ensembleenabler.com https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/ Thu, 23 Sep 2021 13:09:38 +0000 de-DE hourly 1 Reaping the Full Benefit from a Participatory Event https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/reaping-the-full-benefit/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/reaping-the-full-benefit/#comments Fri, 30 Apr 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Participatory Meetings and Events Personal and Team Leadership Development Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica feedback loops participatory process participant engagement conversation participatory dialogue expert know-how wisdom of crowds collective wisdom collective intelligence face-to-face meetings participatory meeting design leadership in networks meeting strategy learning environment large scale events small expert forums community expert networks knowledge marketplace largescaleevents https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/reaping-the-full-benefit/ Weiterlesen

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Refreshing the design approach of an Expert Forum 

Boehringer Ingelheim's Vetmedica division initially conceived the idea for a Forum over 10 years ago. The aim is to create a meeting place to exchange perspectives and practices among some of the main players in the industry. Initially the meeting was labeled the European Forum because the main emphasis was on developments occurring in Europe. However over the years, interest was peaked all across the globe and, as a result, the number of participants coming from countries worldwide has increased every year.

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Krakow - location of the 7th Expert Forum

The original design of the Forum was structured in a traditional way with speakers, panel discussions and break out sessions. After three such Forums, two factors led Hugo Seemer from Boehringer Ingelheim's Vetmedica - the driving force behind the Forum - to think about re-designing the experience.

Why as a redesign of the Forum considered? 

  1.  Firstly, the participants' feedback indicated that they would like to have more time to interact with other participants.  
  2. Secondly, the organizer realized that actually every participant had very valuable know-how to share and could potentially take on the role of speaker. How could this worldwide know-how be made more generally available?

Participatory Meetings

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The planer of the Forum from Boehringer Ingelheim contacted Ensemble Enabler and requested us to re-design the upcoming Forum which was scheduled to take place in Amsterdam.  We were delighted to take on the challenge because creating participatory meetings and events is one of Ensemble Enabler's strong points. 

At the heart of our re-design was fostering meaningful and productive conversations among groups of four people. Research indicates that this size is optimal for promoting thoughtful exchange among participants. These conversations provide the focus for the event's main activity. Moreover, these conversations build on the know-know of select invited expert speakers around an established theme. 

Expert speakers play a key role in the Forum by providing expert input for the ensuing in-depth conversations. However, they also become participants in the discussions. After the invited experts have made their own presentations, they rejoin the conversation groups as a participant. As a result, the expert perspective is integrated into the meeting both as a speaker and participant in all discussions. Each of the tables discuss the same topic simultaneously which provides a shared understanding of the selected theme as well as fosters a sense of coherence and joint effort in the group as a whole.

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Working Towards a Joint Result

An integral part of the Forum's design is to promote the participants to work collaboratively to achieve a group result.  Numerous methods are used to document and visualize the insights and ideas on the theme which is the focus of that year's Forum.  All the participant feedback is analyzed and documented. This common objective adds a sense of purpose to all the exchanges among the participants during their discussions throughout the day.

For example, the theme for the Forum in Krakow was the emergence of global standards in the industry.  Participants discussed this issue from the perspective of three perspectives: Animal Welfare, Consumer Demand and International Trade.  All their ideas and recommendations from each thematic perspective were documented throughout the Forum. An initial overview of the results and recommendations was presented to them at a cocktail reception prior to a joint dinner.

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The New Normal can be either face-to-face OR virtual

This new design approach has been very favorably received by the participants of  Boehringer Ingelheim's Annual Forum. One participant shared with us that he "...cannot imagine going back to the more traditional meeting structure."  

The benefits for both the participants and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica are numerous. During the course of the table discussions, participants enjoy thematically focused and high quality conversations of longer timeframes (20-30 minutes) with at least 20 different colleagues throughout the course of the day. A visualization of an initial overview of the group's reflections and ideas is presented to the participants at the end of the day. The Forum serves to foster a closer relationship with Boehringer Ingehlheim Vetmedica's customers as well as promotes a close network among the participants themselves.

Every organization can reap the full benefit from its meetings by embracing a participatory approach to the design of its meetings.


Whenever people meet, there is latent wisdom and emerging knowledge to be expressed and captured. A meeting's design offers both the flexibility and alignment with an event's requirements - either as a face-to-face such as Boehringer Ingelheim's invitation-only Forum of virtual events - whether on a small, intimate scale or large group event.

Discover the type of participatory event approach which will provide the insight and results you need for your organization


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  

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Championing Network Collaboration through Leadership Sprints https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/leadership-sprints/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/leadership-sprints/#comments Sat, 17 Apr 2021 17:50:00 +0000 network collaboration leadership sprints learning centered leadership development leadership development information age digital transformation digital transformation in companies digital change in family owned companies leadership VUCA VUCA world collaboration teams networks Networks in business network connectivity network leadership mentoring network leadership bokeh Apple Inc. iphone dragonfly thinking Dr. Bruce Oberhardt network critical zones ONA organizational network analysis network mapping network leadership development visual enabling enabling organizations leadershipsprints https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/leadership-sprints/ Weiterlesen

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Embracing a new paradigm for Leadership Development within Organizations 

The current model of formal leadership development generally takes place almost exclusively in a workshop setting away from an organization's offices. What is commonly the focus of these meetings?  A reflection on and optimization of the individual competencies of the pre-selected leaders who are attending the leadership workshop. Input for these reflections is often furnished by direct reports who provide feedback which informs an individual leader's development plans. This conventional approach has been the modus operandi for the leadership development initiatives for most organizations for decades.

The impact of the Information Age and and the corresponding digital transformation organizations are experiencing, compels businesses to rethink the current role of leadership and leadership development. Individual skill development is no longer sufficient to deal with the turbulence of this VUCA world. The growing need for agility has led to the realization that leadership is a team sport which requires the co-ordination and collaboration of many leaders.

Moreover, the importance of leadership lies not only at the level of a team, but increasingly at the level of the network. With information flowing at unprecedented speed, no single person can possess a complete overview of the current state of affairs in a business. Due to an environment characterized by complexity and rapidity, it is crucial for leaders to make sense of the situation by reaching out and engaging diverse perspectives. Where will these myriad of perspectives come from? Not only from within their organization but beyond its business boundaries with outside collaborators as well.

As individuals we tend to be "boundedly rational". What does this mean? We base our decisions on our own personal definition of the problem. This definition of a problem is constrained by the perspectives to which we have access. By approaching a problem from multiple perspectives instead, a problem's definition becomes more diverse in nature. As a result, such a multiple perspective approach is more likely to pinpoint the core of the problem or issue. Networks are required to access such multiple perspectives successfully.

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The example of the camera development project launched in 2009 for Apple's iPhone7 Plus provides an excellent example of the power of multiple perspectives. The goal was to build a camera into the phone which could provide a "bokeh" feature - an aspect of photography which is acknowledged by professionals to be a level of the highest quality. "Bokeh" is a Japanese term referring to the pleasant blurring of a photograph's background.

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In most cases. the camera team was able to technically realize this effect. However a few unique technical exceptions prevented the release of the "bokeh" photographic feature. In order to resolve these persistent issues, other team members from sensor software, UX prototyping, algorithm teams, and - perhaps most important - senior design leaders came together. With the help of the senior design leaders the team was able to define the question "What makes a beautiful picture?" . This definition helped to advise the algorithm team to pursue these guidelines. The result? An acceptable standard was achieved despite some technical exceptions and the new "bokeh" feature was included in the next iPhone release. This breakthrough would not have materialized without the inclusion of other teams and individuals from various other departments.

From "Bokeh" Photography to Dragonfly Thinking 

Apple's iPhone 7 Plus innovation story illustrates the increasing need to embrace new leadership skills and sensibilities suitable for a rapidly complex and changing business environment. New leadership capacities need to be championed to collaborate successfully at the network level.

Like a dragonfly, leaders need to foster their ability to gain multiple perspectives. Dragonflies have two large compound eyes, each with thousands of lenses, and three eyes with simple lenses! They are powerful and agile fliers, capable of moving in any direction, and changing direction suddenly. While in flight a dragonfly can propel itself in six directions: upward, downward, forward, backward, to the left and to the right. These are great capabilities to view the environment while at the same time being able to swoop down to see the individual components as well.

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Dr. Bruce Oberhardt, a biomedical engineer and entrepreneur, has developed a unique approach to problem solving which was inspired by his encounters with dragonflies. His Dragonfly Thinking approach enables leaders to identify and solve important problems in a creative and highly effective way.


Ideas are the fuel that make the impossible possible.
Bruce Oberhardt
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What skills does a leader need to become a "Dragonfly Thinker"?

REPRESENTATION CAPABILITY: To be able to capture the multi-faceted nature of an issue.

RELATIONAL CAPABILITY: To provide a safe zone for everyone involved to say what one thinks.

REFLECTION CAPABILITY: To have the ability to iterate between different ways of looking at a problem.

INTEGRATION CAPABILITY: To provide clarity around the purpose of the problem-solving activity.

Safe zones allow the dragonfly larva to metamorphosize and fulfill its purpose. The mature dragonfly with its multiple eyes ensures that it can continue to "see" the multi-faceted nature of the issues which it encounters. Lastly, its flying agility enables it to map the environment and the interconnectedness of its parts. These are the key leadership skills which are needed to work through an increasingly rapid-changing business environment.


The new leadership paradigm focuses on the level of the network

The design of traditional leadership development programs has been to provide a space and opportunity for individuals to reflect upon their leadership strengths and weaknesses away from the day-to-day business pressures. Typically the individuals who attend such leadership development sessions are pre-selected based upon their previous performance and perceived future promise to the organization.

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Fostering a novel approach to leadership from the network perspective requires fundamental shifts from the long-established and classical leadership development practice.


How can this kind of Network Leadership be promoted?

1. A selection process for emergent leaders based on the network dynamics in an organization is fundamental

2. Leadership development practices which are based not only on skill development but also network awareness


What does selection process based on Network Leadership look like?

From a network perspective, leadership development needs to take place in the critical zones of a network, i.e. where the important interconnections of the network exist. This is where the greatest potential value to the organization is located. In the example of Apple described above, this critical zone would include the camera team as well as the senior design leaders, sensor software and UX-Design groups. New leadership capabilities are required to nurture effective interaction between diverse groups.

The science of Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) reveals where these zones could be located within an organization. These maps help to identify the flow of information and energy within the networks.

The following example of a network map highlights a type of network which is often found within organizations. The diagram outlines how information flows among a set of interconnected people. This type of network is known as the hub-and-spoke network.

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In this type of network, information flows through a central leader, expert or team who are located in the diagram as the hub. The spokes which emerge from the hub, all act as silos which are independent of one another. Any necessary co-ordination is directed from the hub.

When does this type of network manifest itself? One example is the formation of new groups after the completion of an acquisition of a business. This type of network may also originate from certain habits and behaviors, such as a strict command-and-control mindset or an individual's excessive ego.

These kinds of networks generally have various negative effects on collaboration. Hub and spoke networks often prevent innovation by constraining the flow of information. As a result, unhealthy feedback patterns tend to emerge; only those ideas which reach the central hub are considered. The central hub also functions as a noticeable bottleneck. Timely decision making is impaired due to the overwhelming co-ordination work which is required of the central hub.

A hub and spoke network in an organization provides an ideal focus for leadership development. Leaders who are located both in the central hub and the spokes are ideal candidates for a leadership development initiative. 

Network Leadership Development

Once the critical network zone is identified, a leadership development process can be incorporated into the workplace.  

Network Leadership Development is grounded on the principle that "awareness is the greatest agent for change" . When the system is able to see itself, shifts happen.
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How to bring leadership development back into the workplace 

Ensemble Enabler has developed a hybrid approach to Network Leadership Development in order to grapple with the challenges of our VUCA World: Leadership Sprints. The focus of these Network Leadership initiatives are the critical zones of an organization's network where the maximum positive influence can be achieved within an organization.

Leadership Sprints compel us to re-think how and where leadership development should take place. Leadership Sprints bring leadership development back into the day-to-day workplace while concurrently enabling a team of leaders to collectively address and resolve key business challenges. During the process of discovering viable solutions to a specific business issue, these leaders cultivate their personal leadership capacity in real time and develop skills in their own work environment.

Leadership Sprints are by their very nature hybrid in design. They are characterized by a periodic switch between face-to-face and virtual work sessions. The business issue and/or challenge to be concentrated upon determines the pace and length of a Leadership Sprint. Moreover, each Leadership Sprint is tailored to meet both the development needs of the team members as well as the business challenge to be mastered.

To support Leadership Sprint and collaboration in organizations, Ensemble Enabler has developed the practice of Visual Enabling which relies on the disciplines of Organizational Network Analysis, simultaneous graphic recording, group video compilations and participatory dialogue to "visualize" what is happening (or not happening) in a network zone.


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Why do we call this Network Leadership Development process a "Leadership Sprint"?

Leadership Sprints are momentary pictures of the current state of a critical network zone. These work sessions are not day long workshops, but a form of information gathering which is collected in the moment. This is followed by reflection on the meaning of the current picture of both personal leadership development as well as the project's status. Like software development sprints, the team members collectively develop the next steps in order to address the opportunities which have been made visible through the continuous feedback.

Leadership Sprints are not necessarily limited to a one-time experience. A leadership group can convene at a later date to address a new business challenge as well as build upon their acquired leadership skills to reach yet another level of competency. This kind of initiative can be repeated several times throughout a year to inspire and document progress.


What does a Leadership Sprint look like in practice?

• The starting point for the Network Leadership Development begins with each member of the Leadership Sprint team. The first step consists of a combination of a personal interviews with Ensemble Enabler combined an appraisal of his/her strengths. This serves to identify who each leader is when they are at their best.

• The kickoff face-to-face work session explores the fundamentals of network leadership as well as the attributes of leading a healthy organization. During this session the business issue at the core of the network’s efforts is clarified and the goals for the next steps to be undertaken in the workplace by the leadership team are defined (or if previously defined, revisited and confirmed)

• The members of the leadership team collaborate on the business issue together - either virtually or on-site - until the next work session with Ensemble Enabler.

• In preparation for the next session, Ensemble Enabler, provides the members of the Leadership Sprint with a series of questions for group discussion and reflection. The results of this reflection are visually captured by a Visual Enabler. This visualization of how things stand serves as a check-in for the next work session with Ensemble Enabler. This subsequent work session with Ensemble Enabler can take place either virtually or face-to-face depending on the needs of the team members as well as the status of the developments of the team's business challenge.

• This cycle of work sessions are repeated as the project progresses and complexity require. Each of the sessions (as described above) addresses different aspects of network leadership depending upon the current needs of the group.

• The end point of the Network Leadership Development is a collective reflection of the leadership team members together with Ensemble Enabler to explore the learnings of the Leadership Sprint from both a personal, team and business perspective. 


Ultimately the true shift in leadership capacity occurs when leaders are able to "see" themselves and understand the consequences of their actions.  

