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Arabian Nights - turning a project team around in the desert

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Reflective account by Jim Dale (ProgM Secretary)

Okay - let me be up-front and confess - this was my first ever webinar! Candidly the idea of passively sitting in front of a computer screen for an hour watching, PowerPoint slides and listening to a speaker drone on did not appeal to me. If it is unenticing for the listener what must it be like for the poor speaker with just a screen to interact with!
Heresy - I hear you shout – this is the age of social media, webinars are accessible to hundreds, indeed thousands, they don’t involve the cost and time of travelling, they allow busy people to get on with their days jobs blah blah. ‘Yes’ I know this but I was still not a webinar fan; that is until earlier today.
Firstly, I want to say a big thank you on behalf of the Committee to Nick Fewings, the Co-Director of TheColourWorks for delivering an interesting, interactive presentation, with passion and flare. Secondly, well done to the APM for hosting this event. Nick’s presentation was about conflict and dysfunction amongst a team of project professionals working in Saudi Arabia. From my experience you don’t have to go very far to find conflict in project teams, but I guess a Bedouin tent in the Arabian Desert is more glamorous than an office in a London Borough Local Authority!
Nick’s presentation was anything but a passive experience. He introduced a series of on-line voting experiences, which were simply brilliant. We were asked, for example, about the typical issues in projects and then asked to ‘vote’ electronically. At the same time a constant stream of useful suggestions, questions and comments were being logged and displayed on the ‘twitter’ stream.
Nick spelt out three common causes of project failure as weak leadership, inadequate resourcing and poor stakeholder engagement. The link is, of course, people. People will ultimately determine project success or failure. This may sound obvious but it is frequently forgotten as we strive to deliver projects focusing on PPM, methodology, systems and processes.
Another fact that Nick emphasized was that we all have different personalities that condition the way we learn and respond to change. Nick’s simple and visual colour-coding system, used in-conjunction with a further poll, reinforced this point.
Now the really neat thing about webinars is that they can easily be recorded and made available to all:
So what learning can I take from Nick’s thought provoking presentation?
1) We must invest time getting to know our teams and what makes them tick;
2) We need to understand why change is resisted and help people progress quickly through the change curve;
3) We need to invest in a range of different communication styles to engage effectively without stakeholders;
4) Take a hat with a built-in fan when visiting the Arabian Desert!
Nick’s presentation slides are made available below to assist sharing and for those with green / yellow tendencies can be further shared with others.

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Arabian Nights - turning a project team around in the desert

