I , serendipitously ran into Doug at the Linkage Talent and OD Institute in Chicago. I had not seen him for 15 years. In designing this transformative learning experience, we rolled the work of one large group into another. The 1st group essentially worked on the current state as we established what was working well and what was not working. The 2nd three-day event took what was established in the 1st group and created the future state. The 3rd group worked on 1st steps while the 4th group worked on execution, measurements and the long-term journey.
The core population were unionized hard-core manufacturing get-it done-no-nonsense types of people. As usual standing ovations for the executive team, the design team and other contributors from the organization were paramount.
One learning or memory I have is that in the follow-up, the internal change team decided to bring in a well-known top organization development guru or consultant every couple of months post my intervention.
This confused the organization and short-circuited the momentum that we started. We were called back to realign and to reinforce the internal learning leaders so that sustainability could occur. This challenge led me to deep and serious thinking around sustainability. From then on, I committed to adding sustainability as the 4th element of my model.
All in all, it was a most memorable experiences of my professional career.
We had two internal change agents from ABSA ( largest financial institution in Africa) in South Africa fly on their own dime and pick up all their expenses just so they could be on the logistics team. They were so blown away that…just as soon as I could find time in my schedule , I was on my way to Johannesburg to start up the 2nd most significant intervention I have ever done. Now I recall why, I had no time to write this case up. But I do remember in general that the employee engagement created a significant upturn in productivity, the culture was transformed, most became committed to organizational change and agility and profits rose significantly.
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