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The Usefulness of Large Group Methods When Organizations Need a New Design and Dont Want One

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Reorganize the work flow team: model line to demo new way of working in 12 months ... Made adjustments that didn't work well ex: single time line ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Usefulness of Large Group Methods When Organizations Need a New Design and Dont Want One


1
The Usefulness of Large Group Methods When
Organizations Need a New Design and Dont Want
One!
  • Barbara Benedict Bunker
  • ODF April 2007

2
OBJECTIVES
  • To share recent development in the use of Large
    Group Methods (LGMs) to facilitate organization
    design efforts
  • To highlight how these methods are currently
    being used
  • To apply these ideas to your thinking and
    consulting

3
What Are LGMs?
  • System change methods
  • An area of OD practice
  • Able to engage large groups up to 5,000
  • Participative, giving people voice

4
Methods for Planning the Future
  • The Search Conference
  • Future Search
  • Whole Scale Change
  • ICA Strategic Planning
  • Appreciative Inquiry Summit Meeting

5
Methods for Discussion and Decision Making
  • Open Space Technology
  • The World Café
  • Work Out
  • Whole Scale/Real Time Strategic Change
  • SimuReal

6
Methods for Work Design
  • Work Design (The Conference Model and others)
  • Participative Design

7
One View of History
  • STS Re-design 1980s the trailer outside the
    factory
  • Weisbord 1987 Getting the whole system in the
    room
  • LGMs-1990s The Conference Model, Fast Cycle-Full
    Participation, Real Time Work Design,
    Participative Design

8
20 Years of LGMs
  • Discovery 1985-1992
  • Method Zealots 1992-1999
  • The Custom Tailor 2000 -

9
Group Discussion Task
  • What experience with LGMs is in your group?
  • What questions do people have that can be
    answered by the experience within the group?
  • Report out unanswered questions

10
Organization Design CasesCommon Themes
  • Real organizational crisis requiring change
  • Mandate from both the environment and the
    executive level to perform more effectively
  • New leadership
  • Internal inertia

11
The Crisis at Emerson Cuming (EC) (Lent, Van
Patten Phair, 2006)
  • The company had just been acquired
  • Two epoxy manufacturing plants merged in one
    facility where there was disorganization, safety
    and morale concerns poor performance
  • Many complex factors contributed

12
The Situation
  • One plant 2 product lines, 2 work cultures and
    little trust or cooperation across them

13
The Question
  • How to create a world-class manufacturer in
    record time

14
The Approach
  • 1. Engage the whole system
  • 2. Let the workplace inform action
  • 3. Focus on what all agree on as the desired
    future of the plant and the workplace
  • Aim for incremental improvement Get better, not
    perfect

15
Diagnostic Focus Groups
  • Two product lines No coordination
  • Plant dirty and disorganized
  • Materials hard to find
  • Few standard procedures
  • We/They feeling between lines
  • Inefficiency

16
The Change Plan
  • Begin with an Agree Meeting (Future Search) to
    identify opportunities
  • Use Gemba Kaizen action learning teams to work on
    identified targets
  • Regular Follow-up Meetings to reinforce progress
    and sustain momentum

17
What Happened?Step 1 Agree Meeting
  • Purpose to agree on the safest, highest quality,
    most productive workplace
  • 40 managers, supervisors, operators- (largest
    group), sales, corporate, RD

18
Some Agreements
  • Satisfy customer needs especially critical
    customers
  • Clean, neat, orderly workplace
  • Reproducible, reliable, consistent processes and
    instructions
  • Cross-training between departments

19
12 Projects to Achieve the Vision - Examples
  • Product line management team eliminate low
    revenue products
  • Reorganize the work flow team model line to demo
    new way of working in 12 months
  • Inventory reduction team in six month 50 less
    inventory

20
What Happened?
  • Three cycles of action teams and follow-up
    meetings over the course of one year
  • Steering Committee cross functional cross
    level to coordinate projects

21
One Year Later
  • The plant culture had changed to embrace
    continuous improvement
  • Productivity improved (12-50)
  • Lead time to delivery was reduced by 30-60 for
    major customers
  • On-Time delivery from 86 to 95
  • Warehouse space utilization improved 23
  • Productive floor space gained 35
  • Crosstraining completed

22
One Year Later More to Do
  • At the one year Follow-up Meeting successes were
    celebrated and..
  • Some weak areas were recognized and plans made
    for addressing them
  • Corporate recognition of progress

23
Four Years Later
  • EC is the flagship manufacturing facility of
    this international company
  • International recognition for safety record and
    manufacturing effectiveness

24
Small Group Discussion Questions
  • What experiences and insights can you share ?
  • What questions should the whole group address?