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An example of how a Leadership Sprint can serve as a leadership development process can be illustrated from the viewpoint of an automobile part manufacturer which is in the process of shifting their manufacturing capability from components for fossil fuel vehicles to components for electric automobiles. The network relationships of an initial R&D team which is tackling the issue from an engineering point of view is insufficiently interconnected with component and raw material suppliers, production process experts and customers. This inadequate interconnectedness among colleagues throughout the system impedes the ability to foster the kind of vital organizational change which is essential. Leadership sprints support all network participants to collaborate with each other to enable this organizational transformation to occur effectively. 

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A Shifting Leadership Metaphor for our VUCA world

Today's business challenges require a new approach to leadership. With the arrival of the digital era, a fundamental shift in the world of business has occurred. The familiar and traditional metaphor of a successful business as a "well-oiled machine" is not able to effectively address the broad spectrum of challenges emerging from our current VUCA world.

Digital transformation has highlighted the significance and influence of networks. The new and emerging metaphor for an organization is a "living network". The implications of this metaphor are profound for the way organizations perceive themselves as well as their unique approach to business. This new metaphor requires a mindset change in all employees but especially a transformational shift in how that leadership potential is cultivated throughout organizations.

"Leadership Sprints" embody a new approach to enable businesses to champion these leaders within their organization and engage in an agile manner with evolving changes throughout the business environment. 

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Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  


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Capturing the wisdom of crowds through participatory meetings https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/capturing-the-wisdom-of-crowds-through-participatory-meetings/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/capturing-the-wisdom-of-crowds-through-participatory-meetings/#comments Wed, 31 Mar 2021 00:00:00 +0000 crowd dialogue participatory meetings and events systemic dialogue wisdom of crowds KMUs family-owned business mid-tier businesses large scale events employee meetings meeting strategy participatory process purpose goals impact feedback loops visualization graphic recording harvesting methods vision concept design for meetings employee participation employee engagement largescaleevents knowledge marketplace social learning collaborative learning https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/capturing-the-wisdom-of-crowds-through-participatory-meetings/ Weiterlesen

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The essence of our collaboration with a family-owned business over the years has been to develop unique ways to maximize the innovative potential of their meetings. The resulting new meeting strategy captures the knowledge and experience of clients and employees as a means to further develop their business.

The following case study illustrates how the power of adopting a 21st century approach for the design of participatory meetings provides concrete and usable results for businesses.  The meeting in question took place over the course of a full day.  In this instance, 60 participants representing key stakeholders in an industry took part in the meeting. The majority of the day's time was dedicated to participants speaking with each other and working out ideas and solutions together. Specific content input was provided by three speakers each of whom spoke 20 minutes over the course of the day.

The business issue: The company in question produces a product which enables a business to eliminate a key business problem – but only when it is used appropriately. What that means is that using the product without a systemic strategy is not sufficient. Several additional processes need to be put in place for the product to work successfully. Unfortunately the complexity of these processes has prevented the product from having the success which had been anticipated as it was launched into the market.

Formulating the participatory meeting's purpose and goals

Ensemble Enabler facilitated an initial discussion with the company’s team to explore the focus for the meeting in order to lay a solid groundwork for the participatory process. Out of these moderated discussions with the client's team, an over-reaching purpose for the meeting emerged: „To create awareness of the required systemic application of the product and to understand the barriers to this appropriate systemic use."  An ambitious goal was set to increase industry wide usage of the product by 30% over the next 12 months.  The meeting was designed to serve as a catalyst to achieve this goal.

The Planning Process


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Understanding  the participants' needs

Much of the key work in a participatory meeting occurs during the planning stages for the meeting itself. Time is invested to understand the participant's needs and perspectives. These insights serve to inform the conceptual development of the participatory meeting.

Depending upon the available time frame available for the development of a participatory meeting, a spectrum of suitable ways to assess participant needs and perspectives can be implemented. In this case study, a series of telephone interviews with selected customers/stakeholders with specific topical knowledge were undertaken. After all the interviews were completed, the results were analyzed to assess to which extent these frames of references fit into the company’s strategy and plan for its product’s use (or not).

Aligning meeting goals with participant needs

The next phase integrates the company’s aspired purpose with the input from strategically selected customers/stakeholders. An iterative process is used to refine the design for the participatory meeting to reflect the company’s established goals. The design approach for this particular meeting aligned a series of key messages to be discussed by the participants.

The company selected 3 speakers to provide the participants with the required Input which would foster meaningful conversations by the participants. After the key messages for these presentations were finalized by the planning team, each of the speakers were briefed to assure that their presentations would be in alignment with the overall concept design approach.

Capturing a wealth of ideas

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View the video invitation to this participatory event

Meetings are held to produce useable input and ideas for a company’s business. Towards this end, Ensemble Enabler integrates the manner in which this input is captured during the course of a participatory meeting into its design. Parallel to the development of the flow of the participant engagement and any other elements such as the selection of speakers, the concept development for idea harvesting throughout the meeting is made. Participants‘ input and ideas can be captured by using a broad spectrum of processes. A visualization provides qualitative data for the documentation of subject items which are worthy for further reflection and consideration. Such a visualization which is done in real-time supports a shift in the nature of the participants‘ collective thinking on a certain question or issue.

This case study utilized a method mix of both analogue and digital harvesting methods. The participants were asked to document their findings and aspirations throughout the participatory meeting by using a mix of written post-its and digital entries. The speakers‘ presentation and group discussions were captured by a graphic recorder in real time during the course of the meeting. 

All of these materials served as the source for a post-meeting analysis of the meeting’s results. Select initial results were presented on the same day of the participatory meeting during an evening event. More detailed results were analyzed the week after the meeting. A digital overview of the results was created to share the overall insights with the meeting’s participants in a timely manner as well as provide a basis for the company to build upon the meeting's results for their subsequent efforts.

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What impact did the participatory meeting have for the company?

Both the nature of the exchange among the participants as well as the documented results indicate that the company’s set goal to „to motivate these influencers to take action to address this challenge“  was achieved. By monitoring their business results in the next fiscal year, the company will be able to measure to what extent the participatory meeting initiated a process of positive change which will be measured by the increased use of their product in the marketplace.

In addition, the feedback about the meeting’s participatory nature was extremely positive. One participant expressed his deep satisfaction by saying

  „It was a brillant meeting! I have been to many meetings and conferences in my professional life. This was the first time that  I was given the opportunity to ask my own questions and discuss their implications with other like-minded  colleagues.“

This case demonstrates that a participatory meeting approach speaks to both the heads and the hearts of the participants. Such a carefully developed concept will unleash the knowledge and innovation for a specialized question or issue while also fostering a high level of satisfaction among the participants. When a business re-thinks meetings from this deeply collaborative 21st century perspective, loyal advocates for the company are cultivated and usable business insights are generated.

Discover the type of participatory event approach which will provide the insight and results you need for your organization


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  

 

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A novel approach to create leaders for your business’ future https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/a-novel-approach-to-create-leaders-for-your-business-future/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/a-novel-approach-to-create-leaders-for-your-business-future/#comments Sun, 28 Feb 2021 18:09:00 +0000 leadership leadership in networks leadership development leadership in mid-size companies leadership development and team leadership Leading change Organizational capacity organizational culture organizational learning organizational development organizational health organizational mindset organizational networking organizational communication continuous learning life-long learning motivation curiosity experimentation Innovation innovation capacity innovation and leadership home-office new work virtual learning collaboration collaborative learning online collaborative learning team learning teams learning culture in a business learning culture learning culture in an organization learning enablers learning environment learning from networks learning method for teams learning centered leadership development personal leadership Peer to Peer learning cross-functional communication cross functional teams network connectivity hybrid learning face-to-face learning onsite virtual learning sessions moderation healthy organizations leadership competencies enabling organizations network leadership VUCA world VUCA networkleadership learnerteacher https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/a-novel-approach-to-create-leaders-for-your-business-future/ Weiterlesen

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The greatest challenge for current leaders throughout any organization is to continuously learn and adapt to the rapidly changing business environment. Their ability to do so defines not only their capacity but also the quality of their ability to lead others.

But how do leaders come up with the time to cultivate their commitment for continuous learning and motivate colleagues during their busy work schedule? 


How can they be motivated to welcome curiosity and experimentation as a fundamental approach to their daily business?
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To date the classical paradigm of leadership development has been to host multi-day workshops off-site. Why not reclaim that learning experience for the on-site (and virtual) workplace and integrate this learning into actual business issues which require focus?  Bringing this learning process back into the workplace and applying these learnings to real-time situations provides a recognizable opportunity for businesses to foster optimized collaboration throughout their organization.


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By building on championing two key leadership skills – learning and teaching – Ensemble Enabler has developed a highly adaptable leadership development process fitting for our VUCA-world.

During this process, the leadership insights are gained from three perspectives: individual, team and organizational.

INSIGHTS ABOUT PERSONAL LEADERSHIP At the beginning of this leadership development, individual leaders learn about themselves and develop a personal leadership development plan based on their strengths.

INSIGHTS ABOUT TEAM LEADERSHIP Coupled with the leader’s individual learning journey, they set out to master the skill of moderating Peer-to-Peer learning modules for colleagues throughout the organization.

INSIGHTS ABOUT NETWORK LEADERSHIP THROUGHOUT AN ORGANIZATION Specific Peer-to-Peer learning modules topics of strategic significance to the business are chosen during this last stage to roll out the learning initiative throughout the organization. When the participants of these Peer-to-Peer discussions come from a cross-section of the business, it also serves to enhance the network connectivity of the organization.

This leadership development process is hybrid in nature and mixes face-to-face participation with virtual sessions. It unfolds in four interrelated steps all of which can be custom-tailored to the needs of a business of any size. 

STEP 1: Design the leadership experience

STEP 2: Mastery of art of face-to-face and virtual moderation of Peer-to-Peer Learning module

STEP 3: Roll-out of leadership learning initiative

STEP 4: Cultivation of an organization’s network connectivity

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"Cracking the nut" of effective leadership development in your organization: Two possible scenarios

But how does this novel approach operate in an actual work environment?  In order to illustrate the possible use of this leadership development approach in a business, Ensemble Enabler has developed two conceivable scenarios. These scenarios demonstrate the flexibility of the thematic focus of such an initiative to deal with the myriad of leadership challenges facing any business.

By selecting Peer-to-Peer Learning modules whose focal point is leadership, the diverse perspectives of individual, team and organizational network leadership are can be explored. To accommodate the busy schedule of participating leaders, these Peer-to-Peer Learning of 90 minutes can be offered on a monthly basis to the members of the leadership development initiative .

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3-month SCENARIO – Fostering a healthy organization

This 3-month leadership development process provides an opportunity for an organization’s leaders to consider organizational health as a competitive advantage. An initial module reflects upon how best to increase an individual leadership’s energy levels to better meet the demands of his/her daily workflow. A leader’s ability to observe and foster healthy relationships within his/her team is the focus of the second module. The last module in this 3 month scenario advocates a better understanding the basic underlying assumptions of an organization’s culture and its leadership which determine its overall health and resilience.

6-month SCENARIO – Highlighting key leadership competencies

These three Peer-to-Peer Learning modules build on the insights and know-how gained in the 3-month initial leadership development process which were briefly outlined above. The following three module topics give attention to leadership issues which are at the heart of all healthy and successful organizations.

The implications of possessing a clear sense of purpose – both on a business and personal level – provides the first deep dive into effective leadership. The subsequent module focuses on how to lead by trust and, by doing so, foster psychological safety in teams (and the workplace). The final module devotes itself to the broad spectrum of attitudes and behaviors observed and experienced on an organizational level. It delves into the issues of mindset and its impact on an organization’s ability to continuously learn, foster creativity and inspire innovation.

The two scenarios outlined above are intended to demonstrate the broad spectrum of possibilities for the design of a leadership development initiative which meets the needs of your organization.

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Our experienced Leadership Enablers work together with organizations to develop custom-designed leadership development initiative from our library of the 100+ Peer-to-Peer Learning modules which have been conceived and written by acknowledge business worldwide experts. Our approach offers a simple and elegant manner to bring this know-how into your organization to foster leadership capacity throughout your organization.


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  


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Network Leadership: a Mindset Shift for the Digital Age https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/network-leadership-2/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/network-leadership-2/#comments Sun, 14 Feb 2021 16:56:00 +0000 network leadership leadership circular economy neuroscience interconnection networks Networks in business network biology living networks organizational health organizational mindset organizational silos silos trust relationships in business connecting people in business Innovation motivation meaning purpose covid-19 crisis superspreader hubs ONA organizational network analysis information age VUCA VUCA world learning culture teaching colleagues facilitation learning-centered leadership development leadership sprints network leadership mentoring team coaching enabling organizations growth mindset leadership development leadership in mid-size companies leadership in networks innovation and leadership innovation capacity digital age learning culture in an organization learning culture in a business leadership development and team leadership networkleadership fluidcollaboration https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/network-leadership-2/ Weiterlesen

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The World as Network

Our world is organized on the principle of networks. Everywhere we look, networks can be discovered.

It was the emerging new science of ecology in the early 20th century which observed that species were linked together through their feeding relations with each other (aka food chains). Subsequently, it was understood that these links are an integral part of a network known as the food web which connects all species in an eco-system with one another. This food web acts as a a kind of natural “circular economy” in which even the waste of one species is the food and nourishment of another species.

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With the advance of neuroscience, the ubiquity of networks as well as their sheer power has been revealed. An average human brain contains approximately 10 billion nerve cells which are interlinked in a vast network of 1 trillion (!) connections known as synapses. It is the patterns of these interconnections which gives rise to our sensory perception, memory, knowledge and consciousness. Everything we feel, taste, see, and know is a consequence of the power of networks and interconnections.


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Likewise basic cells are currently understood to consist of networks of molecules. This concept gave birth to the science of network biology. Even atoms are regarded as networks of energy.

A mindshift in the role of leadership in organizations is vital

If our natural world is organized around the network principle, it is natural to recognize our organizations as networks as well. Grasping to understand this network reality has significant implications for our understanding of the role of leadership in organizations. In addition, it requires a mindset shift. 

Currently the prevailing metaphor for organizations is a "well-oiled machine". This paradigm predicates that the role of leadership is to guarantee that all the parts of the machine are working appropriately. 

What are the implications of this approach? The end goal is usually to obtain the maximum amount of output possible from the entire process.


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How does a change in metaphors make a difference in our understanding of leadership? Let’s conduct a thought experiment to explore the impact of a new metaphor starting with the following question:

What happens if some component inside an organization is not working as effectively as it should be?  

From the machine model point-of view, the focus is entirely upon the underperforming part. The non-functioning component is analyzed and an attempt to fix it is made. If it cannot be fixed, the part is simply removed and replaced. The success of any intervention is dependent on the leader’s efforts which are external to the actual machine itself.

What if we consider an organization as a living network, rather than a machine? 

By using a living network focus, attending to a specific underperforming element of an organization would be similar to coping with a malfunctioning organ such as a liver. To develop an understanding of a degenerated liver, it is key not only to look at the component – the function of the liver itself – but the entire organism which determines an individual’s overall health. Is the underperforming liver the result of alcohol abuse, obesity or some other cause? This approach would indicate that the solution should occur at the level of the organism, not the organ in isolation. From a living system perspective, endeavoring to fix the part alone leads to addressing only the symptoms, not the cause.

