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Organization Consulting
A Favored Collection of
Working Papers, Presentations, Notes

Accumulated Over
One Long Consulting Career

# 7 of 7
Transition Workshop Design
Values Exercise

17. Pages

Presentations and Handouts for

Organization Development and Design

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Note… this was my initial memo to the President and CEO of a major, multi-plant manufacturing
division after he contacted me requesting my thoughts on holding a “Transition” (New-Boss
Join-Up) meeting on the occasion of him becoming the new boss of the senior leadership team.
I had reported to this person several years in the past and had held a similar session with him and
the new team he was going to lead. The initial thought was a 2-day off site session. Given some
unexpected external problems, this was later changed to an initial ½ day as can be seen in the
final design documents.

Possible Intentions: For June “Join-Up” Session

To connect each of you with one another, to connect each of you to this team, and to connect this
team to the major issues for SSS.

1. To establish a relaxed, yet structured atmosphere for the development of

relationships and a candid discussion of direction, desires, and norms for
operation and interaction of this team.

2. To develop common understanding of the “hand you have been dealt”

regarding the current business issues and priorities.

3. To establish some common tools and approaches for effective interaction and

Our Planning Process (BBB-Chuck):

 I offer initial thinking and options for your consideration. (this document)
 We contract for what we expect from each other.
 We jointly develop and agree on the intentions, requirements, and basic approach.
 I complete a draft of a proposed “design” and we finalize it together.
 We find some way to get the others on board with the intentions before the session.
 Decide on potential pre-work for others on the state of the business.
 Early on in the session, I contract with the others for my role.

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Chuck’s Current Beliefs/Assumptions For This Work:

For a long time I have been a believer that one of the most critical characteristics for the effective
functioning of any living system; whether an individual, this team, or SSS, is the ability to self-correct,
to learn; so that the system can effectively adapt and respond to a changing environment.
And most recently I am coming to the belief that (assuming a basic level of talent), effectiveness is
all about relationships among individuals. That if high quality relationships are in place.. the rest of the
needed stuff will tend to happen and happen much easier. Without the relationships, much of the rest of
the stuff doesn’t make much of a real difference.
The things we have been reading and hearing about quantum concepts as applied to people and
organizations is the link that connects the above two concepts for me. A system (organization) can’t
adapt and change without the effective interaction of its various parts (people). Creating a “field” of
common purpose, excitement, collective responsibility, and mutual support within your team is my
personal vision for this effort. Understanding, and buying into the concept of wearing two hats; team
member and individual manager, will be key. I have not yet seen it work at DDDD... and I think it
must. I am very excited about your being able to set the standard on this and think you have an excellent
chance to do so with an all-new team. I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of it.
SSSS is a particularly complex system, with diverse stake-holders, in a very dynamic environment.
It will be important to optimize the whole, rather than optimize each sub-part. Therefore, effective
leadership will require a “Leadership Team” structure, in my opinion.
“We will work together as colleagues to collectively lead and manage this company and
individually you will lead and manage your own part of it”
could be an example of the kind of expectation you might choose to put forth.

I believe the following are some key elements to put in place to enable a group to become an effective
Leadership Team::
a) DIRECTION: A common commitment to a clear Purpose and its Supporting Vision, including
some degree of “worthy ideal.” This is to provide alignment of efforts, meaning, and
motivation. It helps with priorities.
b) INFORMATION: Relevant, timely information and effective processes to gather it, to work
with it, and to provide it to others who need it. This includes a clear view of current reality.
c) ROLE CLARITY & RESPONSIBILITY: Defined individual roles as well as defined
responsibilities to the team; including the need to flex and shift with changing conditions.
d) COMMON TOOLS: Some models, terms, and norms to enable effective and trusting
interaction among the team members.
e) INTENTION: An objective of ongoing individual and team learning and development. Also for
each member, a reasonable balance among what is good for themselves, for others, and for the
f) PRACTICE: The time and place to “practice” the desired interactions in the context of working
business issues.

The design for the June team session would begin to address each of the above elements and would build
upon the DDD values, the concepts of LLC, and the Development Conference experiences.

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Desired Outcomes for the June Session:

1. An initial team position and next steps for each of the above 6
2. Individual relationships established
3. A common sense of purpose, excitement, and resolve.