  1. 1. Inspiring People, Delivering Results „Arabian Nights’ Turning A Project Team Around In The Desert The Colour Works exists to unleash potential, ignite transformational leadership and coaching capability to transform the way people work and the results they, their team and their organisation achieve. Nick Fewings, Director
  2. 2. Inspiring People, Delivering Results
  3. 3. Fact: 70% of business change fails to achieve desired goals Inspiring People, Delivering Results 1. Lack of strong leadership – Know yourself, warts and all 2. Lack of team skills and proven approach to change – Know your team & have a plan 3. Lack of effective engagement with stakeholders – Know your audience & communicate effectively Source: NAO/OGC
  4. 4. Client Briefing Inspiring People, Delivering Results • Multi-cultural project team of 30 with cultural issues • No clear leadership • Silo mentality and poor communication • Poor understanding of common vision/goals • Challenging work/life balance • Low morale
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  20. 20. Inspiring People, Delivering Results Day 1
  21. 21. Psychological Preferences Inspiring People, Delivering Results There are 3 pairs of preferences: Introversion – Extraversion how we react to inner & outer experiences Thinking – Feeling how we make decisions Sensation – Intuition Carl Gustav Jung 1875-1961 how we take in & process information
  22. 22. The Insights - Colour Energies Inspiring People, Delivering Results Cautious Precise Deliberate Questioning Formal Analytical Competitive Demanding Determined Strong-willed Purposeful Driver Caring Encouraging Sharing Patient Relaxed Amiable Sociable Dynamic Demonstrative Enthusiastic Persuasive Expressive
  23. 23. The Insights 4 Colour Energies Inspiring People, Delivering Results On a bad day… Stuffy Indecisive Suspicious Cold Reserved Aggressive Controlling Driving Overbearing Intolerant Docile Bland Plodding Reliant Stubborn Excitable Frantic Indiscreet Flamboyant Hasty
  24. 24. Complementary Styles Inspiring People, Delivering Results Sunshine Yellow Strengths Quick to build relationships Friendly and sociable Adaptable, imaginative Can see the big picture Weaknesses May lack detail and focus Too casual for some Poor planner Can lose interest Cool Blue Weaknesses A bit reserved at first Overlook others‟ feelings May be rigid & unimaginative Can focus on unimportant details Strengths Knowledgeable and detailed Has an air of competence Asks lots of questions Very thorough right to the end
  25. 25. Complementary Styles Inspiring People, Delivering Results Earth Green Fiery Red Strengths Builds deep relationships Natural listener Sincere and warm Patient Weaknesses Can be seen as arrogant Poor listener Can be too cold and pushy May not let others finish speaking Weaknesses Slow to adapt to change Seem to lack enthusiasm Unsure of themselves Reliant on others Strengths Love challenges Want to get things done Confident of their ability Influence others
  26. 26. Profiles Inspiring People, Delivering Results Nick Fewings 06/01/12 Personal Profile Foundation Chapter Management Chapter Effective Selling Chapter Personal Achievement Chapter Interview Chapter
  27. 27. Measuring our preferences Inspiring People, Delivering Results Persona (Conscious) BLUE Preference Flow Persona (Less conscious) GREEN YELLOW RED 6 BLUE 100 GREEN YELLOW RED 6 50 3 0 3 50 0 100 1.04 17% 3.24 54% 4.88 81% 4.72 79% 0 37.2% 1.12 19% 1.28 21% 4.96 83% 2.76 46%
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  29. 29. Remember your card order? 8-Type Colour Mix Descriptors Inspiring People, Delivering Results MOST LEAST TYPE Inspirer Helper Motivator Reformer Motivator Director Observer Coordinator Reformer Supporter Coordinator Helper
  30. 30. Insights 72-type wheel Inspiring People, Delivering Results
  31. 31. Team Wheel Determination Monitors Performance Product Knowledge Inspiring People, Delivering Results Sets Standards Product Knowledge Analysis Results Focus Decisive Assertive Drive Enthusiasm Positive Thinking Planning Organisation Time Management Persuasive Creative People Skills Supportive Listens, Loyal Team Approach Helps Others Flexible Shares Ideas
  32. 32. Wheel Pos'n Inspiring People, Delivering Results 21 41 22 22 42 42 42 23 43 43 141 144 25 26 46 46 27 27 50 33 15 36 56 56 153 Blue 4.40 4.36 3.64 4.20 4.20 3.80 3.84 1.56 3.40 3.44 3.12 2.80 2.00 2.44 1.56 1.88 2.56 1.92 3.36 5.56 4.72 4.12 4.12 4.52 4.64 Green 2.64 3.28 2.12 2.52 1.20 2.96 2.60 0.56 2.44 1.68 3.44 3.60 1.56 2.76 3.76 3.32 3.20 4.12 5.12 4.48 2.88 2.36 2.44 2.20 3.04 Yellow 2.52 2.20 2.88 2.60 3.08 3.08 3.16 4.40 3.80 4.12 2.44 3.28 5.00 4.00 5.24 5.16 4.12 4.72 4.32 1.36 1.96 2.80 3.20 3.40 3.80 Red 4.60 4.48 5.68 4.52 5.28 4.36 4.88 5.68 5.28 5.60 3.76 4.48 4.92 3.36 4.04 4.12 2.96 2.32 1.88 0.92 2.96 3.92 3.36 4.16 2.56
  33. 33. Team Average Scores Inspiring People, Delivering Results 6 Blue Green Yellow Red 3.45 2.81 4.00 3 0 3.47
  34. 34. eNgage! Inspiring People, Delivering Results Planning People Values Risk assessment Processes Monitoring Checking Evaluation Detail Impact: - People - Teams Consultation Inclusion Bringing people along Defining Task Clear Vision Goal Setting Timescales Driving Responsibilities Action Innovation “How Can We..?” Motivation Ideas Optimism Inspiration
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  39. 39. Inspiring People, Delivering Results Day 2
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  41. 41. Inspiring People, Delivering Results ENGAGING STAKEHOLDERS
  42. 42. Who is my Audience? Inspiring People, Delivering Results
  43. 43. The Golden Rule Inspiring People, Delivering Results
  44. 44. Inspiring People, Delivering Results “People do not resist change – people change all the time. What people resist is having others impose change on them” Margaret Wheatley Harvard University