If all else fails, an organ transplant can be considered. However, this is a highly complex undertaking which ultimately depends upon whether the host accepts the transplant (or not). The replacement "component" (ie. organ) may be fully functional, but if the host rejects it, the problem is not resolved.

In contrast to an external fix which is implied by the machine metaphor, in the case of a living network "true change comes from within". The success of an action is dependent on a behavioral shift and/or reaction from within the organization itself.


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HEALTH as a new leadership paradigm for our post-Covid world

First and foremost, what is the purpose of leadership?

As mentioned above, the machine metaphor defines the role of leadership as the individuals who make sure that the machine runs optimally. Moreover, it also implies external operators who maintain and run the “well-oiled” machine

In contrast, a network functions by itself. One of the hallmarks of life is its ability to maintain itself. Neither bacteria nor a cat need an “external operator” to successfully be alive.

In light of this new metaphor, the role of leadership in a living network must shift from "running the machine" to ensuring the optimal health of the organization.


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And what could this metaphor of health mean for our present-day understanding of leadership?

Rather than focusing only on the components (ie. machine parts), optimal health embraces a focus on the whole. The flow of nutrients throughout the entire body is more important from a health point of view than the functioning of its individual components.

What are we referring to, when we talk about organizational health? It is the flow of information and energy across the various nodes of its network which characterizes the health of an organization.


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The detrimental nature of silos in companies provides a helpful insight about the importance of fostering organizational health. An organization’s ability to function properly is impaired when different parts of an organization do not communicate effectively with each other. Lack of trust is an indication that individuals are holding back what they know and/or are willing to contribute. This detrimental mindset inevitably impairs an organization’s ability to perform optimally. This underscores the importance of why trust is the ultimate measure of health in an organization.


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The goal of leadership in the machine metaphor is to continually grow capacity and maximize output.  More is always better.   In living networks there is unquestionably a period of growth. However maturation is the more important phenomenon of living networks.

What implication does the concept of maturation have for organizations? How an organization adapts to its environment is crucial for its ability to maintain its health. This adaptation (or “maturation”) is developed through learning.

Growth at all costs as aspired to in a machine metaphor is replaced with a goal of "maturation" in the new paradigm of living networks. A fine balance of growth and adaptation is realized through learning.

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At the heart of optimal health lies quality not quantity.

What Leaders do

Under the new paradigm of living networks, a leader's focus is on the interconnections in an organization and the flows between them.  These flows consist of both energy and information. The health of a system (ie. organizations) is directly connected to the robustness of its interconnections. For example, while Mental health undoubtedly has a physical chemical component, researchers have discovered that there is also often a social component. Loneliness and lack of meaningful social connections often play a significant role in the development of anxiety and depression. A powerful antidote to depression is to foster strong interpersonal connections.

What does this mean for leaders? They must focus on relationships and fostering these relationships both within and outside of their organization. Connecting people is no doubt one of the most valuable leadership activities.

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Recognizing how certain combinations of already pre-existing technologies can lead to breakthroughs is the essence and inspiration of innovation. One of the reasons that digital technology is so disruptive is that novel combinations of software, sensors, platforms, etc. create new applications for their use. To successfully adapt to the on-going digital revolution, leaders are being forced to focus on those interconnections which are driving innovation in the marketplace.

However, it is insufficient to focus on the number of interconnections alone. It is the quality of those interconnections which ultimately determines their overall value. What flows through those interconnections is where the unforeseen value resides. The platform of Airbnb connects property owners with travelers seeking overnight accommodations. Although Airbnb does not own any properties itself, it owns the flows of information. This interconnection makes Airbnb more valuable than most established hotel chains. Property owners and travelers continuously flock to the Airbnb platform because of the quality of their information connections - measured in ease-of-use, convenience and reliability.

Moreover, the role of energy flows should also not be underestimated. It is energy which underlines the quality of the interconnections. Energy is made visible in an organizational setting through the motivation of employees and their willingness to go the extra mile to get things done. In an environment which is characterized by trust and fueled by meaning, energy flow in a human context is boosted. People are energized when they understand the purpose of their work and how it contributes to a meaningful outcome.

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Where is Leadership needed?

From the perspective of the machine paradigm, leaders are for all practical purposes external to the organization. Therefore, it is not surprising that leadership is traditionally regarded as residing mostly at the "top" of an organization. Perched at an eagle's lofty perspective, leaders can objectively look down on their machine and objectively figure out how to “tweek” it.

On the other hand when the organization is regarded as a living network, this perspective has distinct consequences for leaders. First of all, a living network normally has no clear top or bottom. There are only networks nested within networks in a living system. Seasoned managers know only too well that to accomplish tasks solely by following the hierarchical chain of command in an organizational chart can be futile. Managers often rely on a balance of authority and their informal networks to get things done. Seasoned managers intuitively understand that the power is not necessarily always located at the top.

But where does the power of networks actually reside? 

It is to be found in those areas of an organization where the highest quality (as well as quantity) of interconnections reside. A negative example directly related to the Covid-19 pandemic provides an excellent example of the power of interconnections. Super-spreader events are hubs which accelerate the spread of the virus throughout society. Similar “super-spreader hubs” in businesses can positively disseminate information and material resources rapidly throughout the organization. These hubs can be located anywhere within the organization, not only at the top. These power hubs require leadership and call for on-going leadership development.

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Leaders need to identify where these hubs are located throughout their own organizations. This new paradigm of an organization as a living system poses a new challenge for leaders. Leaders need to learn to map - not measure - how information and energy flows throughout their organization. The new science of organizational network analysis maps not only the hubs in the organization but the attributes of the interconnections as well.


Leadership in the Information Age

Networks have always existed. The coming of the Information Age has raised our awareness about the omnipresence of networks in our world. The challenges of the pandemic has furthermore raised important issues about a need for change in leadership practices. This shift in perception has undoubtedly been heightened by accelerated digital transformation and its impact on our working lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. The role of networks has become more noticeable to all of us more than ever.

All the more reason to embrace the idea that the paradigm of the "well-oiled machine" has outlived its usefulness. New thinking and up-dated metaphors atuned with the needs of the Information Age are required for leadership to evolve.

Ensemble Enabler has developed an approach to leadership development which addresses this leadership challenge of our current Information Age. These series of services enable organizations to transition into this new world of leadership.

Leader as Learner and Teacher - Learning, Connecting, Teaching, and Facilitating form the foundation of Ensemble Enabler’s new leadership paradigm. This leading-edge approach to how leadership works is based upon the "living network" paradigm which provides a framework for a transformative process to effectively develop leaders.

Leadership Sprints – Leadership development which is fostered in real-time and engages within the framework of actual project work located at the power hubs of organizations and their immediate networks.

Network Leadership Mentoring – An innovative approach to support key leaders throughout an organization which enables leaders to reflect and embrace a shift in perceptions and behavior about how to effectively lead an organization in a VUCA-World.

Team Coaching – Optimal team development is cultivated through observation, feedback and reflection on relationships and interconnections within existing teams to enhance the energy and trust within the group.


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced. 



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A novel approach to Leadership Development which integrates learning with teaching https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/agile-leadership-development/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/agile-leadership-development/#comments Tue, 01 Dec 2020 18:49:00 +0000 leadership leadership development leadership in mid-size companies Learning culture in an organisation learning culture learning journey learning environment learning method for teams learning from networks lifelong learning agile learning agile organization Agile learning organization Agile learning culture mastery teaching colleagues sharing knowledge John F Kennedy Apple Inc. VUCA VUCA world learning enablers Peer to Peer Learning meaning making facilitation communication Networks in business network learning Pinboards communication platform Leading change change initiatives channels of communication culture change in companies coaching Coaching Ourselves mentoring SMEs small and medium businesses family-owned business enabling organizations networkleadership learnerteacher organizationallearning peer-to-peer-learning https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/agile-leadership-development/ Weiterlesen

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From time immemorial, leadership has been associated with learning. Put simply, leaders are always learning. 

The caliber of any leader is revealed in the way they deal with uncertainty and/or novel situations. Especially during these moments, leaders must learn as much as possible about the environment which they are encountering. Their capacity to learn and adapt is closely correlated to the quality of their ability to lead.

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"Leadership and Learning are indispensable to each other."
                                                                      John F. Kennedy

Truly great leaders not only learn, they teach others. They transmit their accrued technical skills, business principles, life lessons to colleagues. Such personalized instruction fosters competence and compliance as well as a mastery of skills, thought independence and action.

In our VUCA world, Apple has understood the importance of learning and teaching for leadership. A recent Harvard Business Review article describes how general managers at Apple spend approximately 30% of their time learning and 15% of their time teaching. This dedication to learning and teaching has been central to their on-going success.

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If learning and teaching are such essential leadership ingredients, why are they so absent in formal leadership development programs? 

Traditional leadership development workshops provide participants with information and insights for learning, but they seldom provide a looking glass into the phenomenon of learning itself and its intrinsic connection to leadership.

Ensemble Enabler has pioneered a novel leadership development program which places learning and teaching at its core. This program builds upon our acclaimed Peer-to-Peer learning process which brings colleagues together to learn with and from each other. 

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This Peer-to-Peer learning process is led by certified Learning Enablers whose role is to skillfully facilitate the 90 minute learning sessions and foster deep meaning-making on the  module topics together with their colleagues. This Peer-to-Peer learning is designed to create a learning culture by spreading learning throughout an organization. It also provides a unique learning laboratory for the development of both future and existing leaders.

How is Peer-to-Peer learning fully integrated into a leadership development initiative?

PHASE 1 - Design of a Learning Enabler Work Session for Leaders 

The leadership development process begins with a work session designed to generate internal Learning Enablers within an organization. During this leadership development work session, participants take a deep dive into the leadership issues of personality, relationships, influence, motivation and communication. State-of-the-Art diagnosis instruments (Workplace Big 5 ProfileTM, Strengthscope®, FIRO Business® and others) are used by Ensemble Enabler to assist participants to identify their leadership strengths and create a personal leadership development plan.

PHASE 2 - Leaders master the art of moderating Peer-to-Peer Sessions

Unlike traditional leadership workshops, the Learning Enabler process coaches participants to lead Peer-to-Peer learning sessions with their colleagues. During this process, the participants master the fine arts of facilitation (both analogue and virtual) combined with the  effective use of stories and metaphors as enablers for impactful communication.

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                               "Teaching is the highest form of understanding."

                                                                                                           Aristotle

PHASE 3 - Leaders roll out a Peer-to-Peer learning initiative about leadership in their own organization

The leadership development process has only just begun after the formal end of the Learning Enabler work session. Learning Enablers continue their learning journey by hosting 90 minute learning sessions with their colleagues at least once a month. There is a library of over 100 topics on written by leading professors and worldwide business experts which is available on a broad spectrum of business issues. 

By selecting the topics key to your business and leaders, a Peer-to-Peer learning initiative is custom-designed to meet your organization's requirements.  These topics range from from practical management know-how to championing leadership capacity in the form of  emotional intelligence, trust, accountability, collaboration, decision making, etc. These newly certified Learning Enablers  reap great learning benefits from facilitating learning sessions about leadership with other leaders throughout the organization.

PHASE 4 - Leaders strengthen their networks throughout their organization

The final feature of this leadership development program is the advancement of an unparalleled networking opportunity. Through the invitation strategy of a Peer-to-Peer-Learning initiative, Learning Enablers are teamed up with a different set of leaders from throughout the organization. By teaching other leaders in the organization, the Learning Enablers extend their personal network and strengthen their connections throughout the rest of company as well.

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Our Enablers serve as a continual coach and mentor to your leaders 

Throughout this leadership development process, Learning Enablers are coached and mentored by senior members of Ensemble Enabler's experienced team. Monthly calls are scheduled to review the next learning topic. These discussions provide the opportunity to debrief the learning sessions which your leaders have facilitated as well as to review each Learning Enabler’s personal leadership development progress.

Learning how to learn may be the most important skill in today’s rapidly changing business world. Fostering the ability of leaders to develop the capacity for continuous learning and sharing their insights through teaching is key for sustainable leadership development in any organization.


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  


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Unique Digital Connector between an organization's culture and its community https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/unique-digital-connector-between-an-organization-s-culture-and-its-community/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/unique-digital-connector-between-an-organization-s-culture-and-its-community/#comments Sun, 25 Oct 2020 19:01:00 +0000 SMEs small and medium businesses mid-tier businesses corporations Employee app software solution own application software intranet Company intranet community software platform employee communication employee engagement employee networking Employee experience mobile employees corporate communication internal communication improvement of internal communication relevant communication communication platform mobile communication platform real-time communication byod bring your own device private smartphones channels of communication organizational culture digital culture digital communication Culture Change culture transformation culture and organizational transformation growth mindset agile organization community communication organizational strategy employee participation Pinboards transparentcommunication https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/unique-digital-connector-between-an-organization-s-culture-and-its-community/ Weiterlesen

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A digital offering which inhabits the same dimension where culture lives – its community

One of the key activities of any organization is timely and fact-based communication about what is occurring in an organization – whether it be in a time of crisis, change or celebration. Commonly an individual or dedicated staff carries out this responsibility on behalf of the leadership to disseminate information to its employees. The use of specific channels of communication tools mirror the uniqueness of each organization and its culture.

But is this classical communication sufficient to foster an organization’s culture which needs to foster nimbleness in their employees and master the challenges of rapid change?

A novel and additional communication channel to enhance communication within organizations has emerged out of the on-going development of the use of digitalization for culture transformation: Pinboards


Why is this kind of a digital communication channel different from other classical communication and collaboration tools? 

Pinboards makes open, transparent and authentic communication among all individuals in an organization – the CEO, the leadership team and all employees – possible in a secure digital environment. From providing information and emotional support to an organization’s employees during a time of crisis to an employee reaching out to colleagues to solve a wicked problem which is impeding on-going product development, an organization’s community of employees are able to be in conversation with each other about their specific issues and needs at anytime from anywhere.

This nature of a digital communication channel takes on a particular importance during a culture change and culture transformation initiative. Pinboards becomes a key component of an ecosystem of processes which are designed to foster a growth mindset and adroit habits characteristic of an agile organization. Similar to the energy flows within an ecosystem, Pinboards enables each element of the system to be connected with each other. Employees at all levels of the organization are members of a system which is the organization’s community as a whole. iStock 1209663120

What exactly is Pinboards - and what is it not? 

As a tool for community communication, Pinboards, should be clearly differentiated from other collaboration tools. It deliberately dispenses with a range of functions that would support collaboration but at the same time separates employees into small groups or special interest peer groups. Employees across all areas and hierarchy levels should not perceive Pinboards only as a work tool. More importantly, it is part of the exchange among friends and colleagues which can be used not only during working hours but outside of working hours as well. Employees publish articles and interact with them (likes & comments) on a location-wide basis or across the company.

