Tuesday 25 April 2006

Leading Change

John P. Kotter, professor of leadership at Harvard Business School expands in this book on a 1995 article he wrote for the Harvard Business Review. The amount of change in organizations has grown tremendously over the past two decades, and the rate of change will only accelerate in the next few decades. No wonder change, and leadership through change, are foremost concerns of CEO’s today.

stephen covey's seven habits of highly effective people

from Wikipedia....
Covey argues against what he calls "The Personality Ethic", something he sees as prevalent in many modern self-help books. He instead promotes what he labels "The Character Ethic": aligning one’s values with so-called "universal and timeless" principles. Covey adamantly refuses to confound principles and values; he sees principles as external natural laws, while values remain internal and subjective. Covey proclaims that values govern people’s behavior, but principles ultimately determine the consequences. Covey presents his teachings in a series of habits, manifesting as a progression from dependence via independence to interdependence.
N.B. Various phrases on this page are registered trade marks belonging to Stephen Covey.
Stephen Covey's principles are protected intellectual property and feature strongly in the Franklin Covey organization's portfolio of products and services.

Six Styles of Leadership

Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, in Primal Leadership, describe six styles of leading that have different effects on the emotions of the target followers.

These are styles, not types. Any leader can use any style, and a good mix
that is customised to the situation is generally the most effective

The Visionary Leader

The Coaching Leader

The Affiliative Leader

The Democratic Leader

The Pace-setting Leader

The Commanding Leader

Wednesday 12 April 2006

Performance - The GROW Coaching Model

There are wide variety of coaching models around. One of the most successful, and popular, is the GROW model.

Good coaching lets a coachee become more aware of what they can do with their life and prepares them to take more responsibility for it. This is achieved through sessions structured around questioning.
What GROW does is sequence or order those question sessions, as in:

In the goal stage, the coach enables the coachee to establish where they want to be, or what they want to achieve. Questions of value here include:
what do you want to achieve?
how would you like things to be?
what does success look like to you?
Once the coachee has created some goals for themselves, the coach and coachee need to work together in partnership to define the goals as clearly as possible.

In the reality stage, the coachee's goals are checked against the way things are now.
For example, this could be a check of the skills or knowledge the coachee currently has against those needed to reach their goals. Questions of value here include:
so, what happens at the moment?
what have you tried so far?
what do you think are the big roadblocks here?
how do you rate your current skill level?

In the options stage, the coachee develops different potential routes between the current reality and the goal they want to achieve. The key here is not to find the 'right' answer but to maximise the choices on the table. Questions of value here include:
how would you get there...?
can you think of any other...?
how would you feel about...?
what would be the costs and benefits of that?

In the will stage, the coachee needs to commit to, and take responsibility for, carrying out the agreed actions.
The discussions on the coaching session are turned into decisions, with action points attached. Questions of value here include:
what are you going to do?
what date will that be done by?
can you think of any obstacles?
what support will you need?

Housing Prime Contract Charter

Defence Estates, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Defence, awarded the Housing Prime Contract to MODern Housing Solutions on 14th November 2005. In approaching the delivery of this contract in a spirit of partnering, and being committed to excellence in its delivery, Defence Estates and MODern Housing Solutions agree to adopt the following principles, which are enshrined in this Charter:

Our Service Families

We aspire to develop a best in class service, aimed at minimising breakdowns and optimising responsiveness to the occupants of Services Families Accommodation. In developing our relationship, we will measure all our activities against their potential to improve the service to our customers. We will confirm this alignment through regular surveys and consultation with representative bodies.

Health and Safety

We shall employ best safe working practice and adopt a Target Zero policy to accidents, incidents and occupational illness, as a means of ensuring that we provide a safe working environment for employees and customers alike.


We will actively collaborate in all aspects of the execution of the contract and we will share responsibility for the resolution of differences and issues in accordance with the procedures prescribed within the Housing Prime Contract. We jointly commit to developing a fully integrated delivery structure, aimed at eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy and optimising the efficiency of the maintenance of the SFA estate.


We will work together in mutual openness to promote trust, through eliminating any potential for fraud in our joint working. We agree to deal fairly, honestly, and openly at all times, in order to achieve quality of service, and value for money.


We agree to face up to potential difficulties, whether within our respective organisations or in our shared working relationship, and to seek resolution of such difficulties openly, speedily and objectively.

Exchange of Information and Mutual Assistance

We agree to share all information pertinent to the Housing Prime Contract and the maintenance of the MOD SFA, and to work together to ensure our information systems supply fit for purpose information. We agree to provide constructive assistance and mutual support in solving problems to the benefit of the specified objectives of the contract.

