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Narrative coaching dulwich 2012


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Narrative coaching dulwich 2012

  1. 1. Narrative coaching and corporate identitiesBringing narrative ideas into the workplace How to deal with the « Big 5 » Dulwich Centre March 19, 2012 Pierre Blanc-Sahnoun
  2. 2. From where I speak…
  3. 3. A litle bit of context
  4. 4.  The big private companies set a new dominant order based on performance This dominant culture spreads over every sector of life, especially public services, hospitals, social work, prisons, etc. which are supposed to meet the performance criteria and the financial models of the private companies The financial markets have taken the power over most companies and that this power brings into question the place of people and of productive investment in the value creation process This state of things puts more and more pressure on the managers shoulders and that the gap between local understandings of work and life and global requirements of performance is increasing The workers have less and less chance to connect their hopes, dreams and values to the demands of the companies
  5. 5.  This state of things increases suffering at work, the suicide rate, disorientation and demotivation More and more managers engage in violent or coercive behaviors to try to respond to what is expected from them At the end of the day, all this decreases the performance and the long term development of the companies and destroys work in most western countries, weakening the ability of the state to represent the people, and to provide adapted responses … and because Narrative Practices allows people to rebuild work-communities based on local skills and experiences and making rich connections between their identities as human beings and their stories as workers.
  6. 6. What you find in anorganization is very strong dominant ideas
  7. 7. about power and complianceabout profitabout efficiencyabout creation of value for the shareholderabout growth
  8. 8. This is what we call « the big 5 »
  9. 9. Narrative practices are relevant for coaching and consulting
  10. 10.  A work story is a story Work is a strong narrative theme (values, hopes) supporting multiple stories A company itself is a story (K. Weick) People respond and resist (coffee machine, rumours, « resistance to change ») These are always thin traces of alternative work values underpinned by alternative work stories A work community is a community defined by its preferred stories (merger) There are lots of metaphors and images in the folk culture that can account for these dominant or alternative organizational models (Village Gaulois, Star Trek, Gladiator, Prova d’orchestra, the Godfather, Star Wars…)
  11. 11. Some points ofvigilance and limits
  12. 12. Our representation of business and companies as « another world » and narrative consulting in the organizations as « another skill »Multiplicity of stories about the same topic, implicit prevalence of the payer’s versionLocalization of the problem and initial meeting with the management with negociation about the problem’s property (Gérard Lambert has a leadership problem)Normalizing pathologizing coachingNarrative coaching and problem dissolution vs. the tradition of problem resolution in organizations
  13. 13. Company dominant management and relations culture (management by terror, by greed, « humanist bet »…)Shareholder culture (measure)Management willingness and stories about being a leaderManagement resistance and legitimacy building
  14. 14. the narrative coach has to deal endlessly with the enormous pressure of these dominant storiesOften he has himself a business!he might be « recruited » by the organization as a normalizing device, maintaining the executives in the corporate conformityHe has to resist the consulting expert practicethis demands from him a very high level of deconsruction and « exoticising »
  15. 15. Work stories• Chose something that you value in your work• Tell a real and recent story that happened in your job and illustrates this something• What is it in this story that is particularly precious to you ?• Are there any specific hopes, values, commitments, visions… relating to this ?• How did these hopes, values, etc. appear in your life ?• Does this connect you to some beliefs, ideas of a community (family, religion, culture…) that you relate to ?• What was it like for you to speak about these topics in relation to work ?
  16. 16. Case studies
  17. 17. Lots of applications in organisations • Individual coaching • Training • Team Building • Change management • Conflict dissolution • Response to suicide and burnout •…
  18. 18. Narrativeindividual coaching
  19. 19. John Stillman / Barbara Smith
  20. 20. • « I am unable to make a decision » • « Gérard needs to improve his performance as a leader »• « My organisation and planning skills are terrible » • « I lose it during the meetings »
  21. 21. NarrativeTraining
  22. 22. • Hello, I am your trainer… which means that you are going to teach me• What are your best stories about management• What is really important in this story that made you chose it ?• What kind of management values does this story design• What is in common between all your stories ? And what is the most important ?
