Stakeholder Mapping Activity in Project Management can this click through? . What effects do the following factors have on your Practice? What do they want from their investment in your business? What is their current involvement profile? Will they become more/less involved? Key business success indicators - will they change?


F. Economics cyclical economic climates and unexpected changes to worldwide trading conditions can make a difference. What effects do the following factors have on your Practice? . UK economy boom or bust? EU/World economic issues Interest rate policy Inflation predictions

G. Demographics/Workforce new technologies combined with changing population and age patterns have created a complex scenario for human resource planning. What effects do the following factors have on your Practice? . Ageing customer profile? Ageing workforce profile? More retired people in the population Movement of people out of cities and towns Travel to work distances

H. Technology securing the winning edge is a key rationale underpinning most significant technological changes. Predicting and overcoming technological limits to growth is a key to enhancing competitiveness. What effects do the following factors have on your business? New information technologies Internet Customer technology Advances in research The key aspects of the Change Wheel are: The eight factors cannot be viewed or managed in isolation they have a tendency to impinge on each other. Prioritise the factors so that the change agenda remains relevant. The priority of factors may alter on a regular basis, so the wheel needs to be reviewed continually.


Make the Change Happen


Even if youre on the right track youll get run over if you just sit there.

As explored in the transition curve change brings with it a degree of discomfort and fear. It is not a natural state for people and even those that appear to crave newness an difference you will not be surprised to know that they also have a lot of order and sameness too. I think it would be useful to acknowledge that change can make us feel uncomfortable and is not a natural state for us. Why not try this simple exercise to experience a little change for yourself. Individual exercise to show this: When you finish work today, you must drive home a different way. When you get up tomorrow, you must shower yourself in a different order and again drive to work an unfamiliar route. When you get to work, ask yourself how you a re feeling? Most people feel cross, frustrated, that time has been wasted because you had to wash yourself twice because it didnt feel right and the unfamiliar drive made you feel crossThis is how your people feel when faced with change. You arer allowed to feel cross and need more reassurance. You might like to try this activity with your team at your next meeting. Remember to fully debrief the activity. A group exercise Ask all your team to stand up in pairs. Stand back to back and change 3 things about your appearance. Eg remove glasses, role up sleeves, remove item of clothing or jewellery. Face each other and see if your partner can identify the changes. Then repeat the exercise so that you have now changes 6 things about your appearance. Discuss how you felt. Ask everyone to sit down and immediately they will want to change back to how they initially appeared. Explain that this is because we like to revert back to familiar ground and this is what you will naturally do when faced with change. If you insisted that they cannot change back, how would they feel? Be aware of how people feel when faced with new situations. It takes 30 days of a new behaviour before it starts to become a new habit. Anyone can be a change leader; it has nothing to do with position or status. The key to leading change is in your behaviour. 1. Model the Change

2. 3. 4. 5.

Communicate the Change Involve others in the Change Help others break from the past Create a supportive learning environment

(Libove & Russo)

1/ Modelling the Change Your team will look to you for positive signs of change. You must make the first moves. A common pitfall is to raise expectations and then run out of steam. Your actions must be consistent, overcome setbacks and stand the test of time. If you always do what youve always done then youll always get what youve always got! What will you do now to model the change? 1.




2/ Communicating about the Change Frequent and open communication is essential to leading change. Start immediately if you wait for something certain to communicate you will be too late. Share the idea, the journey, the successes and hiccups along the way! If you have nothing to say someone will fill in the gap so find something! Repetition is positive! You wont be believed or understood the first time so persevere.

What will you do now to communicate the change? 4.



3/ Involving Others in the Change Change is something that everyone helps to bring about. Draw people into the planning and implementation process. Actively elicit ideas and listen to the answers. When people are involved they have a natural sense of ownership. Recognise the value of their involvement you cant do it on your own! What will you do now to involve others in the change?





4/ Helping Others Break from the Past Breaking old habits can be very tough! Try folding your arms the other way! It may be that we are comfortable with the status quo, or feel attached to the old ways/job etc. or feel its too hard or feel too threatened by the unknown. You have to understand and work with all these reasons and fears. People who feel dissatisfied with the status quo want to abandon it for a better future. Its often difficult to imagine how things could be done differently. This is often broken by a personal break through of an idea or result.

