Towards a Generative Process Consulting


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Presentation used at the #2012waic Conference - Ghent, Belgium

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Towards a Generative Process Consulting

  1. 1. Towards a generativeprocess consultation: process facilitation enriched by Appreciative Inquiry René Bouwen Johan Hovelynck Ludo Keunen Hilda Martens Lieve Wens WAIC, Gent, April, 26th 2012
  2. 2. Agenda Exploring what Appreciative Inquiry brings to learning in and about  group development  organizational development  community / multi-actor development  personal development In the context of the CIGO training program on process facilitation in groups and organizations
  3. 3. Context: ‘Consulting In Groups & Organizations’ René Bouwen Experiencing &  Experiencing &  Exploring  ‘Owning up’ understanding understanding large-group & personal group process relational multi-party dynamics that dynamics of processes… shape Developing an organizing  Consulting / relational experiential facilitation processes in learning group 1st exchange project groups & with MPOD organizations 2nd exchange with MPOD Introduction of AI
  4. 4. Process consultation enriched by AI & AI enriched by process consultation CIGO is a PC and OD-based advanced professional consultation program (18 months):  group processes  organizational understanding  multi-actor contexts  personal professional integration Key words: intensive group learning, relational organizing, high quality relational practices, generative / appreciative focus.
  5. 5. Relational Organizing From ‘organization’ as an instrument to be studied and restructured… Towards ‘organizing’ as generative conversation: a systems, sense-making, relational, social construction perspective.
  6. 6. Rebirth of ‘genuine’ action research From OD practice as analytical, ‘objective’, problem-solving research… Towards generative relational practices among all relevant stakeholders: relational and practice turn. Emphasis on both  sense-making ‘content’  co-membership ‘relation’
  7. 7. 1. Appreciating & Inquiring in group development  Experiencing  Exploring  ‘Owning up’ &  Experiencing & large-group & personal understanding understanding multi-party dynamics that group relational processes… shape process dynamics of relational organizing  Consulting / processes in  Developing facilitation groups & a learning project organizations groupJohan Hovelynck
  8. 8. Propositions – food for thought?  Learning about group dynamics requires ‘process conversation’  Appreciative Inquiry creates a space for process conversation and provides a specific path towards it Becoming a process facilitator benefits fromexperiencing a range of process conversations and different development paths
  9. 9. Process facilitation framework task ‘theory-in-use’ product processtechnique behavior context structure roles procedure rules
  10. 10. Learning in and about group dynamics Understanding group process hinges on ‘knowledge from within’  open conversation about here-and-now experience  exploration of how we co-create the dynamics that we ‘observe’: experiencing as ‘mee-maken’ Giving and receiving feedback as prime sources about relational dynamics in groups, organizations, …
  11. 11. Method: appreciative inquiry or T-group Appreciative inquiry  T-group  Focused question  Intangible topic  Past events & experience  Here-and-now experience  Highly structured  Basic program structure  …  … Discovery Concrete Appreciating Experience Destiny Affirmative Dream Active Reflective Sustaining Topic Envisioning Experimentation Observation Design Abstract Co-constructing Conceptualization “appreciative dynamics” wider range of processes
  12. 12. Method and process: the role of ‘appreciating and inquiring’ T-group  Search for topic clarification  Self-structuring, search for modes of decision-making  ‘Circle talk’  … ... all about inquiry Appreciating & inquiring’  T-groups include traditions of reifying interpretation and / or confrontational feedback by facilitators  A more appreciative stance supports ease of participation and quality of inquiry…
  13. 13. Thoughts on appreciative inquiry & (training for) process facilitation Appreciative inquiry as a ‘process accelerator’ in developing ‘high quality relational practices’ T-group as a ‘process magnifier’ in a wider range of dynamics / processes in group development An appreciative stance facilitates participation and adds to quality of inquiry in T-groups Experience with a wider range of processes supports facilitation of Appreciative Inquiry, especially in the later stages of the 4D-cycle
  14. 14. 2. The generative potential of ‘us & them’ Experiencing &  Exploring  ‘Owning up’ Experiencing understanding large-group & personal & multi-party dynamics that group process understanding processes… shape Developing an relational relational experiential  Consulting / dynamics of processes in learning group facilitation groups & organizing project organizations Ludo Keunen
  15. 15. Objective of this presentationExplore the boundary spanning approach as enactment of the appreciative inquiry principles: Starting from a real-life intervention in a context of strong stakeholder polarization (“us and them”) Reflecting on the generative potential of boundary spanning vs conflict management
  16. 16. Context – Air Traffic Control ENGINEERINGOPERATIONS(“OPS Room”)
  17. 17. Context: setting the scene Air Traffic Control (Airspace Europe): close interdependency between Operations Room and Engineering DivisionOPS Room: home-grown professionals, highly focused, short response times, quick decisions, stress-proof, very well paid (internal reputation of “prima donna’s”)ENGINEERING: engineering education, solution providers based on incident reporting (‘change management’), focus on robust and reliable systems an zero error tolerance (internal reputation of “risk aversive nerds”)Key question: European consolidation in Air Traffic Management  how to collaborate and overcome “US  THEM” attitude?