Pinboards is a digital tool which fosters community communication and is based on cloud-based responsive web app technologies. The platform pursues the goal of networking employees with business and non-business-related topics in order to strengthen cohesion through company-wide, communal communication. As a result, a more stable, more powerful and innovative communication is cultivated. Pinboards is hosted in Germany and is GDPR compliant. Pinboards offers an inexpensive infrastructure. As standard software (SSW) with a high degree of customization possibilities, Pinboards can be adapted to the specific needs of individual companies.

Pinboards offers an open communication forum for an organization’s community. By so doing, Pinboards enables individuals to connect, share information and collaborate across hierarchies, departments and geographies – to name just a few emergent possibilities. Through this digital communication platform, a culture of conversation in resonance with an organization’s culture is both stimulated and cultivated.

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Why does the use of Pinboards provide a compelling strategic component during a culture change and culture transformation initiative?  

Each individual should feel valued as a member of the company's community, feel an intrinsic motivation to move the company's efforts forward to create the envisioned future and success. 

Ensemble Enabler and Pinboards are deeply convinced that each voice counts and that all employees should be able to interact on eye-level, no matter when and from where. 

From the very start of any initiative, the explicit nature of Pinboards’ facilitation of openness and transparency fosters trust among the network of its users. This is the foundation and the DNA of Pinboards.

The question which drives employees is “What really happens in my company?”. Through Pinboards the community transparently reflects itself upon insights from Trainee-Level to C-Level, deep-dive content from core products/services and customers appreciation, to transparent discussions on current challenging topics, corporate sports groups and leisure activities among the employees. The community itself creates the content which is important for them.

Pinboards is especially powerful when launched early during the roll-out a culture change and culture transformation initiative. It does not only serve as a medium to communicate the aspirations of the initiative within the context of the organization’s cultural identity. Furthermore Pinboards offers the opportunity to engage individuals at all levels of the organization to actively co-create the unique character and structure of their own organization’s digital communication platform.

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How is Pinboards developed and put into action in an organization?

Pinboards’ aim as a communications channel is to cultivate a vibrant community of engaged employees in an individual organization. As a result, Pinboards is not an “off-the-shelf” digitalized communication channel software. Together Ensemble Enabler and Pinboards collaborate with an organization to conceive a company-specific version of Pinboards based on its tested framework and software in a short period of time.

What does this overall process look like? 

The development process reflects the phases of the overall design thinking process: UNDERSTAND – EXPLORE – REALIZE
  • In order to integrate the use of Pinboards into an organization’s specific learning or culture transformation initiative, a deep understanding of its purpose is an important first step. This understanding provides a focus for all subsequent phases. 
  • The next phase concentrates to create alignment between the organization’s intent and the use of Pinboards by including the employees in the process. This focus shapes the development of a unique Pinboards experience which fosters community within the organization from a variety of perspectives. 
  • A working prototype is developed for the organization using the existing Pinboards framework. This prototype serves as the basis for a series of tests undertaken together with employees across all hierarchy levels. These feedback loops continue for a series of run-throughs to ensure continual improvement of the user experience. 
  • The last phase of the process is the launch of a final version of Pinboards. Its use by the organization is regularly analysed during the initial roll-out period. Fine-tuning of the user experience as well as identifying new options for the on-going development of the Pinboards experience inform this post-launch phase.
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During these planning and development phases, a number of processes are used to ensure feedback from all levels of the organization. Central to all of our processes is a commitment to PARTICIPATORY METHODS which give a voice to all potential users of Pinboards. 

In addition, it is our experience that during the development phase, the testing process also serves to informally communicate not only about the interaction with Pinboards itself but also about the inclusive nature of the development process. The role of potential INFLUENCERS in the organization as active participants in the early development process is always carefully considered. Through their personal accounts about their experience during the testing process with others, these individuals serve as POSITIVE MULTIPLIERS to encourage future Pinboards use by other colleagues.


Impact of the use of Pinboards as a Digital Connector  

Reflecting upon the use of Pinboards in an organization, key insights have been gained about its impact as an integrated component of an organization’s learning or culture transformation initiative.

PINBOARDS SUPPORTS ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGY

Fostering continuous learning, championing adaptability or advocating transformational change are fundamental issues which leaders of today’s organizations encounter. The planning and design of Pinboards serve to reinforce the efforts of a CEO and his/her leaders to support an organizational culture which is shared by a community of employees.

A shared understanding of a company’s purpose and culture is cultivated through the participation of influencers during the planning process. The discussions and feedback rounds make these concepts both vibrant and comprehensible for employees. By addressing the question “Why are we undertaking this initiative?”, the participatory development of Pinboards encourages employees to look towards an organization’s emerging future. At the same time, by dealing with co-creation of content development, providing constructive feedback and sharing ideas and suggestions, the participants in the development process develop the point of view that “We are contributing to the design of our organization’s future.” 

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PINBOARDS REFLECTS A COMPANY’S “LOOK”

The elements of the established corporate design of an organization opens a door for the visual communication of the organization’s culture. The corporate design of an organization sets the customization of Pinboards in motion. This unique “look” of Pinboards serves to support a feeling of WE. All the users in the organization recognize visually that “This is our culture and our own communication.” 

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PINBOARDS’ IMPACT IS ENRICHED THROUGH OPPORTUNITIES FOR PARTICIPATION AND FEEDBACK

The implementation of a participative test phase enables the development of a customized version of an organization’s own Pinboards app. More importantly, it reveals and deepens an understanding of the employees’ expectations, needs and aspirations for Pinboards’ use in their organization. This participation not only provides input for on-going focused content development. It also serves to support a feeling of both individual and group responsibility in the organization.

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Why should Pinboards become an integral part of your cultural and digital transformation in your organization?

PINBOARDS MAKES DIGITALIZATION ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL. 

When realized as a component of a learning and/or culture transformation initiative, Pinboards provides a digital integration to present an organization’s vision, values and culture. This is also the case with the proprietary Peer-to-Peer validation process where the analogue and digital aspects of digitalization meet face-to-face: people actively use digital technology to connect their colleagues to the Pinboards app. By creatively using a digital format to foster communication throughout the organization, Pinboards supports all digitalization efforts within an organization. 

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Click here to discover more about how Ensemble Enabler can support your company's individual journey to digital transformation


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  

This blogpost was was co-created and written by Thomas Gaertner, CEO of Pinboards and Patricia Munro, Creative Engagement Enabler at Ensemble Enabler. 



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Disruptive Digital Strategy or Strategy Disrupted? https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/digital-strategy/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/digital-strategy/#comments Sun, 30 Aug 2020 19:37:00 +0000 digital disruption digital strategy digital revolution digital transformation digital vision digital business models experimentation fail fast fail forward Alexander von Humboldt Charles Darwin organizational learning team learning fluid strategy purpose vision Interface Climate take back Jim Collins scenario role plays reverse engineering of the future organizational mindset growth mindset organizational culture adaptability disruptor era of experimentation and emergence 3M Post-Its Dr. Spencer Silver Art Fry Willard Henry Perkin mauveine digital change learning from networks digital culture in business digital culture networkleadership fluidcollaboration https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/digital-strategy/ Weiterlesen

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Through the impact of the digital revolution, change is occurring with increasing speed in all aspects of both our business and personal milieus. Why would these accelerated developments not have an impact on how business strategy is approached as well? Digital transformation has indeed changed the classical paradigm of strategy. Like everything else in the digital age, the world of strategy is in a state of disruption.

This shift is particularly noticeable to me due to my hands-on-experience working for two of the best known strategy consultants in the world. During those years, I was applying what I had learned during business school about strategy and applying it as a strategy consultant, never questioning the fundamentals of the classical business strategy paradigm itself. 

How do most business people understand strategy? 

Classical strategy can be understood as the process of getting from point A to point B. Point A is the current location of the organization and Point B is the strategic goal that the organization sets for itself.

Classical strategy begins with a pursuit to accurately assess the current situation, in other words Point A. For example. one tool which is used is the famous SWOT Analysis - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

The next step is the determination of the strategic goal. This is Point B that is a fixed destination to work towards and achieve. Point B can be items such as increasing market share, addressing new market segments or gaining new organizational capabilities. 

The all-embracing role of classical strategic planning is to move the organization from its current position (Point A) to the desired pre-determined destination (Point B) as efficiently as possible.

Classical strategy is deliberate in nature. It depends on senior leaders to set goals and develop plans to achieve them. This typically leads to long-term plans which the organization doggedly adheres to and executes over a multi-year time frame.  

Digital strategy is more like a scientific expedition than travelling from Point A to B

The spirit of a scientific expedition – learning along the way, collaborating via cross-functional teams, adapting to unforeseen change, dealing with risk - offers an appropriate metaphor for digital strategy.

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                                                                                                                              (c) Deutsche Welle

Both the famous expeditions of Alexander von Humboldt in South America in the 18th century or Charles Darwin aboard the Beagle in the 19th century were expeditions without fixed destinations. The journey itself was the destination. Humboldt and Darwin gathered as much information as they could along their journeys in order to gain insights into the emerging sciences of biology, geology and evolution. Along the way, they were constantly interacting with the environment to learn as much as possible.

In the current business environment, promoting a similar intense interaction with the environment can provide an organization with a broad spectrum of potential options. Some options may lead to new breakthrough business models and/or processes which will allow a company to serve its customers more advantageously.

Digital strategy is emergent in nature. This suggests that it can surface from any part of the organization. Digital strategy emerges as an environment changes. concurrently the organisation is constantly shifting and adapting to apply its strengths to this changing reality.

At the heart of the digital strategy process is learning, not efficiency. In contrast to classical strategy’s “Point B”, it is the journey itself which is fundamental. If another pathway appears to offer better options for learning, then a change in the destination is the more appropriate step to take.

Why does digital strategy differ so radically from classical strategy?

A powerful analogy for the pivotal difference of digital strategy is the humble 3M Post-it Notes® product, (hereafter referred to as "sticky notes"). The origins of the product occurred when a 3M scientist - Dr. Spencer Silver - developed an adhesive that stuck lightly to surfaces but didn't bond with them. At the time, he had no clue how this kind of glue could be used. Years went by without finding a commercial use. It was only until Art Fry, another 3M scientist became frustrated by the fact that the little paper pieces which he placed in his church's hymn book would constantly fall out, that the first use of sticky notes was born. They could be used as bookmarks!

Since that beginning, myriads of ways of using sticky notes have been "discovered". Here’s an initial list (and there are certainly many more examples):

  • To-do Reminders: Placing sticky notes in a visible location with one to-do item per sticky note
  • Brainstorming: Using sticky notes to write down thoughts and arranging them on a board
  • Temporary Mind-Map: Rearranging items into clusters or categories prior to transferring them into a more permanent format.
  • Filing system: Using sticky notes of different colors to identify where documents are to be filed
  • Strategically positioned messaging: Posting notes on the refrigerator for the grocery list of items which need to be bought so that others can do the shopping
  • Thank you notes: Using notes to leave as a thank-you note for someone, sending kudos to a colleague/friend for a job well done, or offer an encouraging word.

and...

  • Keyboard cleaner: Catching the debris and dust in the little spaces between computer keys. A strip of a sticky note picks up this debris between the keys
  • A coaster: Placing a sticky note (more than one is better!) under a cold drink to protect the surface of a table
  • Party decor: Hanging strips of post-its in different colors from the ceiling to add ambiance to the celebration
  • A Safe: Creating an unexpected place to store valuables by hollowing out a sticky note block
  • etc.....
post it safe

Digital technology is like sticky notes.  

Each platform or technology that is brought into existence has a myriad of uses. Similar to the sticky note examples above, unexpected uses often emerge which were not even envisioned by the technology's developers!

The use of Twitter provides an excellent example of the potential of multiple usage. Major media outlets use Twitter as a means to broaden the reach of their content. Airlines use Twitter as an effective customer service tool. Many other companies use Twitter as a business intelligence tool - by following certain Twitter feeds, organizations receive an early warning of what competitors are undertaking. To enhance their readiness to respond, Red Cross uses keyword monitoring on Twitter to quickly identify natural disasters as well as their intensity.

Every technology - platforms, collaborative software, 3D Printing, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, etc. – embodies this multiplicity of uses. I like to think of this potential as the "the sticky note nature of digital technology".


What are the implications of the "sticky note nature of digital technology"?

1. The opportunities to copy from other successful companies are limited

Benchmarking has been a favorite tool which is used by many companies to keep up with the competition. Unfortunately, in a "sticky-note" environment what is good for one company may not be good for another company.

Many of the strategic challenges and opportunities which your company will encounter will be unique, with nuances related specifically to your company, your industry sector, your geography and your competitive environment. The nuances may overwhelm the similarities. In addition, solutions to challenges previously discovered by other companies will highly likely be outdated by the time your company can implement them- As a consequence, opportunities to "lift and shift" digital strategies from other companies is limited.

There is no alternative but for your company to figure out what the best "sticky note" fit of technology is for your organization.


2. Digital strategy requires continuous ongoing experimentation (and failing)

Since the appropriate use of technology can differ from user to user, how do you find out what the best fit is for your company and its customers? The opportunities to use technology in new and creative ways increase with every passing day. Not only are novel technologies constantly emerging and improving, but existing technologies can be more easily and effectively combined with the existing technological infrastructure to generate unimagined new capabilities.

The only way to find out what is best for you and your customers is to continually experiment.

And you have to be prepared to fail. Most experiments will fail. If you are not prepared to fail, you are not predisposed to learn.

This mindset requires a significant shift in a company’s organizational culture. Most companies have been built around the principle of efficiency which has little tolerance for failure. This mindset must shift to adaptability – fail fast learn fast - in order for organizations to survive in the current disruptive environment.

fail forward

3. Any company can be a disrupter!

The good news (and the bad news) is that any company can become a disrupter. Everyone can experiment and potentially find breakthrough combinations which change the nature of your business. Cultivating a culture of curiosity, experimentation and learning is the best path to cultivate a disrupter mindset. This is not an activity which is relegated to a select few IT specialists but must embrace the creativity and ingenuity of as many of your employees as possible. There is power in numbers! 

As we enter an "Era of Experimentation and Emergence" (E³!) we should remind ourselves that this is not a new process but has been around throughout human history. However what is new and different in today’s world is the exponentially increasing possibility of finding breakthrough combinations which can be implemented quickly. In addition, the possibility to identify these innovative approaches is within the reach of a much larger population. 

Experimentation and emergence has been around for a long time

rsz willard henry perkin sepia picsize

Sir William Henry Perkin - a British chemist in the 19th century attempted to synthesize quinine as a treatment for malaria. His numerous experiments ended up in failure - or so he thought. It turned out that one of his "failures" could be used to dye textiles. He had accidentally created the first synthetic organic dye - mauveine. By doing so he lay down the foundation for the synthetic organic chemicals industry, thereby revolutionizing the world of fashion. 


Don't lose track of the big picture

In the micro-world of experimentation, it is easy to lose track of the big picture. The effort to achieve short-term objectives can easily lead an organization in the wrong direction.