What will you do now to help others break from the past?




5/ Creating a Supportive Learning Environment Change involves trial and error, false starts, blind curves and an environment where mistakes occur as a learning experience. This is a very necessary part of change.


In the status quo people are confident and know what they are doing. In a changing environment they do not this includes you!. This leads to feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment and discomfort. New skills and behaviours need to be learned in a supportive environment.

What will you do now to create a supportive learning environment?




A diagnostic to measure your own style for the above is available by Laurie Libove and Eileen Russo

I have just looked up the change reaction online tool and it is $16 per person so I will look at it in more detail.


Overcoming barriers to change Despite the best planning, modelling, communication and involvement it seems we are still prone to resist change. 1. You have to end before you begin. Frequently people talk about what's about to begin and there is no mention of what has to end. No one can develop a new identity or a new purpose until he or she has let go of the old one. It is best to deal with endings realistically and help people gain closure on the past. They will move on more readily and take advantage of what the future has to offer if you do.

2. Between the ending and the new beginning, there is an hiatus. In between letting go of the old way and taking hold of the new, there is a difficult journey through the wilderness or 'a time in between the trapezes'. This is a dangerous time when systems don't work well and people lose heart easily. People need to know that it is usual to go through a chaotic interim between letting go and taking hold again and that it's normal to be discouraged and confused by the experience. Build in temporary sources of support and ways that people can feel in control by being involved in decisions that affect them.

3. The hiatus can be a creative time. The same forces that make the in-between time difficult, mean that the normal resistances to new ideas and new behaviours don't work well either. For that reason, the interim is a potentially creative time, when new things can be introduced more quickly and easily than usual. This can be a time to step back and take stock, to try new things and a time to view every problem as an opportunity to abandon outmoded ways and create more adaptive and effective ones.

4. Transition is developmental Assist people to see that the old way was fine for its' time, but a new chapter is needed for a new day. It is also very important for managers to publicly identify, protect and carry forward the parts of the past that are valuable and still viable.


5. Transition is also the source of renewal The leap from one stage of development to another, like comparable leaps in nature, releases energy. Renewal for individuals or groups comes from going through transition successfully, not in time away from the situation. Emphasise the need to re-prioritise as a way of unloading irrelevant policies and procedures. Discontinuing the old ways can be a release, especially if it is paired with an effort to clarify and celebrate the new mission, strategies and the new identity that the organization is growing into.

6. People go through transition at different speeds and in different ways. The leaders who designed the change are often far out ahead. They had a head start; they feel more in control of their fate and probably aren't as personally affected as many of the rank and file. Leaders understand these things and communicate in terms that make sense from where people presently are, not just where the leaders are.

7. Most organisations are running a transition deficit. Many organisations don't give people a chance to complete the transition cycle. They think that they are saving time by hurrying people, but actually all they are doing is leaving people with still more unfinished business to carry along with them. Sooner or later the load will get too heavy, and some apparently small change will send the whole system into transition bankruptcy. To keep that from happening, slow down. Listen more and talk less. Investigate what old hurts and resentments may be getting in the way of people dealing directly with this transition.


8. The Timings of New Beginnings Beginnings cannot be made to happen by a word or act. They happen when the timing of the transition process allows them to happen, just as flowers and fruit appear on a schedule that is natural and not subject to anyone's will. Beginnings can be encouraged, supported and reinforced. You cannot turn the key or flip the switch, but you can cultivate the ground and provide the nourishment. What you can do falls under four headings: You can explain the basic purpose behind the outcome you seek. People have to understand the logic of it before they turn their minds to work on it. You can put a picture of how the outcome will look and feel. People need to experience it imaginatively before they can give their hearts to it. You can lay out a step-by-step plan for phasing in the outcome. People need a clear idea of how they can get where they need to go. You can give each person a part to play in both the plan and the outcome itself. People need a tangible way to contribute and participate.
References and Reading Bridges, William (1998) Leading Organizational Transitions. Available online (URL: Jeffreys, J. S. (1995) Coping with Workplace Change: Dealing with Loss and Grief

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How much would this cost?