  18. 18. Client workshop objectives1.Better understand and accommodate individual differences in personal styles and work preferences2.Create a setting to explore mutual perceptions between OPS and ENG to foster mutual respect3.Span boundaries between ENG and OPS by addressing areas for improvement through specific project opportunities
  19. 19. Research on Boundary Spanning 2 KeyQuestions:How importantis it for you to collaborate effectively across boundaries? &How effective are you? © 2010 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved.
  20. 20. Boundary Spanning Approach Conflict handling Boundary Spanning Identify key issues  Define boundaries & own identity (“buffering”: create safe space) Look for common ground  Understand boundaries: mirroring (“reflecting”: mutual perceptions) Build mutual understanding  Suspend boundaries (“connecting”: third space) Agree on joint actions  Actionable ideas Focus on overcoming issues Focus on generative connections
  21. 21. 6 Boundary Spanning Practices BUFFERING CONNECTING WEAVING REFLECTING MOBILIZING TRANSFORMING©2010 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
  22. 22. Appreciative Inquiry – basic beliefsIf you accept what is, things can change. Focusing on the best of what is already present, generates a belief in what is possible in the future. Not the past is guiding the present, but the (collective image of) the future.Appreciative inquiry is more about inquiry than about being ‘positive’ – the act of co-inquiry changes the relationships between people and allows for common ground.Appreciative inquiry makes sense when people have a voice in co-designing their future. It does not work as a trick to make people feel good about something which is harmful to them.
  23. 23. Outcomes – Actionable ideas Cross-divisional participation in existing meetings  E.g. ENG representation in bi-monthly AOP progress review  E.g. OPS representation in ENG project mgt Board  E.g. Revive MPMB Process-driven collaboration  Cross-divisional projects with formal authority (benefit owners)  Joint ownership (teams) for key themes  Issue-driven taskforces (ENG + OPS) Dedicated project leads for key projects (LINK+, FABEC, SESAR, Business Commercialisation, …) Need to move from rigid hierarchical structure to fluid, dynamic, flexible structure Approve the Center’s priority list Internal mobility: position swaps? What makes division more / less attractive (for internal mobility)?
  24. 24. Action Planning What & how? Owner? Milestones? Target?Key theme 1: Set up cross-divisional implementation teams (onging processes)• OPS Concept Novac• Safety Nick• Quality Wadhar• Change Management Robin• Problem & Occurrence Management Flemming•V&V Maurice• Requirements management Ralph• Organisation Development HeinrichKey theme 2: Set up cross-divisional Taskforces (temporary)E.g. Systm recovery NovacE.g. OLDI NovacE.g. FABEC/SESAR/COMMERCIALISATION Gary / Patricia/ RobinE.g. VOICE PhilippeKey theme 3: Follow-up meeting OMT/EMT + ASD/SDM in 3 months Novac
  25. 25. Boundary Spanning Impact
  26. 26. 3. AI in developing age-friendly HRM  Exploring  ‘Owning up’ Experiencing & personal understanding  Experiencing & diversity in multi-actor dynamics that group process understanding shape relational processes & Developing an dynamics of relational experiential community / processes in organizing learning group society groups & development organizations Hilda Martens
  27. 27. Purpose of this presentation & Objective of the project Illustration of combining appreciative inquiry principles and confronting facts and figures in order to develop tailor-madeage-conscious HRM in organizations
  28. 28. The Belgian context and the necessity to work longer Legal retirement age in Belgium: 65 Factual retirement age: 59 Belgian retirement system is a ‘repartition’ system: the active population pays for the retirement fees of retired people In 2050, 250 people will depend on / be financed by 100 working citizens Ageing of the population forces us to work longer
  29. 29. The Belgian context and the necessity to work longer 1950 2009Entry labor market +/- 16 +/- 21 (-5)Legal retirement age 65 65Factual retirement age 64 59 (-5)Life expectancy 68 79 (+11)Working career 48 38 (-10)Proportion retired/working 4 / 48 20 / 38Proportion active/not active 48 / 20 38 / 41
  30. 30. The Belgian context and the necessity to work longerThe low activity rate of 55+ is created a.o. by: - the government early retirement programs since 1970 (in favor of youth employment) - the employers use early retirement programs for company restructuring - the unions early retirement as an ‘obtained privilege’ - the employees early retirement as an ‘obtained privilege’
  31. 31. The aim of an appreciative inquiry in age-friendly HR-projects Big difference if introduced with  “we want you to work longer” compared to  “we engage in an appreciative inquiry about conditions in which all members of the organization can experience work pleasure and possibilities for personal growth until the end of a longer career.” If we inquire together the confronting facts and figures about age management in our country…? If we imagine a tailor-made process and product in this organization?