Aspects of the Session Design:

1. Address both the individual and group level of system with clear units of work.
2. Keep my own boundary quite separate.
3. I see the “style” of the session to be similar to the development conferences.. work in pairs, and as a
group, with some teaching points and concepts worked in.
4. A choice to be made.... what balance (in terms of time) do we strike during these two days between
working specific business stuff.. and working the relationship and team stuff.
5. Consider a pre-work assignment, where each member is asked to come to the meeting prepared
to give about a 3-slide overview of the “current state of the business” for a given area.
6. Consider the location. It would be a plus if we could meet at a place where people could stay
overnight so that you could have dinner and drinks together between day 1 and day 2.

The following is some of my more standard boilerplate for the join-up of a new boss with an
existing team. While your situation is a bit different, I think much of it is still relevant to
consider as fitting somewhere in the two days.

The overall intent

Is to offer a planned process for improving the rate and effectiveness of the joining together of the
new person and the existing organization.

The process itself, should enable, accelerate, and enrich the joining together of the organization and
its new leader. This is in contrast to having direction, relationships, and operating norms
discovered only through lengthy observation, inaccurate second-guessing, and trial-and-error.

Addressed would be both the “hard” information needed such as numbers, products, strengths,
weaknesses, plans, etc... and the “soft” information that is desired such as concerns, hopes,
assumptions, mental models, etc. An effective process should address the objectives of all
concerned. It should also further Mission, Vision, and Values and invite the desired soft behaviors
required for transformation.

The Join-Up is about Reducing Uncertainty.....

The way a person first enters the organization is an example of the kind of “critical event” from
which others will seek to derive meaning and probable norms for future behavior. It is a unique
opportunity to deliver any message that the new person believes to be important to deliver. Many
of these early messages will be primarily non-verbal, delivered through observable behaviors. Some

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will be unintended The existing culture can be reinforced or positioned for change depending upon
the view of what is important in this respect. Is the new person’s intention “business as usual, wait
and see, or is it signaling a new era?” Some message will be read into whatever is done or not
done...whether intended or not.

People have a great need to understand the new boss and will tend to draw conclusions from
early interactions about such things as:

a) The degree of formality or informality of the person and the way she wants to operate
as manager - leader.
b) What she/he is able / willing to reveal about themselves.
c) The amount and manner of unsolicited input that is desired, expected, or tolerated.
d) Whether he/she wants to manage with a management team that feels jointly responsible
for the whole enterprise (or as the “hub of a wheel with others on the end of the spokes)
e) The degree she/he desires to “handle things himself” or involves others on individual
f) What is considered important enough that she asks about it early on

The new person can choose to “answer” some of these right off the top through planned early
interactions. Some examples of things you could do:

1. Tell your story.. a brief description of your background, family, interests, and work
experiences... good and bad.
2. Consider completing any of the following statements from any or each of three different
perspectives; As a person, As the leader of this team, As the President and CEO of SSS.
 Some things I want to learn.. (develop skill around)
 Some things I want to experience.. (find out what it is like, or say I have done)
 Some things I want to demonstrate or accomplish (tracks to leave in the sand)
 Some things I bring to this situation as a resource (I feel good about these)
 Some things I would like to avoid or want to do less (I am working on these)
 Some things I have biases and/or initial concerns about (laying it on the table)

3. Come prepared to answer the “Unasked Questions”.. Discuss the “Undiscussable”

What is your preferred way of operating on such issues as:
 being kept informed or surprised
 being interrupted at work or at home
 you interrupting them
 being involved in resolving their conflicts
 how you deal with pressure
 80/20 vs. completed staff work
 showing your dissatisfaction or emotion.. and they, theirs
 having them “available” at all times
 receiving suggestions or feedback

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4. What are your pet peeves, hot buttons ? When they hit one, what is a useful way for them to

5. What should they do if they think you are really wrong or are about to make a mistake?

6. What does support look like for you? How would they know you when you need it?

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Team Join-Up Data Gathering Results…


Note: To gather some valid input as to the participants’ needs and desires, as well as to begin to
involve them in the design of the session, I had a brief phone call with each to introduce myself,
describe what we were planning on doing, and then requested their email input to me answering
the following 3 questions. My agreement was this data would be summarized, without
attribution, and then fed back to them as well as being addressed in the session.

BBB is the new boss. SSS is the name of an organization, as is MMM

The following is the input I have received as pre-work from you for the planned meeting of this
team on 3 June.

#1 - One thing I want BBB or others to hear or better understand..

 That we are still behaving in silos.. due to schedules and processes.. this isn’t good
 Uncover the big ticket integration opportunities between Supply, Refining, Transportation,
and Marketing… drive through to realizing the benefit to integration
 This team needs to be smaller and spend its time, not on past results, but on
understanding the future. If this isn’t the role.. what is.
 This has not been operating as a leadership team… but a collection of individuals who
review past results. Little shared ownership in or challenge regarding one another’s
businesses. The environment for this has not been created.
 The Leadership Team needs to develop a true sense of ownership for entire business.
Currently, business leaders view inquiries and suggestions regarding their respective
areas as unwelcome intrusions.
 We must have a mobilizing theme.. a way to align the many initiatives and priorities that
help our people see the links to the big picture.