It is key not to lose precious time and resources experimenting in areas that will not bring the company forward. A fluid but deep-rooted framework to guide experimentation is critical for success.

Digital strategy relies on its focus on a strong purpose and a clear vision of the digital future.


PURPOSE…”like a guiding star on the horizon—forever pursued but never reached.”* 

Why does a company do what it does? The answer to this question determines what areas to experiment in and what lessons to draw from this experimentation. 

The company Interface provides an inspiring story about the power of purpose. Interface is the world's largest manufacturer of carpet tile and a global manufacturer of commercial flooring. Their purpose is to create products and services which not only fulfill customer needs, but also contribute to creating a better world. In 2016 they launched an initiative  called "Climate Take Back" . This was a pursuit to determine how their products could help to reverse climate change. With this purpose in mind, the CEO unleashed the creativity and ingenuity of his employees to find a solution. After much experimentation, the R&D group revealed a first-of-its-kind prototype carbon negative carpet tile. Further experimentation has refined this product. In 2020 the company launched a carpet tile that has a carbon negative impact (i.e. the production and use of the tile sequesters more carbon out of the atmosphere than if it had not been manufactured in the first place).

“… if your purpose is to do amazing things or create things, you'll never run out of purpose because you're never done."
Jim Collins, American researcher on business management, company sustainability and growth

 As companies think about their purpose, they are well advised to move beyond thinking of themselves not only delivering products and services, but delivering outcomes for customers, society and even the planet.

Ask yourself this key question to determine (or refine) the purpose of your organization:  "What are the outcomes you are delivering?"

* Collins, J.C. & Porras, J.I. (2000). Built to last: successful habits of visionary companies (3rd edition). London: Random House Business Books.


VISION

The word “vision” is a much misused word. Crafting a vision is challenging. In an era of constant disruption, a company’s vision is more crucial than ever.

You don't want to be fighting the last challenge but preparing for the next one. In the words of the great Canadian ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky:

  "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been."


The challenge is manifest. How is it possible to envision a future 2 to 3 years away - never mind 5 to 10 years in the future - with technology developing at such a rapid speed?

Processes such as scenario role-plays or reverse engineering of the future can provide helpful insights. Such processes help to make explicit the transformational impact of technology your business faces.

An example in the field of manufacturing makes this point clear. 3D Printing is for instance a potential disrupter of a classical manufacturing business. Leaders can use scenario role-plays to gain important insights. You begin by assuming that this technology has fully arrived. This assumption enables a company to explore what it could mean for its manufacturing footprint, supply chain, the nature of work in the factory et al. The result of these thought experiments enables a company to become better prepared for the future and act proactively rather than just reacting to on-going developments. It provides observations which enable an organization to articulate its purpose and the desired outcomes which it intends to deliver to its customers and society.

But how does this work in the current business environment? The advantage of this approach was evident at a recent health care conference. Participants from various companies were discussing the adoption of the current EMR technology (Electronic Medical Records). As part of this discussion, they contemplated on the potential impact of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology on EMR in the coming years. Many participants reached the conclusion that a large majority of the EMR systems which they were currently developing would be obsolete by the time they were implemented.

A well articulated digital vision helps prevent companies from going down the wrong rabbit holes. It is an envisioned future.

The arrival of fluid strategy

Deliberate strategy is dead. The classical approach of planning how to get from Point A to Point B is too slow and inaccurate to be suitable in a time of digital disruption. Such approaches are being replaced by "Fluid Strategy". This is a constantly evolving strategy which is determined by the ability of an organization to learn about a constantly changing environment.

scientific expedition


It is fitting here to return to the analogy of a scientific expedition. Digital strategy is similar to exploring a natural environment. The explorer regularly stops to learn as much as he/she can about the flora, fauna and landscape. While never forgetting the purpose of their expedition, the surroundings are scanned for possible next steps along the journey and the best path is chosen which could lead to additional discoveries and more learning. The process of learning, scanning and choosing the best path is continuously repeated, changing destination when necessary.

This is the excitement and on-going challenge of mastering digital strategy: To identify a broad spectrum of possibilities, consider possible successful scenarios to explore their viability and discover how best to test ideas and products which fulfill the company’s vision and, by doing so, continue to pursue the company’s purpose for its future.

Click here to discover more about how Ensemble Enabler can support your company's individual journey to digital transformation


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  





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A cost effective approach to scaling organizational learning https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/a-cost-effective-approach-to-scaling-organizational-learning/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/a-cost-effective-approach-to-scaling-organizational-learning/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Self-organized learning in business Agile learning culture Agile learning organization learning culture Learning culture in an organisation effective employee development on a budget cost effective employee development creative employee development ideas Motivation and employee development Agile collaboration agile cross team collaboration Learning Organization how to create a learning organisation Peer-to-Peer Learning Peer-to-Peer Learning in business what is peer learning in the workplace CoachingOurselves employee development employee development initiative scalable learning scalable learning in business agile learning organizational learning investment employee development investment employee development initiative John Hagel https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/a-cost-effective-approach-to-scaling-organizational-learning/ Weiterlesen

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When considering a new employee development program, all companies need to understand the investment for a Peer-to-Peer initiative in their organization. This investment is determined by the desired extent and reach of an employee development initiative.

Peer-to-Peer Learning offers a powerful and cost effective approach to foster agile learning in your organization. Since a Peer-to-Peer-Session takes place either virtually or on-site in a company's meeting rooms, no expensive venues are needed. Moreover, no experts or speakers need to be engaged since the content expertise is directly delivered in the Peer-to-Peer modules themselves.

What is Peer-Peer Learning?

Peer-to-Peer Learning is an agile learning process which provides companies with a cost effective alternative and/or a complement to current learning and employee development initiatives. Both the content and the design of a specific module topic form the foundation of every Peer-to-Peer Learning session.

A Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions bring 4 employees together with an certified Learning Enabler for a module discussion which lasts 90 minutes.

Peer 2 Peer Gespraech Foto Teil B


The content for these learning modules have been developed by world-wide acknowledged professors and expert management practitioners. As an international partner of CoachingOurselves©, Ensemble Enabler has access to a library of over 100 Peer-to-Peer Learning modules. This library of modules is dedicated to a diverse set of topics which range from complex issues such as strategy, marketing and branding to day-to-day business skills such as managing effective meetings or optimally managing one's personal time and energy. Ensemble Enabler is the only certified European provider which offers the Coaching Ourselves© modules and custom-designed modules not only in English, but in German and all European languages as well.

In addition to the CoachingOurselves© modules, our experienced content design experts at Ensemble Enabler offer companies the opportunity to create customized Peer-to-Peer Learning modules to address their specific business needs.

Ensemble Enabler offers 3 cost effective ways to integrate a Peer-to-Peer initiative into your organization’s employee development programs

There are a variety of cost-effective ways for your organization to become familiar with and integrate this novel organizational learning process into your employee development programs.

1. Experience a Pilot Peer-to-Peer Learning Session

To get acquainted with the Peer-to-Peer process and the value which its brings to your organization, Ensemble Enabler recommends starting with a pilot Peer-to-Peer session which is moderated by one of our certified Learning Enablers.

This pilot session begins with a brief introduction to the Peer-to-Peer learning process after which a Learning Enabler leads four employees through a pre-selected Peer-to-Peer Learning module. This 90-minute pilot Peer-to-Peer Learning session is experienced exactly as it would be carried out either virtually or on-site in the workplace. It provides an ideal opportunity to have a first-hand experience of this unique agile learning process.

DSC04484 coaching ourselves workbook


After the completion of the Peer-to-Peer Learning session, our certified Learning Enabler conducts a de-brief of the experience. A discussion on how Peer-to-Peer Learning could potentially be integrated into individual, team and departmental learning initiatives ends this initial pilot Peer-to-Peer session.

This entire pilot session is completed within a time frame of approximately 2 1/2 hours and includes:

  • Introduction to the Peer-to-Peer process
  • ‘Live’ 90 minute Peer-to-Peer Learning modules
  • De-brief of the learning experience and a group reflection about the possibilities to initiate a Peer-to-Peer initiative in an organization


What are the professional fees for a Pilot Peer-to-Peer Session?

The fee for a virtual Peer-to-Peer Learning session with our certified Learning Enabler is € 1.190,00* including 19% VAT where applicable. 

The fee for a Peer-to-Peer Learning session on-site at your company with our certified Learning Enabler is € 2.380,00* including 19% VAT where applicable. All related travel costs will be billed for reimbursement.

Click here to schedule your pilot Peer-to-Peer Session 


2. Testing the Peer-to-Peer experience within your organization 

A small test group initiative of 12 individuals provides a great initial hands-on experience with Peer-to-Peer Learning with a small group of leaders or select teams. On the other hand, a larger participant size increases the sustainable impact of both social and network learning.

The true magic of this sustainable impact of this experience begins when this larger group of employees all engage with the Peer-to-Peer Learning process. While individual employees continue to learn about a specific topic, a shared group experience materializes simultaneously. This larger group size enables a shared experience to evolve as the individuals experience the Peer-to-Peer process together with many other colleagues. This shared experience not only builds upon an individual’s learning, but also supports these employees to extend their cross-functional business networks and, at the same time, enhance the quality of collaboration with their colleagues.

In order to achieve this network impact, Ensemble Enabler recommends a larger initiative which would engage approximately 40+ people over a time frame of approximately 3 months. Each employee would ideally attend one 90-minute Peer-to-Peer Learning session per month. Our experience has demonstrated that a monthly Peer-to-Peer Learning session encourages the integration of the process into the daily business routine.

During an initial 3 month trial period either three (3) individual Peer-to-Peer content modules topics or a thematic cluster of 3 distinct modules can be offered. The number of sessions per month can be increased as desired.

To facilitate the scheduling of the Peer-to-Peer Learning session, Ensemble Enabler has developed proprietary IT-software to enable participants to self-manage his/her own learning. No organizational coordination to structure the Peer-to-Peer Learning initiative is necessary. Click here for more in-depth information on this topic

Ensembler Enabler wants to collaborate with your organization to  make scalable learning a reality


In a world that is more rapidly changing and where our needs are evolving at an accelerating rate, the institutions that are most likely to thrive will be those that provide an opportunity to learn faster together.


SCALABLE LEARNING not only helps people inside the institution learn faster. It also scales learning by connecting with others outside the institution and building deep, trust-based relationships that can help all participants to learn faster by working together.

                                                              John Hagel III, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davison


Our professional fees match your needs for scaling organizational learning 

Ensemble Enabler wants to support our clients to make scalable learning both cost-effective and rapidly implementable throughout their organizations.

To encourage scalable learning, we have developed a price model which has been designed to accommodate the sizes of all employee development programs – from small scale leadership and team programs to company-wide learning or change initiatives.

According to the volume of your Peer-to-Peer initiative, Ensemble Enabler offers a discount on the cost of each Peer-to-Peer session. Our cost effective pricing model enables an organization to reach any number of employees quickly and with a personal touch.

Price chart P2P 11 2020

3. Investing in internal Learning Enablers for your organization

Real cost savings for an organization materialize when an initial investment is made to promote the development of internal Learning Enablers. After the successful completion of a Learning Enabler workshop, select employees are certified to moderate Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions internally.

The creation of this internal resource has multiple benefits for the organization.

  • The cost per Peer-to-Peer session sinks dramatically since the cost of external moderation is eliminated.
  • Secondly, there is an increasing demand to cultivate an agile learning mindset in employees who need to continually re-skill and up-skill. By becoming a certified Learning Enabler, selected employees learn to lead your learning initiative in a time of continuous change.

The ability to offer scalable learning to personally reach more employees throughout the organization is greatly increased through the investment of the certification of internal Learning Enablers. The following scenario illustrates the impact of this investment for your organization: 

Investing in internal Learning Enablers a scenario 1

Peer-to-Peer Learning initiatives cultivate the building of networks within an organization. This shared experience with other individuals contributes to creating a cross-functional business community within the organization. This in turn advances enhanced collaboration within the organization.

While Peer-to-Peer learning promotes individual learning and skill acquisition, it offers much more to an organization. It offers a key process for scaling learning in agile organizations which are striving to successfully perform in the current environment of disruption caused by the way technology and globalization are changing the nature of work.

To discover more about the potential of the use of Peer-to-Peer Learning for your organization click here


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  


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Establishing the foundation for a thriving digital transformation https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/laying-the-groundwork-for-your-organization-s-successful-digitalization/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/laying-the-groundwork-for-your-organization-s-successful-digitalization/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2020 00:00:00 +0000 digital change digital transformation digital change in family owned companies SMEs digital change in small and medium-sized businesses digital culture digital transformation organizational culture digital transformation in business digital culture in business Support for digital change Support for digital transformation agile organisation digital leadership Culture Change organizational culture capability building organizational capability building growth mindset organizational mindset culture and organizational transformation Peer to Peer Learning Thomas Siebel MIT John Hagel CoachingOurselves networkleadership organizationallearning peer-to-peer-learning https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/laying-the-groundwork-for-your-organization-s-successful-digitalization/ Weiterlesen

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Any promising change initiative begins with identifying the projects focus and clarifying its goals.  Digital transformation is so all-encompassing that companies often find it difficult to adhere to these fundamental best practice principles for change management initiatives.  Part of the dilemma is that various misconceptions prevail about digital transformation: 

What exactly is it? How and when can it be achieved? 

Diverse views on the matter crop up and inevitably lead to a lack of alignment across the organization.

Ensemble Enabler has developed a special modular learning initiative consisting of 6 core topics to support organizations to address the digital transformation process at any stage of development. This can be scaled across the entire organization both quickly and effectively.  

The result? 

  • An aligned understanding of the digital challenge
  • a better focus on the critical issues, and 
  • a significantly greater engagement of employees from all levels in the organization.  

Digital Transformation tiny


Each of these 6 core module topics will be described in more depth below. However, before we take a deep dive into the content of the six learning modules, let us look at the litany of key misconceptions about digital transformation which persist in most organizations. 


The Essential First Step: clarifying misconceptions

Even though digitalization has been a part of our world since the 1990s, many fundamental misunderstandings about what digital transformation means for organizations still prevail.  Eliminating these misunderstandings and creating alignment across the organization is the critical first step to mount a successful digital transformation initiative.

Here are some of the most common misunderstandings about digital transformation which are prevalent in many organizations:

Misconception #1       
Digital transformation is optional.

Although this misconception is gradually waning, there are many companies that continue to believe that parts of their business do not need to be transformed. A historical precedent provides food-for-thought about this kind of mindset:

In the early twentieth century, many manufacturing companies thought electrification simply meant replacing steam engines with electric motors.  The true gains came however from the redesign of production processes.  Many factories failed to understand the conceptual changes required.  The result: 40% of industrial trusts formed between 1888 and 1905 failed in the next 2 decades.  

Atkeson, Andrew and Kehoe, Patrick 2007 Modeling the Transition to a New Economy: Lessons from Two Technological Revolutions." Economic Review, 97 (1): 64-88

Fast forward to the 21st century: in his recent book entitled Digital Transformation (2019), Silicon Valley Guru Thomas Siebel predicts that:

 "It is estimated that 40 percent of the companies in existence today will shut down their operations in the next 10 years....Merely following the trends of change is not enough... Organizations need to reinvent the way they interact with the changing world."