Disruption Action Points Discussion Points Team Values What team values should you have, that remain constant regardless of any changes you experience? How can you agree these values and gain optimum commitment from team members? Communicating a change at the outset What are the ideal methods of communication to your team that are likely to get positive commitment? What could you do differently?

Notes and Actions

Ostrich Mentality Action Points Notes and Actions Discussion Points Responding early to signs of resistance What can you do in your team to help individuals to move through this period of inertia? Role-modelling the right behaviours Based on a current or recent change initiative, what behaviours are critical for you to role-model as a team leader? Which behaviours will guarantee mutiny, apathy and mistrust?


Victim mode Action Points

Discussion Points Encouraging team members to take ownership What specific responsibilities during a change process (current, recent or future) can you get your team involved in? Behaving like a bit of a victim yourself If you find your own behaviour is starting to affect others in the team negatively, what can you do? Notes and Actions

Washing Machine Action Points

Discussion Points The risk of not letting go What evidence is there of not letting go of the past in your team and what impact does this have on performance/team motivation? Notes and Actions

Motivating the team What can you do to motivate your team and the individuals in the team to keep the momentum going at this stage?

Explorer Action Points

Discussion Points Developing supportive and Notes and Actions


trusting relationships during change What can you do personally to develop stronger relationships with peers and team members?

Conflicting messages What typically are the conflicting messages that are communicated during change and what is their impact on you and the team?

Breakthrough Action Points

Discussion Points Maintaining momentum without undue pressure What can you do that will keep the momentum going without exerting too much pressure on individuals in the team? Notes and Actions

Introducing new team members What can you do to ensure new team members fully adopt the prescribed values and behaviours?


Effective Decisions
The objective for this module is to: Identify how you make decisions and how you can be a more effective decision maker 1. Tools for creative thinking 2. Looking at problems 3. Daring to decide

1/ Tools for creative thinking

Leaders know that creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of their businesses. New ideas lead to products and services that provide distinct competitive advantage. With many routine tasks becoming more automated and the competitive environment becoming more dynamic, creative problem solving and innovation plays an increasingly important role in determining success. There are many different definitions of creative and innovation, this is just one.. Creativity is the process of generating new and useful ideas. Innovation is taking a new idea and putting it to use. The critical role of the leader is to build the environment where creativity and innovation flourish, and where peoples innate resistance to the changes that requires, is successfully overcome. What does Creative Leadership mean to you? Write your own definition (two or three sentences) which takes account of the broad range of qualities, skills and behaviours that excellent creative leaders need to demonstrate to be successful.

List the typical personality traits which creative leaders need to exhibit. Think about how they interact with other people, how they influence others, how they communicate and how they get people to follow them. Can we share these on line? Yes, via intranet or conference call or skype call Identify the leader that for you most closely matches the description in your previous responses. This might be someone you know, world or famous figures or even fictional. Finally consider your own skill set. What are your current strengths? List them! Can these be captured onto a CPD or profile _______________ _______________ _______________ Theories of Creativity The human brain is divided into 2 halves or hemispheres. Each has its own way of thinking and its own memories. Most people have a dominant side that they use and have developed more. Click to test your dominant side
Yy1/ You have 15 seconds to memorise the following list in order:

_______________ _______________ _______________

_______________ _______________ _______________

Your Answers and a score. Did you use your right brain to uncover a familiar set of letters or dive into left brain repetition? JFK MBE IOC WWF HMRC VAT BBC

The diagram above has gone off the bottom of my page



The BBC site I referenced in the learning styles section has an online test for left brain or right brain thinking How about this one:

If you havent seen this one before and you spotted the repetition of the word THE that was your left brain at work. LEFT BRAIN likes .. RIGHT BRAIN likes . Symbols and words Sensory images Logical thinking Dreaming Judgement Feeling Speaking Intuition Mathematical reasoning Visualisation And looks for disaster! And looks for the bright spots!