(These were indicated as answers to both questions #1 and #3)

1) We are lagging in improvement in Refining vs the committed delivery in 2004 - what
can we do as a team to better support and accelerate utilization and unit cost improvements
in Refining. Increased focus on talent and a formal cost reduction initiative are key areas to
2) We must accelerate cost reduction initiatives in Transportation given the current year
volume shortfalls and the premised asset sales.
3) We must continue to drive "back office" cost reduction in support functions - internally
to SSS and across YYYY
4) CAPEX - we are very tight for 2XXX and have many items committed for 2XXX. The
SSS reinvestment rate is well above 1.0. Given this, we need a cross business/cross
functional relook at key projects to create some "space" to ensure we deliver 2XXX
commitments and a tougher process for 2XXX allocations.

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#2 - One thing I want to hear or better understand?

 BBB’s agenda and major assumptions.. no time or energy left in the system to figure this
out (we will support.. just need to know the non-negotiables)
 Stay the course.. don’t change strategy
 Are we going to develop more integrated scorecards that reward making decisions that
benefit the whole?
 Are we an executive team with joint accountability for results? If so, what few key things
will we work on together and how will we do that? BBB must set the tone.
 How much BBB expects the group to function as a team and share ownership in one
another’s results.
 Clarity is needed around the role of the Team and individual members.
 No input

#3 - One thing in particular I think we need to discuss or decide in this meeting…

 That we buy into each other’s business strategies.. OK to challenge the how, but the what
should be clear and certain ongoing.
 No single big one in mind
 Dealing with the business plan roll-up which will likely fall short of 2XXX commitments
 The priorities going forward.. will direction and focus change as a result of BBB’s views, or
will we continue along the same path as is currently set. Clear direction for the team is
key for the delivery of results.
 Clarity is needed around the role of the Team and individual members. (duplicate for Q2
 We need to get the MMM issue on the table and understand how we will deal with it.

This info was fed back to the new boss and the participants on the leadership team prior to the

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Meeting Plan SSSS Leadership Team Transition Workshop
3rd June, ZZZZ 1:30-5:30 PM PNT 200014

Note: Agreed to with Leader prior to meeting

Business To support an effective transition to the new leader and begin the
Purpose: process of building the focus, commitment, and relationships
required of this team and its members to achieve promised results

Major * Regarding the business and individual relationships, develop

Objectives & common understanding:
Outcomes - of what each individual sees as key to improved operation
- of what BBBB sees is needed to succeed and how she wants to operate
* Agree the way forward regarding:
- MMM US Direction
- Role, Accountability, and Norms of Operation of this Team
- Behaviors and Agreements of Team Members
- Key Business Issues to Address

Time Issue Detail and Logic Who

1:30-1:45 Getting Welcome, Safety, Agenda Overview, Elicit comments from each BBBB
Started on the degree objectives meet expectations. Acknowledge all the
context data provided: from the Extended Leader meeting, from the
Business Assessment Matrix Pre-work, etc. "Important background
but focus for today is in this room.. on this team." Any "burning
issues to factor into the day?
1:45-2:00 Norms and Establish Chuck's role, set the tone for the interactions, and Chuck
Pre-Work continue to get "everyone's voice in the room." Suggest meeting
norms and overview of prework input provided and process for
today. "Any surprises, requests, or corrections?"
2:00-2:30 Understanding Personal stuff from BBBB to set the tone of openness and invite BBBB
BBBB inquiry and dialogue: Acknowledge the concerns you have heard
regarding your return to Houston. How you like to operate, What
bothers you, Your typical style and known biases on issues, etc. ….
(Rather then generate too much heat this early, on specific
business and operational assumptions/expectations, you can save
some of your (potentially) more controversial observations for input
during the exercise using the prework input) Keep this about how
you "are" as a person and leader and how you generally like to
operate with your leaders.

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2:30-2:45 BREAK A conscious closure to one piece of work and time to "soak" before
proceeding to something different. Let people interact a bit.

2:45-3:00 Process Setting Suggest the process we will follow for addressing each of the major Chuck
"themes" from the pre-work input:
.. We will take them in order
.. Open to questions and explanations for what was provided.
(Work on own with post-its for questions and concerns.. Post, then
.. BBBB then offered a chance to add his views, with clarifying
questions and comments… capturing clear consensus points and
decisions including: What, Who, Constraints/Conditions, When
3:00-3:15 Dialogue Address and lay to rest the "TTTT D10 Issue" as much as is All
possible. Get the moose out on the table and out of the way.