Misconception #2
Digital transformation is difficult to define.

With the myriad technology offerings which exist in the marketplace, the endurance of this misconception is understandable.  Yet the definition of digital transformation is straightforward: it is the process of learning as an organization about how best to use technology to support its business goals.  There is no "right" way to use technology. Twitter for instance, can be used as a customer service communication tool (as the airline KLM does) or alternatively as a window to understand what the competition is doing (as the pharmaceutical/chemical company Bayer does). Each business needs to discover for itself what the best use of a given technology might be.  

Misconception #3:                                                                  
Technology is the key element of digital transformation. 

No, it is not. Learning is at the heart of digital transformation.  A four year study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Deloitte which interviewed over 16.000 managers in diverse industries concluded the following:  The true challenge of mastering digital disruption (and a major part of the solution) is enabling people

Companies can effectively navigate the challenges of digital disruption by launching  initiatives which are far more organizational and managerial than technical.

"In a digital environment, organizations must shift from a world of 'scalable efficiency' to one of 'scalable learning'".  

Hagel, John, Beyond Process: How to Get Better, Faster as Exceptions become the Rule, Deloitte Insights, November 13, 2017

Misconception #4:                                                                              
Digitalization is led and owned by the Chief Digital Officer.

This flawed thinking leads to digital transformation proceeding in the following manner:  the leadership of an organization announces the nature of the next digital initiative and employees are expected to fall in line with this proposition.  The problem with this approach is that the adoption of any kind of new digital technology actually hinders employee performance for the first few months. Why? It requires time to figure out how to best to integrate the new tools into a workflow.  Such top-down initiatives run the risk of creating significant resistance downstream.  New ways of working require providing employees with the adequate time and cognitive resources to explore, experiment and learn. 

Moreover, a top-down process often misconstrues the intrinsic nature of digital strategy. Traditonally formal business strategy has been formulated at the top and subsequently implemented throughout the organization in a multi-year time frame. In contrast, the development of a digital strategy is by nature iterative and requires substantial bottom-up feedback.  

Digital strategy is a continual process of identifying the overall goals, developing short-term initiatives which move the organization closer to the goal and then rethinking the nature of those goals based on what the organization has learned from those short-term initiatives.  As such digital strategy requires not only top-down commitment but bottom-up feedback as well.  The degree of digital maturity is measured by the extent that technology is adopted through pull (i.e. employees introducing novel technological solutions themselves) vs. push (i.e. all initiatives conceived and pushed into the organization from the top).

Misconception #5:                                                                                      
Setting up agile teams is sufficient.

This is the IT view of the world.  This perspective promotes the idea that everything can be solved with agile teams and agile methods.  The predicament of this approach is that these methods are not actually applied to the organizational culture as a whole, but usually just practiced within specific teams.  Some companies even go to the extent to ensure that their agile teams are 'quarantined' away from the normal business so that they do not 'infect' or clash with the traditional corporate culture.

Here is the stumbling block. Digital transformation means creating an agile organization - not only enabling agile teams.  Digital Transformation is all about transforming the organizational culture itself.

Misconception #6:                                                                            
Digital transformation is a final destination.

Truly digital organizations never arrive.  Digital transformation is a never ending journey.  Opting to initiate this journey is similar to the situation which the men of the Spanish Conquisador Hernán Cortés faced on the shores of Mexico when Cortes burned the boats which brought his men to the New World.  Once the boats are no longer there, there is no going back.  You can only go forward.

Furthermore, nobody knows where this journey leads.  We only know that we have no choice but to embark on it.  In the famous words of Antonio Machado: "Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking."

wanderer

Ensuring a successful digital transformation

The misconceptions outlined above all elucidate that digital transformation requires the participation of everyone within an organization.  All levels of an organization need to learn, grow and adapt in order to become a truly digital organization. 

A bold new vision about how an organization will adapt to this constantly changing world needs to be championed by C-Suite executives.  Project managers need to responsible for creating an operative environment which is more conducive to effective work and collaboration in the digital age. Employees need to respond to digital disruption by mastering new skills through continual learning.

The first step in the digital transformation journey requires that these misconceptions about digitalization inside of your organization are uprooted and employees are supported to develop an understanding about what this journey means both for the organization and them personally.

In order to support the development of a vibrant organizational culture which fosters a thriving digital transformation, a 6 core module learning program has been developed for the use by organizations of all sizes:


Digital Strategy 1


Casts off the misconceptions about top-down, technology-centered, CTO-led digital transformation initiatives.  Explores what digital strategy is and why it matters.



Experiment


Delves into the iterative nature of digital transformation and the importance of bottom-up feedback for a sustainable initiative.  Explores the attributes of a fail-early, learn fast culture.



cross functional


Throws light upon how communication across departments and functions acts as a potent catalyst for digital application breakthroughs. Examines the importance of breaking down silos to facilitate digital transformation.



Learning


Examines the core skill of digital transformation - scalable learning.  Underlines the urgency for all employees of an organization - from CEO, office and shop floor workers - to develop a growth mindset.


New Work


Scrutinizes the impact of digitalization on work processes and  the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the organization. Addresses opportunities which employees can set in motion during the course of a career in a digital world.


Organizational Culture


Reveals the underpinnings of a truly agile organizational culture. Reflects upon the qualities of leadership throughout an organization to promote sustainable digital transformation: Digital transformation is culture transformation.


An impactful and sustainable approach for any digital transformation initiative

Our custom-designed learning modules on digital transformation offer a cutting-edge approach to learning within an organization while promoting "scalable learning".

Informed by the most recent research recommendations  on outstanding digital transformation initiatives, these six core modules topics have been developed exclusively by Ensemble Enabler to address the core issues related to this continuous challenge. Through our powerful Peer-to-Peer learning approach, each learning module embodies the principles of interactive adult learning while establishing the foundation to foster scalable learning throughout an organization.

Involving employees in this learning journey about digital transformation fosters alignment throughout the organization by getting everyone "on the same page". This leads to substantially more productive deliberations on digital strategy and, as a result, a far greater level of engagement in its transformation processes and initiatives.

To discover more about the potential of the use of Peer-to-Peer Learning for your organization click here


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  

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An invitation to co-create a vibrant post-corona world https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/personal-thoughts-on-setting-the-foundations-for-a-post-corona-world/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/personal-thoughts-on-setting-the-foundations-for-a-post-corona-world/#comments Sun, 17 May 2020 09:16:00 +0000 COVID19 covid-19 crisis future emerge stronger transformation transformational change a better tomorrow opportunity knocks rethinking learning journey stronger together collective intelligence new world new reality visionary bold crisis in business https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/personal-thoughts-on-setting-the-foundations-for-a-post-corona-world/ Weiterlesen

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Our Historical Moment

As the first few days of this crisis hit and people began quarantining in their homes in an effort to "flatten the curve", I immediately felt that this was one of those events that changes the course of human history.  I wrote to some of my professional colleagues in those momentous first days that I believed that future historians would write about a pre- and post-corona world.  One colleague responded to me by saying that we had gone through several crises in our lifetime - 9/11 and the financial crash of 2008/2009 - and not much changed in the way society functions.  Why should this time be different?

Now months into this crisis (at least in Europe!), I believe that we have collectively begun to sense that this crisis is different.  In none of the previous crises have people across the globe been subjected to changing the way they spend time with family, teach their children, communicate with each other, work together, and travel (or better said don't travel).  These imposed behavioral changes are being shared by BILLIONS of people across the globe.  I believe we have to go back to World War II to find a relatively recent comparable episode in human history which impacted so many people in similar ways at the same time.


beso beso kiss greeting


As countries and economies re-emerge after the lockdown, the temptation will be great to return to life as we knew it (aka "The new normal"), but my guess is that the virus will not permit this for many months to come.  As stay-at-home restrictions loosen up, resurgences in contagion will begin to rise again - leading to further shutdowns (most likely localized).  Certainly former cultural norms such as handshakes and the European penchant to kiss your acquaintances on both cheeks will not be making a comeback anytime soon.

What is struggling to emerge?

This crisis has already caused untold sorrows for millions who have lost loved ones and significant dislocations for those suffering from the impact on the economy.  This suffering will reverberate throughout society in the months and years to come.  I shudder at the toll this will take on individuals, families, communities and society. 


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However with every crisis there is an accompanying opportunity.  It is like a forest fire which in the wake of its destruction makes room for new growth.  The most important question I believe we have confronting us at this moment is: How will we take advantage of this singular moment in human history to improve our destiny?  The stakes could not be higher and there is no guarantee that the change will be for the better.  After all, the Great Depression of the 1930s was an incubator for fascism.  How can we get it right this time?

A Ray of Hope

I for one see a ray of hope in some of the collective action and awareness which we are witnessing across the globe.  On a local scale, connections are happening in neighborhoods which would not have happened previously. Every evening for the past two months at 9 p.m.  many of our neighbors have come out to give thanks to the essential workers who are doing their jobs on the front line and keeping the rest of us safe.  As a result, we have finally gotten to know some of our neighbors in the apartment complex across the street. 

In our own apartment complex we have instituted an "Apero-Sunday".  Every Sunday at 6 p.m. the inhabitants of our building appear on their balconies with a cocktail of their choice. We wish each other continued health and well-being and continue to chat for about 30 minutes.  I have never been so well informed on how each of my neighbors is doing!  The "Apero-Sunday" is infectious; little by little people from adjacent buildings are joining us in this regular Sunday ritual.


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The other phenomenon which has touched my heart comes from musicians. Quarantined, isolated, unable to perform on stage, they have nevertheless founds ways to reach us.  I believe a new art form may have been born - remote choirs and remote orchestras.  One example which literally brought me to tears occurred early on during the crisis.  As Italy was the epicenter of the pandemic, a choir sung the chorus ouverture to Verdi's opera Nabucco.  It was a symbolic masterpiece.  The opera Nabucco is seen by many scholars to represent the Italian Risorgimento in the 19th century which led to the unification of Italy.  The song itself - known as the "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves" - moans about their current suffering and longs for the country they have lost.  This specific artistic performance was dedicated to the medical workers of Italy.


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Since watching that video, my YouTube feed has been filled with a myriad of similar offerings - not only from choirs, but also from orchestras, rock bands and jazz musicians from all over the world.  I have had the opportunity to enjoy productions from places like Australia, Thailand and Senegal.  Perhaps most important of all, amateur groups have joined the fray and people  - quite literally from all over the world -  have been singing together (Take a look at an example of people from 15 different countries singing together).

Setting my stake in the ground

If we want to create a different world,
we need to articulate what this world will look like.

On the basis of these two examples, I would like to share my vision for a post-corona world.  If we want to create a different world, we need to articulate what this world will look like.  For me this new world can be built around what might at first appear a paradox:  individuals who are part of strong local communities and, at the same time, interconnected with the rest of humanity on a planetary scale through the virtues of technology.  If we see that this is possible, why would it be desirable (maybe even necessary)?

This may seem like an inordinately simple analysis, but I believe that at the center of what afflicts humanity today is a rampant uncontrolled individualism.  At the heart of our current economic model is Adam Smith's "enlightened self-interest" which is working like an "invisible hand" to magically provide the best social outcomes for all.  This thinking from the 18th century has had an incredibly beneficial impact on humanity - leading to the acknowledgement and protection of individual rights, freedom of choice, personal dignity and robust self-reliance.  It has also unleashed economic productivity the likes of which have never been seen previously. In my opinion however, this kind of thinking has gone too far.  It doesn't need to be replaced - but it does require a counterbalance.


wave


Physics and biology tell us that everything is interconnected.  A wonderful image of this inter-connectedness was provided by David Bohm  who is acknowledged to be one of most significant theoretical scientists of the 20th century.  He said that the most fundamental particles are like waves in an ocean.  As they rise up, they seem to be individual objects, but they are really just part of the ocean.  So it is with the fundamental particles in nature.  They appear independent, but they are actually all interconnected.  If particles at the most fundamental level are interconnected - it follows - then so are we.

Yet this reality of inter-connectedness is not reflective of how we currently behave in society.  We act as though we were completely autonomous - as if we did not depend on anything else but our own capabilities.  This pandemic has laid bare this fallacy as we begin to realize that without the so-called "essential workers", society would not function.

Unfortunately this illusion of autonomy has some very serious drawbacks. An example of one of those serious drawbacks (spoiler alert - there are many more) is the rise of loneliness in modern society.  With each one of us going about our lives as though we were independent of everyone else, a curious phenomenon has taken place.  Despite the fact that there are approximately 8 billion people on the planet and that through the internet we are more connected than ever, there has been a steady rise in self-reported loneliness in all major countries. Such loneliness can lead to depression, mental illness and to destructive behaviors such as substance abuse.

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"Interactive Neighborhood Spaces" and "Collaborative Learning"

As an antidote to rampant individualism, I offer two ideas for a better tomorrow.  Most of us live in neighborhoods surrounded by myriads of people who for the most part remain anonymous.  In my opinion, creating a healthier society should begin  by connecting with those people who are physically closest to us - our neighbors.  Why not institute an "Apero-Sunday" as a regular way to keep in touch?  Or better yet, why not create spaces and build neighborhoods around areas for people to meet and interact locally?  

A conscious effort to strengthen local communities could lead to completely new ways of structuring our living environments and transform our interaction with neighbors. I am aware that many cities have projects and initiatives to strengthen local communities.  What I am proposing here is not just a random architectural or urban planning project or a pro-active community center, but a complete re-thinking of how we live with the people surrounding us.  This requires not only new concepts of spaces but also providing the opportunity for meaningful interactions.  In other words, it requires neighborhoods which are conceived and planned with the meaningful interaction of the community as its central focal point.

Community that Works


On the other end of the spectrum, with the help of technology we can foster human connection literally all over the planet. Typically we look at learning as an individual activity.  We study, learn alone and take tests alone to measure our progress.  There is nothing wrong with this approach. However as the world becomes more complex, we have begun to realize  that individual learning may not be sufficient and lifelong learning is a necessity to focus on the challenges which lie ahead.

Social learning has been shown to be one of the most effective ways of learning. We can and should create a culture of learning with and from each other which can literally take place on a planetary scale. 

In the same manner in which we connect virtually to sing together,
we can connect virtually to learn together.  

Over the past several years, Ensemble Enabler has been pioneering a process of Peer-to-Peer Learning inside of organizations. We have seen how this process can span regions and geographies.  If this type of learning can take place inside of organizations across the globe, why not in society as well?

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Carpe Diem!

This is not the time to be timid.  We live in an historical time.  This current pandemic is only one of the major phenomena shaking the foundations of our civilization.  Climate change and social inequality equally threaten our way of living.  Digitalization promises to upend all of our previous concepts about how we work together.  It is a time to be bold and to create the future we want to see emerge.  During the course of history there are times when people have arisen to redefine the society in which they live.  This is our opportunity.