Creative thinking requires co-ordinating and using both sides of the brain. The flashes of inspiration will come from right brain thinking while the analysis of those flashes will come from left brain thinking. Research into the thought processes of highly creative people shows that they rely heavily on the intuitive side of their brain. For example: Einstein relied heavily on visual thinking before he transformed his thoughts into precise equations. There is a Zen story about Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era who was introduced to a university professor. The professor wanted to enquire about Zen. Nanin served his guest tea. He poured tea into the cup until it was full and then continued pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup for a while until he could no longer restrain himself. The cup is full. No more will go in! Like this cup, Nan-in replied, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup? (Adapted from Gary Zukav, The Dancing Wu Li Masters) Perhaps your left brain is too full at the moment with the obvious, logical, and rational. It may need to be emptied slightly so that creativity can get in!
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Creativity Climate Just as vegetables will thrive and flourish if theyre provided with ideal growing conditions, creativity will prosper in the right climate. What is that climate? One in which: People are encouraged to take risks thoughtfully! Colleagues at all levels are supportive of creativity Colleagues - at all levels - respond positively to new ideas Creativity is rewarded Resources, both financial and non-financial, are available Different viewpoints are encouraged not just tolerated Time is made for creativity The overwhelming atmosphere is one of fun! How well does your climate score?

Tips for Creative thinking Be curious - Collect other peoples ideas, references and resources Remember your RAS Reticular Activation System can help you with this. Write your goal down, look at it every day and your brain will help you find the answers you just need to quieten the left side and listen to the right! Generate ideas in the practice your own, your teams and your clients. - Ask yourself 3 deep questions every day - Give prizes for ideas - Use brainstorming as described in Project Management - Write down the 26 letters of the alphabet and have an idea or thought about your situation for every letter - Give yourself time to let the ideas wash around your brain Evaluate the ideas Rating Ask Yourself Yes Is the idea No simple?

Checking Questions Does it seem obvious? Is it too clever?


Yes No Yes No Yes No

Is the idea exciting? Is the idea acceptable? Is the idea uncomplicated?

Yes No

Is it timely?

Is it too ingenious? Is it too complicated? Do people say: Why didnt I think of that? Does it explode in peoples minds? Could anyone accept it as being reasonable? Is it direct? Can you write a simple, clear and concise statement of it? Can anyone and everyone understand it? Would it have been better 6 months ago? Is there a point in pursuing it now? Will it be better in 6 months time? Can you afford to wait?

(Adapted from: Creativity for Managers, Alan Barker) Maybe insert the De Bono thinking hats in here and then use problem solving models later


2/ Looking at Problems
There are 2 types of problem: those you acquire and those you create. 1.Acquired problems arise from a tension between what is and what ought to be. This triggers an emotional reaction. It can feel stressful and unpleasant. 2.Created problems arise from a tension between what is and what might be. This triggers a creative reaction. It can feel exciting and energising.

In order to do your best it will feel more acceptable if you can own the problem create that feeling of excitement and energy that arises from a created problem. So, next time you acquire a problem change it into one that is self-imposed!

: A problem is a chance for you to do your best. Duke Ellington

A problem is an opportunity, a positive rather than a negative experience. It gives you a chance to shine! By combining your creative thinking with a problem solving approach, youll be more likely to evolve the best possible solution.

Insert the following Consider the following problems:


The Injured Boy Problem

A father and son are passengers on a train that crashes. The father is only slightly hurt but is pinned in the wreckage. His son is unconscious and is taken to hospital for examination. The doctor, upon seeing the boy, is visibly shaken and says 'I can't examine him or operate. The boy is my son'. Problem What is the relationship between the doctor and the boy?



The Dot Problem

Nine dots are arranged in a square as shown below:

Problem Connect the 9 dots by drawing 4 continuous straight lines without lifting your pencil from the paper.


The Numbers Problem:


Problem With just one stroke, how do you turn the above number into 950?


Six Honest Serving Men Another way of defining your problem involves the Six Honest Serving Men method (Parnes, Noller and Biondi 1977). The six honest men are the words: who, what, where, when, why and how? The technique provides a framework for systematic information gathering. The information gathered often provides new perspectives about the issue being addressed, which in turn can lead to a redefinition of the problem. The technique involves: Step Process 1 State the problem in the format: In what ways might ..? (IWWM) 2 With regard to the problem, generate separate lists of the 6 questions: Who, what, where, when, why and how? Write down the responses 3 Examine the responses and use them to generate re-definitions of the problem 4 Write down any re-definitions identified 5 Select the redefinition that seems to reflect the issue most closely and work on it

Defining Your Problem Example - Six Honest Serving Men Step One The Problem:

There are too many clients disputing their accounts. TO BE COMPLETED WITH VETS4PETS EXAMPLE

Steps Two and Three I will complete Question: Answer: Question: Answer: Question: Answer: Question:

Who are the people concerned? Clients, vets and receptionists Who specifically is disputing their account? Primarily Johns clients and a handful of Sarahs. What is the impact?