25
Three Cases In Brief
  • IKEA (Weisbord Janoff, 2005)
  • University of Southern California (USC) Rossier
    School of Education (Barbeau Aronson, 2006)
  • Boeing (R. E. Axelrod, 2006)

26
IKEA STS Re-design in 18 Hours
  • Weisbord Janoff

27
We Need to Re-design the Whole Pipeline!
  • CEOa quicker, leaner, simpler IKEA
  • The process for product design
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution to stores
  • Focal example The Ektorp sofa

28
The IKEA Pipeline
  • 10,000 products designed in Sweden
  • 1800 suppliers in 55 countries
  • 199 stores in 23 countries

29
Adapting Future Search to Work Re-design 4
Principles
  • Whole system in the room 52 key stakeholders
    with authority and expertise
  • Explore the whole before fixing any part
    Technical analysis of the pipeline included in
    Future Search
  • Seeking common ground work in microcosm of
    the system stakeholder groups 6 re-designs
    searched for common ground
  • Participant responsibility - 7 task forces
    implement

30
About Design Modifications
  • Made adjustments that didnt work well ex single
    time line
  • Reticent participation on day 1 caused by fears
    about losing control jobs as well as cultural
    issues
  • Design skill and skills working with group
    processes critical for consultants

31
IKEA One Year Later
  • Ektorp exceeded targets
  • gt volume, costs cut, quality profits
  • Other product lines being affected
  • Customers involved in design early
  • Company silos reducing and cooperation increasing

32
The Crisis at USC The Rossier School of
Education
  • Position in the field is declining
  • No focus -Fragmented programs (23)
  • Little collective identity -(Professional
    Bureaucracy)
  • In financial trouble

33
The Situation
  • A new Dean selected by faculty
  • The Mission Excellence in Urban Education
  • A mandate from the University Committee on
    Academic Review and resource support

34
First Steps
  • The Consultants and the Dean
  • Working with the Planning Group
  • Selecting Future Search
  • Including stakeholders (faculty, staff, students,
    admin.,K-12 admin)

35
Timeline
  • Future Search January 2001
  • Implementation Planning Teams Feb/March 2001
  • Integration Meeting March 2001
  • Faculty Vote YES on The Conceptual Framework
    May 2001

36
What happened after the vote?
  • Academic program review criteria
  • External review of doctoral programs
  • New curriculum planning for Ed.D Ph.D programs

37
What happened after the vote?
  • Committee proposal on infrastructure to support
    new programs
  • Staff committee redesigns support staff structure
  • Changes field tested in local schools
  • Communication of changes externally

38
If academia is so hard to change, how come this
worked?
  • The consultants and the Dean worked hand in hand
  • The Dean provided clear, strong and consistent
    and persistent leadership and direction
  • The outside world came in through stakeholders
  • The crisis was real

39
Boeing Dick Axelrod The Situation in
Engineering
  • White collar strike in 2000 bitterness
  • Morale poor underutilized and undervalued
  • Attrition increasing
  • Strong history of participation and using LGMs

40
Using the Engagement Principles to Create Your
Own Solutions
  • Widen the circle of involvement
  • Connect people to each other
  • Create communities for action
  • Embrace a democratic mindset
  • Reference Axelrod, R. (2000) Terms of
    Engagement. Berrett-Koehler

41
Supporting Conditions
  • Clear boundaries Purpose, local control, the
    engagement principles
  • Strong leadership to move forward
  • Measurement of employee satisfaction for all
    managers
  • Training in The Conference Model

42
Results Projects Learning Fairs - Examples
  • Work unit re-design
  • Education about the global environment of the
    future
  • Created new mandated organization with FAA using
    principles

43
Small Group Discussion Questions
  • What questions or issues should the whole group
    take up?

44
SUMMARY
  • LGMs involve the whole system and can increase
    commitment and speed up implementation of
    organization design
  • Top management understanding and support is
    essential
  • This work requires skilled practitioners who
    understand system dynamics (as well as LGMs)

45
Rules of Thumb
  • Never work alone
  • If you modify a standard model, expect the
    unpredictable
  • If you are just starting out, work with
    experienced designers and practitioners
  • Large group dynamics are not the same as small
    group dynamics

46
Useful Resources for Going Deeper
  • Bunker, B.B. Alban, B.T. (1997) Large Group
    Interventions. Jossey-Bass
  • Bunker, B.B. Alban, B.T. (2006) The Handbook of
    Large Group Methods. Jossey-Bass/Wiley
  • Journal of Applied Behavioral Science Special
    Issues on Large Group Interventions edited by
    Bunker Alban (1992, 2005) Sage Publishers

47
Training Resources
  • Workshop on Large Group Methods sponsored by NTL
    Institute May 1-3, 2007 Leaders Billie Alban
    Barbara Bunker
  • (Fall 2007 workshop on West Coast)
  • 2 ½ days in Washington Metro area
  • Overview of all the methods
  • Practice in designing large group events

48
OPPORTUNITY TRIO TASK
  • What implications does this session have for my
    own work?
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