3:15-4:00 Dialogue Work on the Theme: "BBBB's and MMM US Direction" All

4:00-4:10 BREAK
4:10-4:30 Dialogue Work on the Theme: "Role and Accountability of this Team" All
(Address the work of such a team, the membership,
communication, priority of meetings, when and how this group will
interact, etc.)

4:30-5:00 Dialogue Work on the Theme: "Behaviours of Individuals on the Team" All
(Address commitments, feedback, etc..)

5:00-5:30 Dialogue Work on the Theme: "Key Business Issues". Develop initial All
understanding and highlight next steps to address them.

5:30-5:45 Learning Review accomplishments and reflect… Were objectives achieved? Chuck
What worked, what didn't, why?

Note: a version of this document was sent out to participants prior

to the meeting with the notes in italics were omitted.

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Ground Rules and Chuck’s Role

Chuck's Role Note:

These 0n Chart
Purpose: To assist this group to have productive interactions as you paper and used in
address your major objectives for today. meeting kick-off

My Role:
Suggest processes as needed
Monitor time
Intervene from time-to-time
to summarize
to clarify
to "keep on track"
to balance the discussion /
to ask the provocative
to call your attention to how you are interacting

Participants’ Role
Start and stop on time
Stay with the agreed subject and process
Take some responsibility for what is happening.
Make clear choices when required
Capture action items and next steps including: what, conditions, who,

Suggested Norms for Today:

Suffering is optional.. Ask for what you
Keep issues "in here and us" vs. "out there and
Be willing to hear and consider others': "facts", opinions, and options
Be willing to be clear with your own
Recognize that this is the start of a process, many things will
not be decided or resolved today.

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Discussion Process:
Take themes in
Individually.. Identify by number the two you would most like
to have addressed by the group.. Ask or say?
Discussion of the issues
BBB offers his
General discussion & Capture consensus points, decisions, actions

Lots of context information, but key issues are in this room
Effectiveness is a function of: Shared Clear Direction
Shared understanding of accountabilities
Shared key information
Appropriate interactions: challenge and support
Simple, adaptive process to get the interactions

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Examples of Working Design “Tools”


These need to be "checked" with Corp. Leaders to confirm.... ”Is this direction in which you want us
to be taking this company?” Ideally, these values are "embedded within" and supportive of the broad
corporate strategies...

The following are examples of Questions & Issues which look to some basic Values or Design
Principles for their resolution.

 What Kinds of Information Is Readily Shared..To Whom, By What Criteria

 Authority Levels and Distribution of Authority.. by level, by need, and for what purposes..
 Responsibilities.. Err on too much, or keep it comfortable
 Span of Control.. Broader if Possible or more traditional
 Levels of Hierarchy.. What is Real Purpose or Value Added
 Control and Oversight.. What Purpose, Who's Needs are Being Met
 Role of Supervisor...Is Control, Direction Required, or Coaching and development, What
are the requisite qualities?
 Staffing... As Slim as Possible, or "Extra" to deal with development, learning, and
 Assignment Options... By Defined Skill Pool and Background?....
 Level Differentiation....Utility of visible distinctions such as titles, offices, Cultural Pecking
 Recruiting ... From outside of the company where helpful...then what
 Organization Structure Designs.. to be comfortable and clear or to be flexible and changing
 Formality of Relationships....Dress, Manners, Written Materials, Presentations
 Teams...Organizations Built Upon, Encouraged.... Avoided Where Possible
 Performance and Pay Policies...For Knowledge...For Contribution. How Judged
 Rewarding For Group Performance.. Is It There, How Can One Tell
 Assumptions on Motivation... Intrinsic from the job and work environment itself.. or
primarily Extrinsic, from Pay, etc
 Individual Discretion In Job... Built In and Encouraged.. or Limited and Controlled
 Performance Feedback... How Much, What Kind, How Timely, How Direct
 Tolerance for Risk Taking, Initiative. Required and Encouraged, or...Not Favored,

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Towards From
A Commitment Oriented A Compliance Oriented
Decentralized Structure Centralized Structure
Teams as Basic Unit Individual as Basic Unit
Decisions at Lowest Level Where Info & Decisions by Position
Expertise Can Be Provided
Person Focused Management Technical Focused Mgmt
Eliciting Commitment Assuring Control
Risk Taking Risk Averse

ONE EXAMPLE OF AN ACTUAL ORGANIZATIONAL PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT: organizational structure that operates with a decentralized, open management

style which ensures the organization has a minimum of hierarchy and limited spans of control.
This organization design...will ensure flexible, responsive operation, encouraging good
communications and promote teamwork rather than policing.