Answer: Question: Answer: Question: Answer: Question: Answer: Question: Answer: Question: Answer: Question: Answer: Where are the team affected?

Where is this not a problem?

When are clients dissatisfied?

When does the problem come to light?

Why resolve this problem

How can clients be less resistant to the charges?

As a result of following through steps 1 to 3, the following might be generated. Step Four - Possible re-definitions In what way may we: Change perceptions about costs of treatment? Give all clients consistent information? Ensure team members are not faced with the difficulty of addressing the problem retrospectively?

Step Five Examine the re-definitions generated during step 4 Select the one(s) that most closely reflect the original issue and work on it/them.


Edward de Bonos six Thinking Hats

If this was moved to the creative thinking part above, you could add in some problem solving models eg Ishakawa fish diagram, decision making tree, force field analysis This tool looks at a problem or opportunity from different perspectives. It helps people to understand the full complexity of a possible decision and to see the best course of action. There are 6 Thinking Hats each one a different colour and each one symbolises a different style of thinking. Switching to a different hat means switching to a different way of thinking. Have a look at this typical scenario and try out the 6 hats INSERT VETS4PETS e.g. Hat Colour Function To be curious and resolve any ambiguity. Focus on all the factual information. What you know and what you dont know. To fill in any knowledge gaps and the consequences of not. To use your emotions as your guide. What are your first instincts, feelings, gut reactions, intuition, hunches and emotions. Express what you like, dislike, fear or feel good about without justification just be! To achieve excellence through critical judgement, caution and When we last increased prices, sales dropped Example What do you know What do you not know . What can you find out What information is missing


My gut feeling is that My fear is that . I have a good feeling about




judicious evaluation. Ask why it might not work and what and why things could go wrong. Find the weak spots To show confidence through optimism and a logical positive perspective Seeks out the benefits of any solutions and further opportunities. Originality and creativity. Green Other possibilities and/or alternatives that might work. New concepts, methods, technologies that could be introduced. Free thinking without question or criticism. To control all other hats by thinking about the thinking. Process control identifies and directs the thinking to be used acts as the chairperson and conductor

Have we done all the figures What could go wrong if . And if it didnt work out This might work if we alter the design a little I can see how this could benefit other clients .


Are there any additional alternatives? What else have we missed


Enough of the Black Hat are there any Yellow thoughts about this I think we should start by hearing from the White hat first


3/ Daring to Decide
The ability to make decisions and then put them into action is a crucial competence for any leader. It could even be argued that it is the one competence that makes the difference between being effective and not. We can fudge many of the others things we are expected to do, but if we fail to make decisions and accept responsibility for them we are immediately exposed. Some avoid making decisions until the last possible moment and often end up leaving it too late, creating even more stress for themselves and difficulties for their business. Poor decision-making can be described as decisions that are too slow, too late and badly informed. The reasons for poor decision-making are many and include: The search for perfection the desire to make sure that the decision is perfect can often lead to late and therefore ultimately rushed and ineffective decision making. Paralysis by analysis this is the tendency to want too much information before reaching a decision. Of course, all decisions need to be based on valid and reliable information that enable the decision maker to make informed choices. Some leaders delay a decision because they require too much information but making the lack of information a reason for not making the decision can be fatal. Fear of having to make choices this is the tendency of allowing yourself to get caught by the confusion of having to make choices, often quickly. Some people find this difficult and so take too long over decision-making. They agonise and cause themselves stress and unnecessary worry. This gets worse and they become even more reluctant to make decisions. Lack of confidence some people are afraid of making decisions. The reasons for this can be varied, they may have had a bad experience previously, they may never have been encouraged to make decisions for themselves and so be concerned about making mistakes. The culture may be one in which people are blamed when things go wrong so they are frightened of making decisions. A lack of training like many other things in management, decision-making is a skill, which can be learned and improved with practice.