  23. 23. Narrative training
  24. 24. • Stories• Common referential• Personal mapping on the referential• Outsider witnessing• (no action plans)• Where am I living on this common country of management• What is important for me• How could I do more of what is important• Continue… ? Begin… ? Stop… ?• Who can help me ?• What could try to prevent me to do that ?• How will people see that I do this ?• What difference will it make in my work?• What is the value of this difference for me ?
  25. 25. Building a common referential• Same theme: What do you value in your work ?• Tell a story that happened in your work and illustrates this• What is it in this story that is precious to you ?• Group discussion about what words, expressions, images, themes, values, hopes or commitments are common in these narrations• Group discussion about « what our group values in work »• Choose a name for your group
  26. 26. QuestionsReflections
  27. 27. NarrativeTeam building
  28. 28. • Merry Christmas !• People connected by stories• All the work communities are confronted to the same types of challenges: belonging or not belonging, inclusion and exclusion, leadership, sharing of the resources, conflicts resolution and violence management• From a story about difference to a story about resemblance (20 % - 100 %)
  29. 29. The story of SSL Healthcare• X Healthcare France : 2 brands in drugstores, one of footcare, one of sexual protection• Small and very specialized compared to the industry leaders (hulks)• Strong competition on the market and major crisis in Europe• Demands from the shareholder• « baby blues » and disorientation : who are we ? Where to go now ? What strategy to cope with the crisis ?• Used to be the good pupil of the company and winning award team but the results are collapsing
  30. 30. The story of SSL Healthcare1. Drawing your team2. Visiting the exhibition3. Discussing what’s important and building a common vision
  31. 31. The story of SSL Healthcare
  32. 32. The story of SSL Healthcare
  33. 33. The story of SSL Healthcare
  34. 34. The story of SSL HealthcareBut…• You have a long story of success and being an award-winning team.• Can you tell me stories about this period ?• How did you do this ? On what skills or ideas did you rely to achieve this ?
  35. 35. The story of SSL Healthcare « We are elves » This text is a patchwork realized from your own words, images and sentences that you used during this workshop to talk about your values, projects and identity.• We are not warriors, we are elves, we are nimble. We are small but nimble, we like to move and change, we praise playful challenges. We like to change, to think about ptoblems and elaborate solutions. We are sensitive people and emotion is something we value, even if one of us says that we should beware of too much emotion that could paralyde our capacity to move on.• We had to accept a loss and we weren’t aware of it, we will never be « big, free and wealthy » at the same time. We had to give up on it. We want a plauful and inspiring challenge, to realize our ambitions in the respect of our human values, trust, exemplarity, courage et equity. Instead of getting big quickly, we decided to be everywhere quickly and to increase our brands’ presence.• We invented a name for that, the « Everywhereness ». It is a balance between what seems acceptable for out shareholders and what’ s ausing and interesting for us.• Engage with our teams in « Everywhereness » allows us to unite ourselves and to lead our teams under a common banner.
  36. 36. The story of SSL Healthcare – what difference could it make in the life of your team, or your company? – What kind of projects or initiatives could show that you have developed this new understanding of your preferred way of working? – If you could draw the difference, or the new possibilities, or your team reconnected with its preferred values and practices, what would this drawing look like?
  37. 37. The story of SSL Healthcare
  38. 38. Applications of the tree of life in theorganizations With permission of Dina Scherrer Inspired from Ncazelo Ncube (REPPSI) and David Denborough
  39. 39. NarrativeChange management
  40. 40.  In a lot of countries, subsidiaries or local teams form solidary work-communities, to protect and sustain their own skills, knowledges and traditions about « work » They develop a resistance to the hedquarters and the shareholder They set up very interesting "passive" resistance strategies These resistance initiatives are pathologized as « resistance to change » whereas they are honouring the preferred values and identities of the work-communities Coaches are requested to « tackle » or « suppress » this resistance There is a corporate belief that « change is good, resistance is bad »
  41. 41. The story of Pages jaunes What would you decide if it was your company and your money ?