To discover more about the potential of the use of Peer-to-Peer Learning for your organization click here


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  

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Why Peer-to-Peer Learning creates a sustainable impact on your organization's Learning Culture https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/why-peer-to-peer-learning-creates-sustainable-impact-inspiration-from-scholars-in-the-field/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/why-peer-to-peer-learning-creates-sustainable-impact-inspiration-from-scholars-in-the-field/#comments Sun, 17 May 2020 00:00:00 +0000 collective intelligence Peer-to-Peer Learning P2P CoachingOurselves Henry Mintzberg leadership development lifelong learning Robin Dunbar Dunbar's number dialogue David Bohm meaning making Hubert Herman Dialogical Self Theory Viktor Frankl collective wisdom Personal and Team Leadership Development organizationallearning https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/why-peer-to-peer-learning-creates-sustainable-impact-inspiration-from-scholars-in-the-field/ Weiterlesen

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Inspiration from scholars in the field

Ensemble Enabler is continually exploring new approaches to capture the wisdom of the crowd to support strategic initiatives, foster creativity and encourage innovation. Our experience has demonstrated that a key factor in this process is the intentional use of dialogue and conversation. A broad spectrum of scholars have explored the conceptual underpinnings which make Peer-to-Peer learning an effective process. We would like to share a compact selection of authors who have informed our thinking on the value and impact of its use in organizations:

Lifelong Learning through conversations

Coaching Ourselves© is a process for peer coaching for organizational performance. Its serves as a fundamental source of inspiration for Ensemble Enabler’s work to encourage collective learning in the workplace. Henry Mintzberg is a renowned author on topics of management and business strategy and professor at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). Through his teaching, he observed the need for conversational learning between his students. As a result, he co-founded Coaching Ourselves© with Phil LeNir to offer peer-based management education in the workplace. A broad spectrum of over 100 modules on business topics makes the expertise of top business experts accessible to employees of all levels of an organization. Ensemble Enabler is a certified partner of Coaching Ourselves©.

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Numbers Matter! An ideal size for large group discussions

Dunbar’s number – 150 – emerged out of his work as an evolutionary anthropologist reflecting upon the nature of social cohesion in communities through the use of language. According to Robin Dunbar, this number refers to the “cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships”. This research indicates that the number of individuals who participate in specific kinds of dialogue matters for the quality of their mutual exchange. As a result, the size of our small format Peer-to-Peer Learning modules and the ideal number of participants of our participatory large scale dialogues have been inspired by Dunbar’s research. 

(Robert Dunbar “Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language“ Faber & Faber 2011)

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The use of dialogue to foster personal insights and inspire group insights plays a central role in the conceptual approach of all Ensemble Enabler’s work.

The key to optimal communication is dialogue

The foundation for Ensemble Enabler’s understanding of dialogue is the thinking of the scientist David Bohm. He introduced the concept of dialogue as a “free flow of meaning between people in communication“. A group collectively explores the process of “thinking together” through conversations. Individuals are encouraged to deeply listen and concentrate on the meaning of statements which are made by others in the group. Individuals begin to build on the ideas of individuals through these conversations. The result is the creation of shared meaning among them. This process of collective meaning making is fostered during the intimate format of a Peer-to-Peer Learning module as well as a large scale participatory dialogue. 

 (David Bohm „Thought as a System” Routledge 1994)

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The process of "mutual dialogues"

Hubert Herman’s Dialogical Self Theory views the “professional and personal lives as two sides of the same coin”. Dialogue with oneself on a individual level combined with dialogue among a group fosters both understanding and emergent mutual creativity. On the individual level, a diversity of personal issues is explored via what Herman calls internal personal “mutual dialogues”. In the professional and/or social setting, individuals become part of and engage with their social environment. Peer-to-Peer Learning modules encourage dialogues on both personal and professional levels, enabling the participants to mutually discover new approaches and solutions.

(Hubert Hermans and Agnieszka Hermans-Konopka "Dialogical Self Theory" Cambridge University Press 2010)

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The power of the sustainable impact of dialogue lies in the collective meaning making of its participants.

In his work, Viktor Frankl explores how people make sense of the influences, relationships and sources of information in their personal realm. Dialogue provides a process to enable individuals to act upon and experience meaning-making in their lives and work. These conversations serve as catalysts to actively stimulate the creation of new meaning. Individuals encounter new perspectives during the dialogue process and begin to integrate this novel information with their current understanding. This meaning making serves to encourage collective problem-solving and/or the development of innovative approaches. 

(Viktor Frankl “Man’s Search for Meaning” Beacon Press 2006)

collective intelligence

To discover more about the potential of the use of Peer-to-Peer Learning for your organization click here


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  


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Supporting resilience in your leaders and employees in time of a crisis https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/supporting-resilience-in-your-leaders-and-employees-in-time-of-a-crisis/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/supporting-resilience-in-your-leaders-and-employees-in-time-of-a-crisis/#comments Sun, 26 Apr 2020 00:00:00 +0000 CoachingOurselves covid-19 crisis collaborative learning collective intelligence culture transformation crisis in business emotional intelligence well-being resilience change dealing with stress sensing reflection caring dialogue conversation collective wisdom Leading change Foresight purpose teamcoaching peertopeerlearning https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/supporting-resilience-in-your-leaders-and-employees-in-time-of-a-crisis/ Weiterlesen

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Since the onset of the Corona virus, we have all experienced a rapid change in our daily lives and work. Both our sensibilities and priorities have shifted during our own current personal journeys. At the same time, we are all coping with the impact of the crisis in every aspect of our lives.

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The emotional nature of current blog postings, chats during webinars and zoom calls with friends and colleagues – just to name a few examples - reveal a deep need to collectively reflect upon how we are feeling in this moment and to identify ways to grapple with the myriad of challenges which all of us are facing right now.

If we show up whole, we end up more productive.
Frédéric Laloux
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Making space for meaningful conversations in both our personal and professional lives will strengthen our ability to cope with the current state of anxiety and an unknown future. Frederic Laloux, author of the book “Reinventing Organizations” addresses the importance of bringing our “wholeness” to our conversations. But what does “wholeness” really mean? Simply put, it means initially putting the cognitive Let’s get to business mindset aside. He advocates that we start our interactions with others by opening our hearts and invite our emotions to be an authentic part of our conversations with them. (For a thoughtful reflection about “wholeness” enjoy Laloux’s video conversation on the topic ) 

Reflecting on the importance of ‘showing up whole’ to unleash individual and collective energy, creativity and passion in these challenging times, we asked ourselves the following question:

How could an organization provide crucial moral support to employees at all levels of the organization by encouraging conversations that matter right now?

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Sensing a collective need to bring wholeness to our conversations about the continuing uncertainty in both our personal spheres and business lives, we took another look at the content in the library of more than 100 CoachingOurselves© modules which have been written by worldwide experts in their fields. The focus of our review process was to reflect upon specific topics which are deeply relevant for our current collective challenge. Through this lens, a spectrum of relevant Peer-to-Peer Learning modules were identified. We feel that these modules will support individuals to have important conversations about what they are feeling and thinking about during these turbulent times with their colleagues and friends.

Our experience has shown that all of the CoachingOurselves© modules which we have singled out, can be helpful for anyone during this crisis. Nonetheless, we chose to suggest two collections of Peer-to-Peer Learning modules - one for managers and another for employees – in order to address specific needs from varying perspectives.

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SUPPORTING YOUR LEADERS AND MANAGERS TO BE THEIR BEST DURING A CRISIS

During this moment and more than ever, leaders need to speak and act from the heart while at the same time tapping into their business acumen. Building the resilience of an organization’s leaders will enable them to deal with the current crisis by showing more compassion and business élan while, at the same time, strengthen themselves and their colleagues.

The following modules can lay the groundwork for leaders to deal with the current unpredictable and emerging future.

A leader’s health action plan: Incorporate simple tools to incorporate into a leader’s workday to promote both emotional and physical health.

Emotional intelligence: Your Inner and Outer Self: Examine a leader’s critical role to managing their emotions as well as those of others in the workplace.

Leading change in difficult times: Explore powerful methods to motivate employees to maintain productivity and performance which guide organizations through the most challenging of times.

Dealing with the pressures of managing: Reflect upon how the pressures of managing are constant, not temporary – and even more intense during a crisis.

Managing on the edges: Delve into how managers need to manage inside their area of responsibility as well as manage outside of their unit by relating to other components of the organization. Managing on the edge to the outside world is especially important in times of crisis.

Foresight: Cultivate an awareness of the unseen, the obscure, and the overlooked by focusing on the importance of foresight and the development of attentional strategies in daily management. 

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OFFERING WAYS FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES TO COLLECTIVELY ADDRESS THEIR EMOTIONAL NEEDS DURING A CRISIS

The demands of the crisis to assure health and well-being of employees resulted in a high-speed shift from the everyday routine of working in an office to solo working in a home office. Virtual work and online team meetings have become the norm. Not unexpectedly, stress levels have risen throughout the workforce. Grappling with an unexpected change in one’s daily working routine combined with the worries of a health crisis has taken a toll on employees’ ability to cope.

The following modules have been chosen to allow employees to listen to the perspectives of others who are also dealing with the crisis and offer an opportunity for them to engage in conversation about it with others. By fostering this kind of empathetic listening, employees will see crisis from the eyes of fellow colleagues. The result of these conversations will the strengthening of a collective feeling of resilience.

The art of helping: Explore the dynamics of helping in order to contribute to a climate of mutual help so an organization can flourish.

Reflection: Appreciate the importance of collective and individual reflection in managerial work and identify ways to combine this kind of managerial reflection with action.

Time to dialogue: Recognize dialogue as a more creative and collaborative mode of communication which increases one’s capacity to address complex organizational issues.

Candid conversation: Look at how candid conversations can fostered in the workplace and ways to enable these conversations throughout an organization.

Building purpose in life and work: Delve into how leaders collaborate with employees towards creating a purpose-driven organization.

Ordinary people – extraordinary leadership: Embrace 21st century leadership by enabling leaders to return to their most profound personal perspective, imagination and wisdom.


Every good conversation starts with good listening.
Anonymous

Conversations also have the power to foster a deeper level of listening – generative listening. According to Otto Scharmer of the Presencing Institute, this kind of listening not only strengthens one’s personal sense of identity but also enables individuals to collectively connect to an emerging future. (Watch this video and hear Otto Scharmer reflect upon the different levels of listening. )

Powerful conversations provide the framework to foster deeper listening. Generative listening to one another opens the possibility of emergent creativity and co-creation. Both these capabilities are essential for all organizations to cultivate as our shared future unfolds.

Employees at any level of an organization will develop his/her personal listening skills, connect more deeply with others and create meaning about how to cope with the current challenge (and future crises) through the Peer-to-Peer Learning experience. Developing this ability to sense and express compassion is key to both personal and organizational thriving in a time of rapid change and uncertainty. 


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  

To discover more about the potential of the use of Peer-to-Peer Learning for your organization click here


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Do Change Initiatives in Companies really make the "Whole Elephant" visible? https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/making-the-whole-elephant-visible/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/making-the-whole-elephant-visible/#comments Sun, 12 Apr 2020 00:00:00 +0000 collective intelligence culture transformation employee involvement knowledge management silos stakeholder engagement systemic dialogue value through alignment employee engagement large group dialogue large group event Motivation and employee development collective consciousness effective communication learning environment learning culture cross-functional communication bottom-up communication inter-departmental communication internal communication dialogue participatory meetings and events visual enabling enabling organizations World Cafe large scale dialogue world cafe method largescaleevents dragonflyproblemsolving https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/making-the-whole-elephant-visible/ Weiterlesen

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Companies are utilizing novel approaches to deal with complex issues.

Such as an energy company aspiring to improve internal communications, an organization dealing with an aging workforce or a pharmaceutical company targeting to create a learning environment within its marketing department.

All of the above mentioned issues are multi-facetted. Communication within a company includes top-down and cross-functional communication, bottom-up and inter-departmental communication, performance reviews and feedback, etc. – not to mention the myriad of instruments available to support this communication.

Most attempts to deal with such issues revolve around tried and true methods of analysis. A team is given the task to improve a specific component of a larger business issue. An analysis is conducted, experts are brought in as needed, and recommendations for improvement are developed. This modus operandi characterizes an “outside-in” approach. The team doing the analysis acts as an outside observer, attempting to assess the options as objectively and neutrally as possible. Proposed solutions are introduced into the organization from this outsider perspective. Most change projects – both good and bad – are initiated in this manner.


IS THERE ANOTHER WAY TO INITIATE THE CHANGE PROCESS?

An “inside-out” approach acknowledges that the experiences and input of individual stakeholders (ie. employee, customer, supplier, shareholder, etc.) form an essential part of any solution. From their unique position within the system, these stakeholders know better than anyone what is working and not working for them (and the company). Key components which need to be changed and/or improved can be identified if this information is made visible. Ensemble Enabler uses large scale dialogue and Visual Enabling to make this information visible.

Find the right kind of large scale dialogue for your business

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Let’s look at a concrete examples of this novel approach.


Example #1 Improving internal communications

The top 150 executives of an energy company met to discuss how to improve internal communications. The company was suffering from an overload of information coming from all directions, essentially obscuring the key information which needed to be communicated throughout the company. A three hour participatory large scale dialogue process enabled them to identify the key issues. The following strategic map emerges from this process: 


Strategy Mapping Blog Communication


This mind map of ideas represents a 10,000 meter panorama from the executives’ point-of-view. Working in small groups, they identified and suggested solutions for a broad spectrum of communication challenges. Their suggestions were assigned into three categories: Individual, Team and Organization. Each of the sub-categories - such as “e-mail” - documents the number of suggestions which were made.

This strategic map identifies the multiple facets of the communication difficulties facing this company as well as highlights the priorities of the executives' issues. The map provides a simple yet complete overview of the complexity to deal effectively with these issues and whole also highlighting critical items. No one person would be able to identify all of these items individually. However, the collective intelligence of the stakeholders provided the diverse input which was summarized in a map of the prevailing state of the company’s communication climate.

The value-added of this approach is the creation of an awareness of the whole. 

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The 150 executives recognized all the issues with regards to fostering effective communication within the company. They were also aware that their fellow colleagues also recognized these issues. The participatory large scale dialogue process created a collective consciousness among the participants of what needed to be done and the next steps to be undertaken.  As a result, all the executives could address solving these issues from a mutual shared understanding. This created alignment within the company.


Example #2 Developing viable approaches for an aging workforce

Another example of the use of large scale dialogue with the use of Visual Enabling addressed the challenge and opportunities of an aging workforce. The retirement age in Italy has been raised to 70 years.  90 stakeholders from a variety of organizations and companies located in Bologna came together to consider workable approaches to the current challenge and opportunities of an aging workforce in companies. Most of participants were over 50 years of age. Moreover a representative number of workers under 50 years of age (ca. 15%) together with a some recent retirees also participated. As a whole, all these participants offered unique perspectives to consider the broad spectrum of issues and opportunities confronting an aging workforce. The results of the large scale dialogue is visualized in the following mind map:


Bologna Recommendations Mind Map


During this three hour large scale dialogue, 90 participants conceived an comprehensive approach for a company to consider when dealing with the complex issues and opportunities of an aging workforce. As a result of their participation, the participants were highly motivated to play an active role to realize the proposed ideas. During an post-dialogue evaluation, the participants were asked about the level of their motivation to support making these proposals a reality: 20% indicated that they were extremely motivated, over 60% were very motivated and approximately 20% were motivated to actively work to realize these ideas. 