Procrastination this is the tendency to put off until tomorrow what you should be doing today. It can also be the avoidance of making a decision in the hope that it will go away or that someone else will make it for you.

Making the decision It is important to understand that every decision is unique, it will only be made once. Because the decision is unique the decision maker will want to make sure that it is based on enough information to enable an informed decision to be made. Most decisions, however, are subject to time constraints, they have to be made within a certain time limit and if they are not made in a timely way the decision will be ineffective. The amount of information that any individual needs before making a decision is impossible to estimate but it is clear that if you make decisions without the necessary information they are likely to be as poor as decisions that are made late. The key to decision making is that sooner or later someone has to take the risk that is always associated with decision-making and make the decision. The manager can seek advice, ask other people for their opinions, review past similar decisions, but in the end a decision has to be made and this decision will involve some element of risk.

Steps to good decision making Knowing how to make a decision can save you time and energy. No matter what the decision the following principles apply. State the purpose Ask yourself: What am I really trying to accomplish? Then define the problem in terms of: The outcome you want to achieve The limits of what you can do.

Clarity of purpose and outcomes can help to focus attention and make the identification of the most appropriate decision easier.


Ask yourself the following questions: What are the benefits of making this decision? What are the risks? What will be the best possible outcome from making this decision? What can I do to maximise the possibility of this result? What is the most probable result? (consider both possible positive and negative outcomes). If it proves to be the wrong decision what will be the impact of it, will I be able to retrieve the situation? Should I alter my plans to avoid this possibility?

Key steps to making decisions Once you have considered the answers to the above questions you can use the following six-step process for making a decision. 1. Check the facts you cannot predict the future but you can learn about the present situation. The amount of time and effort you devote to this stage will depend on the urgency with which the decision is required and the impact it will have on the company. Set criteria list the criteria, positive and negative you will use in reaching your decision. Establish priorities list out the priorities that will influence the decision. Select the alternatives select no more than two or three alternative decisions that most closely meet your criteria and priorities and consider any additional merits of each. Make the decision choose and implement the choice you have made. Follow-up learn form both good and poor decisions you make.


3. 4.

5. 6.

This step-by-step approach to making decisions can help you to make decisions more easily than one based on taking a new approach each time you have to make a decision.


Applying the decision making process a practical example GIVING A FORMAL DISCIPLINARY WARNING TO A MEMBER OF YOUR TEAM You are faced with a situation where you have to decide whether or not to give a formal disciplinary warning to a member of your team. This person has been under-performing for some weeks, arriving late for work, taking long breaks and making errors. Two weeks ago you spoke to him informally and told him that if things did not improve you would have to issue a formal warning. He has not improved and you now have to decide if you should carry out your threat. Questions to consider What are the benefits of making this decision? It will impress on him the importance of improving his performance. What are the risks? It will not achieve the change I intend What will be the best possible outcome from making this decision? It will achieve what I want and result in an improvement in performance. What can I do to maximise the possibility of this result? Behave in a firm but supportive manner offering to help if help is required to enable him to change his behaviour after the warning. What is the most probable result? (Consider both possible positive and negative outcomes) Positive it will work. Negative the individual will leave. If it proves to be the wrong decision what will be the impact of it, will I be able to retrieve the situation? It is unlikely to be a decision I would want to retrieve even if he decides to leave. I have to deal with it now as it is having an impact on others.


Should I alter my plans to avoid this possibility? No. Check the facts: This decision has not been made in a hurry, I have considered it for some time and have now decided that a formal warning is my only option. Set criteria: I have considered the potential positive and negative outcomes from this decision and decided that the benefits outweigh the risks. Establish priorities: There are two priorities I have considered in relation to the decision; 1. 2. The impact this behaviour is having on others He has not taken responsibility for change, so I need to take action in a way that means he will accept responsibility, whatever the outcome,

Select alternatives: I have considered alternatives and I am left with the option to act or not to act and I have decided to act. Make the decision: I have arranged to give this person a warning later today Taking responsibility for decisions: No matter how good the decision is, it is worthless unless it is acted upon. It is a fact of life that not everyone will agree with all decisions that are made and this is understandable, people see decisions from different perspectives and decisions can impact on different people in different ways. A successful business, is dependent on taking a consistent approach..


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