The Ancient Chinese had Five Elements  Fire Wood Water Metal Earth
Agenda <ul><li>An enterprise may be balanced or unbalanced.   </li></ul><ul><li>(This may apply to an organization, a proj...
Each element has its own way of being Classifies Clarifies Metal Networks Supports Earth Merges Inspires Fire Aligns Direc...
Each element supports the next one Fire Wood Water Metal Earth
Each elements  controls the next but one Fire Wood Water Metal Earth exhausts melts banks cuts extinguishes
The whole must be balanced Fire Wood Water Metal Earth exhausts melts banks cuts extinguishes
Example: Constraints can help creativity (productive work) (insight, epiphany) Wood Water controls and shapes springs (con...
But excess constraints can stifle creativity. So … (desire) (conceptual clarity and rigour) Fire Metal feeds melts, anneal...
Example: Consultancy Intervention <ul><li>Client A was a head office group, responsible for running a large and important ...
Example: Consultancy Intervention <ul><li>Client B was a large and highly successful company. There was a lot of parallel ...
Comparison <ul><li>By comparing Clients A and B, we see the importance of treating each client situation differently, rath...
Consequences for Team Design <ul><li>An effective and stable team should balance the five elements between the team member...
For more material by Richard Veryard … <ul><li>…  please read my blog </li></ul><ul><li>DemandingChange.BlogSpot.com </li>...
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Elements of Change

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  • Elements of Change

    1. 1. The Ancient Chinese had Five Elements Fire Wood Water Metal Earth
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>An enterprise may be balanced or unbalanced.  </li></ul><ul><li>(This may apply to an organization, a project, a professional practice, or a social institution.) </li></ul><ul><li>An unbalanced enterprise may be dysfunctional.  </li></ul><ul><li>(An obsessively balanced enterprise may also be dysfunctional.) </li></ul><ul><li>An intervention may attempt to restore a healthy balance, or may attempt to disrupt an unhealthy balance. </li></ul><ul><li>In this presentation, I discuss a model of balance derived from ancient Chinese thought. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Each element has its own way of being Classifies Clarifies Metal Networks Supports Earth Merges Inspires Fire Aligns Directs Wood Bonds Understands Water Linkage Action Element
    4. 4. Each element supports the next one Fire Wood Water Metal Earth
    5. 5. Each elements controls the next but one Fire Wood Water Metal Earth exhausts melts banks cuts extinguishes
    6. 6. The whole must be balanced Fire Wood Water Metal Earth exhausts melts banks cuts extinguishes
    7. 7. Example: Constraints can help creativity (productive work) (insight, epiphany) Wood Water controls and shapes springs (conceptual clarity and rigour) (conceptual clarity and rigour) Metal Metal
    8. 8. But excess constraints can stifle creativity. So … (desire) (conceptual clarity and rigour) Fire Metal feeds melts, anneals (productive work) (desire) Wood Fire
    9. 9. Example: Consultancy Intervention <ul><li>Client A was a head office group, responsible for running a large and important programme. We found that they were pretty good in networking and support ( earth ). They seemed to find it impossible to actually get anything done ( wood ). </li></ul><ul><li>They obviously wanted the external consultants to do all the work for them ( wood ). But at the same time, they would have been profoundly threatened if we had succeeded. </li></ul><ul><li>Not primarily because this would have shown up their weaknesses. They fancied themselves as managers: so if we had got lots of work done, they would have taken the credit for delegating the work to us. </li></ul><ul><li>But the real problem was that the work would have undermined their carefully constructed relationships with everyone else. There seemed to be no way the work could have been done without upsetting some people, putting pressure on others, and generally raising the temperature. </li></ul><ul><li>The key to a successful intervention in this situation was creativity ( water) . We needed all the creativity we could access, to build up the capability to do work, both for us and for the client, without threatening the client's position. The client's networking and support strengths meant that the creativity was grounded, but not eliminated. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Example: Consultancy Intervention <ul><li>Client B was a large and highly successful company. There was a lot of parallel activity going on, but no properly coordinated programme. We were brought in initially to do risk management, and found ourselves trying to run the programme. We found an overwhelming task-oriented culture ( wood ). What they lacked was the ability to understand ( water ) the implications of what they were doing. </li></ul><ul><li>My belief is that they hired us because they recognized that we could bring a much-needed creative understanding ( water ). But in this context, the creativity of some members of the consultancy team caused some mutual discomfort and resistance. </li></ul><ul><li>Other members of the consultancy team got seduced by the client culture, and advocated a highly task-oriented approach to the intervention. For a while, the conflict and lack of balance in the client organization was echoed within the consultancy team. </li></ul><ul><li>The key to a successful intervention in this situation was discipline ( metal ). Fortunately, we had a well-articulated risk management methodology, which provided a clear structure for the work. In due course, we were able to hand responsibility for running the programme over to an internal director, who was better able to deploy the networking and political resources to support the necessary disciplines. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Comparison <ul><li>By comparing Clients A and B, we see the importance of treating each client situation differently, rather than following a set formula. </li></ul><ul><li>Client A had too much structure, Client B not enough. </li></ul><ul><li>Client A would happily turn actions into debating issues. Client B only understood issues if we could turn them into actions. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Consequences for Team Design <ul><li>An effective and stable team should balance the five elements between the team members. Each element should be 'owned' by an individual member or subteam. You may own more than one element. You may sometimes be able to support yourself. So it is often okay for the same person to own both ends of a support arrow. </li></ul><ul><li>But it is very difficult to counterbalance yourself. So it is usually a bad idea for the same person to own both ends of a control arrow. </li></ul><ul><li>This means that an effective and stable team needs between 3 and 5 members. </li></ul>
    13. 13. For more material by Richard Veryard … <ul><li>… please read my blog </li></ul><ul><li>DemandingChange.BlogSpot.com </li></ul><ul><li>… browse my articles </li></ul><ul><li>delicious.com/richardveryard </li></ul><ul><li>… or visit my wiki </li></ul><ul><li>veryard.wikispaces.com </li></ul>

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