  42. 42. The story of Pages jaunesWhat is working well in your job in the DSI since the reorganization and what should be changed?What sustains you in your work at the present time?What are the values, practices, ideas that help you the more when confronted to a problem?Please, tell recent stories from the real life in illustration of these points…Then, please express your common vision under any form that seem relevant to you
  43. 43. The story of Pages jaunes
  44. 44. … All this rests on the professional conscience and on the good will. We hope that this text will be able to make our managers become aware of our problems and our efforts and to the direction of Yellow Pages. We also hope that he/it will be able to serve to other people of the DSI that will be able to meet of it. We wish that all our invisible work is recognized and rewarded. For some among us, if they continue to make some efforts, it is for their personal satisfaction, for the taste of work makes well, but they dont wait anymore for recognition of the enterprise. The most pessimistic think that the ways to get round« A footing with ski and to work nevertheless that we exposed above arrange the Direction well becauseshoes… » they limit the damages of the reorganization. But for a lot of other, our attachment to Yellow Pages made us hope that the reports and the suggestions that we expose in this text and that we elaborated The story of Pages jaunes during the seminary will be able to contribute to make change the things.
  45. 45. In the beginning we had the hope To make our histories heared But locked under this lid Our ideas remain in jail But retained behind this wall Our voice is only a whisper Yet we still have the pride Of our teams, of our professions But living too long in the desert Made us a little bitter And if we dont drop itIt is that we know how to trick and smuggle And to open new paths Even though they are clandestine To take in hand our future We need confidence To pass our distrust That one recognizes our fracture And we want a voice To gather on the same ground PH, DOP, MOS and SOL. And we want a voice To gather on the same ground The story of Pages jaunes PH, DOP, MOS and SOL.
  46. 46. ConflictDissolution
  47. 47. 1. Acceptation of the coaching2. Individual interview3. Documentation4. Common interview about the documentation with outsider witness5. Initiatives6. Follow up• what are the effects of the conflict?• what did the conflict not manage to destroy?• how is this possible?• what important things does this conflict destroy or prevent to exist?• how to recover and amplify this?
  48. 48. Narrative response to suicide andburnout pierre-blanc-sahnoun.pdf
  49. 49. Individual conversations• When were you informed of Jean‐Louis Marquis’ suicide? Could you tell me exactly what happened, what you thought and felt, the opinions you had on this subject?• How has this suicide affected you? Your relations with your colleagues? Maybe your morale or self‐image? What you think about this company? Your view of work or life in general?• Do you think the impact is mostly negative or is there something positive? Or a bit of both?• What experiences or ideas have allowed you to put things into perspective, to reduce the effects of this suicide on the various areas you spoke about?• Did anyone in particular help you by his/her presence, teachings, words, or ideas to deal with the impact of this suicide on your life?• Would you mind telling me a bit more about these experiences and your ideas on suicide and death – in particular, how you acquired them or whether they correspond to the culture of your family or a community (religious, ethnic ...) to which you belong?
  50. 50. Definitional ceremony• Employees would be free to speak, if they so desired, or remain silent; the very fact of their attendance already constituting a tribute to the memory of their colleague,• The objective of the meeting was to talk about Jean‐Louis Marquis, not their own ‘trauma’, or the company specifically.Drawing on the outsider‐ witness/definitional ceremony map (White, 2007), I proposed the following points to employees for their thoughts:• What image of him remained with them?• Tell a story to illustrate this image and share it.• Describe where the speaker was today, what ideas he/she had in relation to this colleague’s suicide, and how these ideas potentially affected his/her professional activities and personal life.• What he/she learned as a lesson or adopted as a resolution for the future.
  51. 51. (temporary)Conclusion
  52. 52. … and what about you? • Ideas for your own context… • New possibilities… • Take-outs… •…
  53. 53. Narrative in the workplace is still a work in progressWe began 6 years ago in France Welcome on board!