Principles for Human Resource Management, and their Implications

These have been suggested as characterizing those companies who have had the
most success in leveraging the application of Information Technology and Organizational

Manage the Organizational Context, not Individual Activity

a. Set a Vision
b. Define Fundamental Principles
c. More Empowerment, less command and control
d. Build a supportive infrastructure, communication, goals, measurements
e. Create and sustain an information-rich environment
f. Stress Individual and Organizational learning

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Expect and Provide Opportunities for Self-development and Self-Management

g. Increase confidence, competence and commitment
h. Emphasize human as well as technical skills

Design Richness Into Individual Jobs

i. Move from work as activity, to work as learning
j. Provide smart machines
k. Invest in intellectual capital - recruitment, training and development
l. Emphasize the role of line managers in developing the talent of their people

Design Work Processes that Require Teamwork for Successful Completion

m. Reward for knowledge and contribution NOT position in hierarchy
n. Maximize learning across organization
o. Design for Implementation
p. Manage Interdependence

Hire and Encourage People Who Thrive on Change

People who:
q. Are opportunity oriented
r. Initiate change, not just respond to it
s. Work effectively in conditions of uncertainty and ambiguity

Recognize and Reward Accomplishment of Work Teams as well as the

Accomplishments of Individuals
t. Minimize force-choice rankings among individuals
u. Establish review mechanisms for teams

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Example of a "tool" for gathering initial information from a design team to start the discussion
of design principles, values, etc. Each fills out individually, then the patterns of results
are displayed and discussed.
Developing Organization Design Principles

Provide your personal assessment of which item in each pair is more important
to emphasize to produce the desired business results and culture...

Somewhat Slightly Slightly Somewhat

Much More More More More More Much More
Item # Emphasized Emphasized Emphasized Emphasized Emphasized Emphasized

1 Quality of Work 1 2 3 4 5 6 Quantity of Work

Short Term
2 Goals 1 2 3 4 5 6 Long Term Goals

3 Group Results 1 2 3 4 5 6 Achievements

4 Experimentation 1 2 3 4 5 6 Proven Methods

5 Good Efforts 1 2 3 4 5 6 Final Outcomes

6 Competitor 1 2 3 4 5 6 Play By The Rules

7 Product Focus 1 2 3 4 5 6 Customer Focus

8 Specialists 1 2 3 4 5 6 Generalists

Pay for
9 Performance 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pay for Position

Defined Career
10 Path 1 2 3 4 5 6 Loose Paths

Long-Term Employability &

11 Employment 1 2 3 4 5 6 Movement

12 Flexibility 1 2 3 4 5 6 Career Predictability

13 Pay Assured 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pay at Risk

14 Stable Rules 1 2 3 4 5 6 Rules Change

15 Clear "Units" 1 2 3 4 5 6 Boundaries Change

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Somewhat Slightly Slightly Somewhat

Much More More More More More Much More
Item # Emphasized Emphasized Emphasized Emphasized Emphasized Emphasized

16 Directed 1 2 3 4 5 6 Self Directed

17 Orientation 1 2 3 4 5 6 Function Orientation

18 Steady Pace 1 2 3 4 5 6 Playing In Traffic

19 Polite & Careful 1 2 3 4 5 6 Facts In Your Face

Coach, Coach,
20 Coach 1 2 3 4 5 6 Coach, Change

Clear Reporting Informal

21 Lines 1 2 3 4 5 6 Relationships

Peer/Customer Management
22 Evaluation 1 2 3 4 5 6 Evaluation

Promote From
23 Within 1 2 3 4 5 6 Get The Best Quick

24 Info is Open 1 2 3 4 5 6 Info Is Managed

Few, Larger
25 Units 1 2 3 4 5 6 Many, Smaller Units

Movement Across
26 People Stay Put 1 2 3 4 5 6 Units

Basic "unit" is a Basic "unit" is a

27 Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 person

Job descriptions Clear Job

28 are loose 1 2 3 4 5 6 Descriptions

29 Lots of Training 1 2 3 4 5 6 Learn as You Go

30 Coaching 1 2 3 4 5 6 Managing

1:7 span of
31 control 1 2 3 4 5 6 1:21 span of control

32 3 "levels" 1 2 3 4 5 6 6 "levels"

(C) 2010 C.H. Bennett