  45. 45. Leading Complex Change Inspiring People, Delivering Results Skills + Incentives + Feedback + Action Plan = Confusion + Incentives + Feedback + Action Plan = Anxiety + Feedback + Action Plan = Resistance + Action Plan = Frustration Vision + Vision + Skills + Vision + Skills + Incentives + Vision + Skills + Incentives + Feedback + Vision + Skills + Incentives + Feedback + = Treadmill Action Plan Thousand (2000) adapted from Knoster, T. (1991) = CHANGE
  46. 46. Effective Change Management Inspiring People, Delivering Results The Transition Curve
  47. 47. ‘The Famous Five’ Inspiring People, Delivering Results Clarify The Change Involve Staff Manage Resistance Communicate Track Progress
  48. 48. 4. Communicate - Feedback Inspiring People, Delivering Results Detailed written Goal directed information Action orientated Measures of success Time focussed Clear unambiguous messages One point of contact Logical not emotive Small task force What is expected of Opportunities to individuals share ideas Small groups Face to face Ability to give Visual feedback Q & A sessions Involvement
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  54. 54. Inspiring People, Delivering Results Team Performance Audit
  55. 55. Team Effectiveness Diagnostic Inspiring People, Delivering Results Objectives Approach to Tasks 6.00 5.00 Problem-Solving 4.00 Decision-Making Accountability & Commitment 3.00 Roles & Responsibilities Vision 2.00 1.00 Review of Process Communication 0.00 Meetings Involvement Valuing Differences Creativity Trust Atmosphere Feelings
  56. 56. A High-Performing Team? Inspiring People, Delivering Results Objectives Approach to Tasks 6.00 5.00 Problem-Solving 4.00 Decision-Making Accountability & Commitment 3.00 Roles & Responsibilities Vision 2.00 1.00 Review of Process Communication 0.00 Meetings Involvement Valuing Differences Creativity Trust Atmosphere Feelings
  57. 57. A Team with Issues? Inspiring People, Delivering Results Objectives Approach to Tasks 6.00 5.00 Problem-Solving 4.00 Decision-Making Accountability & Commitment 3.00 Roles & Responsibilities Vision 2.00 1.00 Review of Process Communication 0.00 Meetings Involvement Valuing Differences Creativity Trust Atmosphere Feelings
  58. 58. Inspiring People, Delivering Results Areas Participation Acceptance Objectives Accountability & Commitment Roles & Responsibilities Atmosphere Diversity Direction Review Communication Trust Innovation Decisions Meetings Process Planning & Follow-through Run 1 4.56 4.67 4.87 4.25 4.01 4.76 4.30 5.00 4.20 4.68 4.43 4.20 4.10 3.68 3.95 3.87 Run 2 5.06 5.22 5.33 4.83 4.83 5.11 4.67 5.11 4.56 5.00 5.00 4.44 4.83 4.28 4.39 4.44 Run 3 5.53 5.47 5.40 5.33 5.33 5.20 5.20 5.20 5.07 5.07 5.00 4.87 4.87 4.73 4.73 4.60 % diff 9% 5% 1% 10% 10% 2% 11% 2% 11% 1% 0% 10% 1% 11% 8% 4%
  59. 59. Sub-team Results Inspiring People, Delivering Objectives Results Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 Team 4 5.43 Participation 5.53 Participation 5.11 Participation 5.43 Roles & Responsibilities 5.33 Acceptance 5.47 Objectives 5.07 5.38 Participation 5.19 5.40 5.14 Meetings 5.10 5.33 Roles & Responsibilities Accountability & Commitment 5.04 Trust Objectives Accountability & Commitment Diversity Accountability & Commitment 4.93 Atmosphere 5.29 Direction Accountability & Commitment 5.05 Roles & Responsibilities 5.33 Diversity 4.89 Acceptance 5.29 Atmosphere 5.20 Acceptance 4.85 Trust 5.19 5.05 Diversity 5.20 Direction 4.85 Review 5.14 Review 5.05 Direction 5.20 Process 4.74 Roles & Responsibilities 5.14 Diversity 4.95 Review 5.07 Trust 4.67 Direction 5.10 Communication 4.95 Communication 5.07 Decisions 4.67 Objectives 4.95 Atmosphere 4.90 Trust 5.00 Atmosphere 4.63 Decisions 4.81 Acceptance 4.90 Innovation 4.87 Communication 4.59 Communication 4.76 Process 4.81 Decisions 4.87 Planning & Follow-through 4.56 Innovation 4.71 Planning & Follow-through 4.76 Meetings 4.73 Meetings 4.48 Meetings 4.71 Decisions 4.71 Process 4.73 Review 4.41 Planning & Follow-through 4.48 Innovation 4.43 Planning & Follow-through 4.60 Innovation 4.26 Process 4.33 5.38
  60. 60. The Result Inspiring People, Delivering Results • • • • • • • • • • • • Multi-cultural project team of 30 with cultural issues Broke down the cultural barriers No clear leadership Leader identified and agreed Silo mentality and poor communication Barriers removed and lines of communication established Poor understanding of common vision/goals Vision agreed and goals clarified Challenging work/life balance Social events put in place and weekend activities Low morale Improved morale, self-esteem and buzz
  61. 61. 12 Months Later – Client Feedback Inspiring People, Delivering Results "Through Colour Works, we have learnt a lot about ourselves and the dynamics of the team. By sharing our individual profiles with each other and focusing on our 'team wheel' we have been able to develop a much better understanding of our different styles and strengths and how they can be used to complement each other. The team development days and Team Audits have helped us to build better relationships and work more effectively as a whole project team our communication is more open , collaborative working is more focused and we have a greater appreciation of the contribution each member makes to the team resulting in our project being back on track and delivering against client needs"
  62. 62. What You Can Do Next Inspiring People, Delivering Results • Obtain a free sample Discovery Profile and Team Performance Report • Visit The Colour Works Community page at www.thecolourworks.com for free tips, hints, articles, blogs on leadership, communication and team-work • Connect on LinkedIn
  63. 63. Inspiring People, Delivering Results nick@thecolourworks.com 07966 306903 0845 045 0933 LinkedIn: Nick Fewings Twitter: ColourfulNick

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