Continuous Improvement

We shall work together to identify areas for improvement and ensure that lessons learned are incorporated into joint working practices.

and we agree to share the following Vision:

Jointly to provide best in class housing maintenance for Service families.

Sunday 9 April 2006

Culture Change

In order to set out a view on Culture Change it is necessary to define a view on both culture and change with respect to organisations.


Culture is not just defined by formal things, such as mission statements and a company hierarchy, it is also defined by “soft” factors. Gerry Johnston of Cranfield Business School classified these factors as

  • Rituals and routines
  • Stories and Myths
  • Symbols

These factors themselves help to define how people will intuitively respond in certain situations and reflect the values of an organisation. Stated and documented Values may not reflect well those actions that people adopted particularly in stressful or unfamiliar situations unless these truly reflect the culture of the organisation. Organisational cultures are particularly difficult to change.

Another way of considering the culture of an organisation, from Schein 1997, is to conceive it as consisting of three concentric layers with Values (as above) on the outside, Beliefs in the middle (more specific and are issues which people in the organisation can surface and talk above) and Taken for Granted Assumptions at the core – sometimes referred to as Paradigms (these are the aspects of an organisation that people find difficult to identify and explain).

There is no absolute right or wrong for a corporate culture and the appropriate culture will be in part dictated by the needs of the organisation to deliver a given strategy.

Charles Handy, in Understanding Organisations (1993), characterised culture into four key types.

characterised by

Type of culture

strategy driven by

MO (modus operandi)

suited to deliver

role culture


structures and systems

repetitive tasks

WorkManager process control

task culture


shared values
ad hoc procedures

projects or tasks

MODern Housing Solutions
& Defence Estates

power culture



rapid response

Armed Forces

personal culture


personal creativity
expert power



Management is becoming increasingly focused on the question of managing change. It represents a crucial switch from viewing companies as static entities to seeing them as dynamic organisations in a constant state of flux. Learning to live with change is for some people almost counter-intuitive. Traditional managers have almost always been conservative and, by definition, abhorred change. We need to learn to love change and feel comfortable with our creative intuition – in particular we need to make compassion, harmony and trust the foundation stones of business.

The ability to change per se is an overarching business imperative to survive and succeed and culture change is no different except that it has longer time horizons and will be driven by the strategic and operational needs of an organisation.

Role in effecting and leading culture change


The last 10 years of service delivery that preceded the Housing Prime Contract was characterised by 20+ contracts covering a range of geographic areas and contractual responsibilities. These contracts were performed by subsidiaries from at least 5 construction to services companies that had inherited staff from the Government’s PSA; these staff had been integrated into their parent companies’ corporate culture to a limited extent as contracts had been let for only 3-4 years and staff had been ‘TUPE’d’ from one company to another during the decade. In addition the split of responsibilities between Establishment Works Consultants (EWC), focused on ‘white collar’ compliance and inspections, and Works Service Managers (WSM), focused on enabling delivery and administration of subcontract arrangements, has led to a divergence of values and cultures.

In addition to this we to need consider the interaction of cultures of Defence Estates, the armed forces hierarchy and the Service families themselves.

MODern Housing Solutions’ Values

MODern Housing Solutions has selected 5 key Values to help deliver the new organisation’s strategy and objectives. These are

Openness and Collaboration; by developing our staff and creating an open, rewarding place to work where success is the norm, best practice and lessons learned are shared and where challenge is welcomed.

Mutual Dependency; by collaboration to achieve each others objectives, working with customers and suppliers so that risks and rewards are shared.

Professional, Innovative Delivery; getting it right first time, smarter, better and faster. Constantly searching for and implementing fresh approaches to delivery, best practice in fulfilling our customer’s needs.

Sustainable, profitable growth; Striving for efficiencies in processes and methods, which increase the quality of our service to customers.

These Values do not entail proscriptive procedures in all cases but provide our staff with the blueprint that enables them to know how to behave and perform services in cases where procedures are not written down (those Taken for Granted Assumptions as set out above). The Values are there to drive to the core of changing the organisation’s culture but they need sound training and awareness, strong role models and strong policing of people who are not prepared to adopt the expected norms.

Roles to effect and lead this change

The key roles are to

  • lead the change management process and ensure that all our people understand that it is everything that we do will be measured by how well live to the company’s Values
  • provide an excellent role model for people to understand how to behave in situations - leading by example
  • tackling non-compliance of people, wherever they are in the organisation, by applying the values and then taking appropriate disciplinary action
  • evangelise on the benefits of our values and culture in all our forms of communication; e.g. posters, emails, presentations & newsletters