  32. 32. Introduction of appreciative inquiry in focus groups on all levels to raise awareness and to create support for a tailor- made process to create conditions that stimulate work pleasure and professional growth during the whole career to develop a tailor-made change process with all actors towards new age-friendly viewpoints, customs and HR-practices to implement organizational development towards age conscious HRM
  33. 33. Different ‘appreciative formats’ were used… To make an inventory for each organization of  facilitating and hindering factors, and  content and process suggestions in order to enjoy working longer, more enthusiastically, effectively and efficiently to optimize or implement an age-conscious HR management.
  34. 34. AI as an added valuein consulting projects for age-friendly HRM Appreciative inquiry and the inquiry of confronting facts and figures stimulate the acceptance of responsibility by different stakeholders in the organization. The appreciative principles stimulate the involvement in a tailor-made process towards tailor-made solutions in each organization
  35. 35. Context: ‘Consulting In Groups & Organizations’  ‘Owning up’ Experiencing &  Exploring personal understanding  Experiencing & large-group & multi-party dynamics that group process understanding relational processes… shape Developing an dynamics of relational experiential  Consulting / organizing facilitation processes in learning group project groups & organizations Lieve Wens
  36. 36. Professional craftmanship : Humble inquiry  developing relational competencies and a helping attitude  developing process expertise in building and maintaining the helping relationship  modeling high quality and learning relations
  37. 37. Professional craftmanship :Humble inquiry(helping attitude and behavior): Attentive presence, observing, genuine open empathic questioning, carefull listening and self-inquiry, suspending any judgment or assumptionsin order to develop mutual understanding and reframing.Accessing one’s ignorance to make the empowerment ofthe other possible !
  38. 38. Professional craftmanshipCfr the necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeuticpersonality change by Carl RogersBasic therapeutic attitude :1. Unconditional Positive Regard2. Genuineness in the relationship3. Empathy
  39. 39. YOU are the instrument of change The focus on personal development is important:  Who am I as a person?  What are my qualities and talents as a person?  What are my strengths in relational processes?  What are my pitfalls and how can I learn to work them through?  … In working on the development of others / systems, get and stay in contact with your own development! Being a conversational partner = being aware of the quality of your ‘presence’ in the here-and-now = being aware of your own share in shaping this relationship
  40. 40. Appreciative inquiry as an added value in personal development Strength-based approach: strengthening the talents you become increasingly aware of Valuing and accepting who you are is an important condition for development and growth In the self-reflective and appreciative inquiry within the learning group is the co-creation of change and development: ‘Personal development is created in the interaction’ Creating a desired future for your personal way for being and professional functioning helps to move into that direction: personal development plan
  41. 41. Diversity of coaching methods RET (Rational Emotive Therapy) being aware of your (ir)rational cognitions that influence your emotions and behavior – in accepting them we can change them – readiness to work on your ‘mindset’ Biographies inquiring and valueing who you are thanks to your history – what are the unique (helping / hindering) patterns you have deeply learned and are still dominant – how to work on them? Voice dialogue diversity of inner voices or sub-personalities – specific qualities and dynamics? Insights Discovery Profile …
  42. 42. Concluding thoughts or questions on the contribution of AI in facilitating… group process  organizational  large-group &  personal dynamics multi-party development collaboration
  43. 43. René, Johan, Ludo, Hilda, Lieve