The underlying assumption "relationships are at the heart of all results" has significant implications for our orientation towards change and organisation development. It implies that in order to bring about a sustainable improvement in performance, there needs to be a change in the nature of relationships between people.
Whilst creating strategies, re-engineering processes and re-designing organisations are often perceived as essential to survival and growth, these physical changes rarely produce the results intended. We believe this is because so little attention is paid to the systemic patterns (decision rules, measures and interdependencies) that collectively reinforce or undermine performance. Even less attention is paid to the quality of interaction that determines people’s ability to challenge and work with difference whilst remaining respectful and trusting. Both of these ultimately define the culture of an organisation and it is not until they are understood and included in how organisations go about change that we think a real difference is made to their long term success.
Working in association with Ashridge Business School, we help clients focus first on building the quality of relationships that enables people to inquire into the cultural norms and systemic patterns that would otherwise go unchallenged. Together, using proven approaches such as Appreciative Inquiry and Systems Thinking, we are able to nurture what's best about an organisation as well as encourage people to challenge the absured! More often than not, as the culture and systemic patterns begin to reinforce success, we find that the shape of the organisation and its business processes need relatively little attention. Where the strategy, organisation and processes do need work, we have between us decades of experience to guide you through the changes.