As an “inside-out” approach, large scale dialogue and Visual Enabling capture the real world of each stakeholder and synthesizes their individual realities into an objective whole. It helps to make the “entire elephant (in the company)” visible.

Analytical approaches traditionally isolate individual issues in order to study them in more depth. This echoes the scientific approach of the past 400 years: the more that an issue can be isolated (for instance an element in the periodic table such as hydrogen), the more can be learned about it. However, there is a pitfall with such an analytic approach in a business context. The wrong issue may be the center of focus or understanding and, as a result, will not promote an understanding of the whole. Understanding the properties of hydrogen and oxygen in a scientific context does not necessarily help to understand all of water’s properties.

Visual Enabling provides an insightful complement to traditional analytical approaches. It is not a replacement pf traditional analysis. However, combining the power of the two approaches is a winning formula. By initially understanding the context from a stakeholder perspective, this input guides a focused analysis of key issues. The integration of both analysis and Visual Enabling provides increased value-added for a company by observing the issues in the context of the company’s “big picture”.

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Example #3 Improving inter-departmental collaboration

One pharmaceutical company was working to improve its inter-departmental collaboration. Through the large scale dialogue and Visual Enabling process, all key members of the department created a strategic map which served to identify their top 10 priority items. This strategic map reflected the collective intelligence of the group. It was used by the company to examine each of the priorities under a magnifying glass and scrutinize each item in depth. By fostering inter-department collaboration in this manner, not only were issues impeded collaboration identified, the manner in which the various departments work together has been transformed.

Find the right kind of large scale dialogue for your business


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  


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One last food-for-thought……

For those wondering about the reference to “making the elephant visible", John Godfrey Saxe’s (1816-1887) version of the famous Indian legend offers another reason why Strategy Mapping® supports positive change in companies:

THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach’d the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -“Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he,
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

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Virtual Peer-to-Peer-Learning connects employees https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/virtual-social-learning/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/virtual-social-learning/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2020 16:59:00 +0000 online collaborative learning social learning teams learning culture silo busting Networks in business collaborative learning Collaboration crisis in business covid-19 crisis Change management virtual learning organizational culture digital strategy digital change digital culture digital maturity digital leadership digital transformation digital disruption agile organization agile collaboration capacity building CoachingOurselves Peer to Peer Learning peer-to-peer-learning https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/virtual-social-learning/ Weiterlesen

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In times of crisis and rapid change, exploring new ways to foster group learning is fundamental. Research has determined that one of the most effective ways to promote learning takes place in small groups. 

A study from Eastern Michigan University confirms this assertion. It investigated different learning methods for students who were learning statistics.  The study determined that students improved their scores through collaborative learning (learning in small groups) by up to 23 points on tests based on a scoring system from 0 to 100 as compared with with traditional lecture learning.

Collaborative learning is acknowledged to work extremely well face-to-face. But can the same quality learning experience be delivered online? The resounding answer is YES!

Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions provide quality collaborative learning for employees in organizations virtually across geographies and time zones.


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Today's video conferencing technologies makes learning remotely in groups accessible and effective. Ensemble Enabler's virtual learning platform provides remote learners with access to the same high quality content which are offered during our face-to-face Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions.  Learning Enablers (the facilitators of the learning sessions) are trained to use various virtual interactive tools (i.e. whiteboards, breakout rooms, pointers, chat) to enhance the learning experience.  Evaluations from our remote sessions are as well-received and enthusiastic as from our on-site Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions. Both virtual and face-to-face Peer-to-Peer Learning offer quality learning experiences stimulated by top notch content which is authored by world wide business experts.

Enhanced Networking and Silo Busting

In addition, remote learning has an additional impact: it enhances networking and breaks down silos across teams and locations.  To turbo-charge the networking and silo-busting impact, the composition of the participants of each 90 minutes session can be designed to include new learning partners every time!  

The learning which occurs during such an intentional cross-functional learning process is not restricted to the content alone. The additional valued-added which is generated is that all participants become aware of and learn about other functions and departments in their own organization more deeply.

Imagine your entire business community learning together! 

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An additional advantage of our virtual learning platform is the the opportunity for a community to learn together.  Once individual employees has attended a particular session topic (for instance on "How to hold more effective meetings"), there is the opportunity for these individuals to convene together virtually in groups of 20 or 30 (up to 100!). During this virtual community learning session, participants share their insights and learnings from each of their own small group Peer-to-Peer Learning experiences of 4 participants with the Peer-to-Peer Learning groups of other employees. This virtual scaling of the sharing process not only strengthens community awareness within an organization but also bolsters the shaping of community norms and behaviors.  Our team of experienced Ensemble Enabler virtual facilitators facilitate these large group sessions.

Test your own Virtual Peer-to-Peer Learning Session

Curious about what this new learning paradigm might look like in your organization? 

It's easy: All you need is 4 - 8 participants, access to the internet and two hours. 

This demo session will enable you and your team to experience all of the aspects and advantages of a virtual Peer-to-Peer Learning session first hand and, of course, virtually!

A virtual Peer-to-Peer Learning Demo session includes:

  • An introduction to Peer-to-Peer Learning
  • A virtual Peer-to-Peer Learning session (4 - 8 participants)
  • A  virtual community learning simulation (8 participants)
  • A discussion on how Peer-to-Peer Learning may best benefit your organization

Why wait? 

Get started on your group learning journey by contacting us to book your virtual Peer-to-Peer learning demo session.   

Click here to discover more about how Ensemble Enabler can support your company's individual journey to digital transformation


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  




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Organizational Culture is the focus for companies aiming for evolving growth https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/minimizing-fear-is-the-essential-first-step-towards-digital-maturity/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/minimizing-fear-is-the-essential-first-step-towards-digital-maturity/#comments Sun, 23 Feb 2020 16:35:00 +0000 learning culture Learning Organization Agile organization digitalisation digital culture digital maturity digital transformation digital disruption psychological safety in the workplace Feedback loops organizational culture digital strategy growth mindset organizational mindset Culture Change culture and organizational transformation culture transformation organizational capability building organizational development Edgar Schein Robert Keegan Lisa Lahey Amy Edmondson fluidcollaboration https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/minimizing-fear-is-the-essential-first-step-towards-digital-maturity/ Weiterlesen

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Organizations need to create work environments which provide employees with psychological safety 

It is becoming increasingly clear that mastering digital disruption is primarily an organizational culture issue not a technology issue.  The results of a 4 year study by the Massachussetts Institute of Technology and Deloitte clearly spells this out.

Digital maturity is the new paradigm which will increasingly be the focus of organizations' efforts to master digital disruption.  A "fearless culture" is the first step to digital maturity.

DIGITAL MATURITY is defined as "an organization's ability to compete effectively by taking advantage of opportunities enabled by technological infrastructure, both inside and outside the organization."

Digital maturity is all about organizational culture. 

PUSH vs PULL: The key chracteristic of digital maturity

One of the key differences between more digitally mature companies and less mature organizations is this:

Less mature organizations tend to PUSH digital transformation through managerial directives or by making technology available.  Maturing companies tend to PULL digital transformation by cultivating the conditions which are ripe for transformation to occur.


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In other words, more mature organizations enlist their workforce to help determine which technologies will bring most value to the organization and its clients.  Digitally mature organizations have a considerable bottom-up approach which requires highly motivated and engaged employees.

The need for a robust bottom-up approach

Why is a bottom-up approach necessary? 

Because the technological environment is changing so rapidly, out of necessity digital strategy must be iterative in nature.  Digital strategy cannot be a long-term plan to which the organization rigidly adheres and executes over a multi-year time frame.  Instead digital strategy is a constant experimentation which is designed to better understand how a specific technology can create the best value. 

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Take Twitter for example.  Major media outlets use Twitter as a means of broadening their reach of their content.  Airlines use Twitter as an effective customer service tool. KLM uses Twitter as a way to answer their customers' questions and promise a response to any customer request within 17 minutes.  Other companies use Twitter as a business intelligence tool.  By following certain twitter feeds, organizations can get an early warning of what their competitors are undertaking.  The Red Cross uses keyword monitoring to quickly identify natural disasters as well as their intensity.

In other words, 

Each organization needs to explore which is the best use of a given technology for their company.  To optimize this discovery process, it is critical to have employees who are willing to experiment, take risks and discover where the value added lies to master the digital disruption which is confronting their specific organization.

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The essential first step towards digital maturity

Unfortunately employees in many companies do not feel secure enough to take risks or to challenge the status quo.  Many managers still believe in the power of fear to motivate.  They assume that people who are afraid will work hard to avoid unpleasant consequences.

ALERT to those managers who continue to prescribe to this theory: Brain science has abundantly demonstrated that fear inhibits learning and cooperation. Research in neuroscience shows that fear consumes physiological resources, diverting them from parts of the brain that manage working memory and process new information.  This impairs analytic thinking, creative insight and problem solving.

The success factor of psychological safety

What is needed is a working environment of "psychological safety". This is defined as "the belief that the work environment is safe for interpersonal risk taking."

All of us are subject to subtle interpersonal risks at work. When you are at work - whether explicitly or implicitly - you are being evaluated. An individual higher up in the hierarchy is formally responsible for assessing your performance. Peers and subordinates are sizing you up informally all the time.

In contrast, it is OK to ask for help or admit failure in a psychologically safe environment.  Individuals feel comfortable to share their concerns and mistakes without fear of embarrassment or retribution. According to Professor Edgar Schein, an environment of "psychological safety allows people to focus on achieving shared goals rather than on self-protection" (Schein, E.H. "How Can Organizations Learn Faster? Sloan Management Review 34.2. (1993): 85-92). 

When an environment of psychological safety is not prevalent, things can go very wrong.

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Take the case of the American financial institution Wells Fargo.  Cross-selling has always been a strategy for financial services firms.  The fastest way to grow the business is to sell existing customers additional products. Savings accounts, loans, credit cards, etc. are pitched to existing customers who may only have a checking account. 

In the early 2000s, Wells Fargo adopted a strategy labeled "Going for Gr-Eight".  The idea behind the strategy was to get Wells Fargo customers to buy on average 8 products from the bank. Incentive schemes were put in place to help fulfill this strategy.  However, this target was not achievable.  

In an environment lacking psychological safety, employees did not let their superiors know that the targets were unrealistic.  Instead they resorted to a series of questionable practices such as opening accounts for customers without their consent, convincing customers to open unnecessary multiple checking accounts, creating fake email addresses to enroll customers in online banking  - to name just a few.

"Most people at work, even in high-performing organizations, divert considerable energy every day to a second job that no one has hired them to do: 

preserving their reputations, putting their best selves forward, and hiding their inadequacies from others and themselves. 

We believe this is the single biggest cause of wasted resources in nearly every company today."                          


                      Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey - Harvard University 

FeedForward Unhappy workers

Deliberately Developmental Organizations

Digitally mature companies intentionally focus on culture. 

In our experience, there are a number of steps which need to be taken in order to promote this specific focus:

Creation of an environment that feels safe, sustained first by top leaders who are willing to role model vulnerability and take personal responsibility for their imperfections and missteps.

A focus on continuous learning through inquiry, curiosity and transparency, instead of an environment characterized by judgment, certainty and self-protection.

Time-limited, manageable experiments with new behaviors in order to test individuals' unconscious assumptions that changing the status quo is dangerous and likely to have negative consequences.

Continuous feedback — up, down and across the organization – which is grounded in a shared commitment to help each other grow and progress.

Ultimately, organizations need to learn how to learn together. 


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Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  

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Feedback Loops and Data Analytics foster organizational learning and innovation https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/feedback-loops-and-analytics-foster-organizational-learning-and-innovation/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/feedback-loops-and-analytics-foster-organizational-learning-and-innovation/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2020 18:18:00 +0000 Agile organization Innovation data analytics Feedback loops organizational mindset learning culture growth mindset scalable learning in business transparentcommunication https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/feedback-loops-and-analytics-foster-organizational-learning-and-innovation/ Weiterlesen

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Feedback loops are often an untapped resource to enhance creativity and innovation in companies. Astute organizations recognize the value and use of feedback loops to stimulate learning and innovation at all levels.

Why? Feedback loops lay down the foundation for an organizational mindset which is favorable for scalable learning and innovation throughout the organization. Through the cultivation of an environment which intentionally promotes the use of feedback loops, an organization benefits from the wisdom of employees which is harvested to reap productive insights for the business.

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Definition of Feedback: Information about reactions to a product, a person's performance of a task, etc. which is used as a basis for improvement.

Peer-to-Peer learning sessions enrich opportunities to develop creative insights and ideas

What kind of environment does a Peer-to-Peer Learning session create for the productive use of feedback loops? A Peer-to-Peer Learning session brings four participants from all levels of an organization together for a 90 minute exchange of ideas and perspectives on a specific business issue (ie. teamwork, accountability) and/or challenge (ie. collaboration and digitalization). Employees can experience a Peer-to-Peer Learning module either face-to-face in your organization's meetings rooms or virtually with their colleagues online. 

The sign-up process is self-organizing through the use of a proprietary app which enables diverse employees to register for a Peer-to-Peer session online from any device. (For a more detailed a description about how this app eliminates costly coordination time read here) Peer-to-Peer sessions are held on-site in a company’s existing meeting areas, eliminating travel time and related expenses. These Peer-to-Peer Learning discussions are led by an experienced Learning Enabler who has been coached and mentored to fulfill this special role.


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Ensemble Enabler has integrated the use of feedback loops into its Peer-to-Peer Learning practice to advance the learning process and champion new ideas.

How are feedback loops seamlessly integrated into the Peer-to-Peer Learning experience? Two formats are currently being used to provide helpful information for an organization’s reflection and learning:

1. A CUSTOM DESIGNED FEEDBACK QUESTIONNAIRE about the Peer-to-Peer Learning experience. This questionnaire contains a series of questions assessing the nature and quality of the Peer-to-Peer Learning module and an open question to gather information about a specific business issue or project. This is accompanied by sociodemographic data to understand the users of the learning modules and their responses. This input is mostly quantitative in nature.

2. A GROUP PROPOSAL FORM for a joint suggestion based on the learnings from the Peer-to-Peer Learning module to be communicated to the company management. At the end of the module, each participant is asked to reflect upon an idea or suggestion which he/she would like to make to the company. The next step is a group discussion about each of the four ideas. After each participant’s contribution is heard, the group formulates one group proposal to be communicated to the company’s management. This input is qualitative in nature and allows the voice of the participants to be heard without any intermediary filters.

The feedback from these two feedback instruments are digitally documented for analysis. Ensemble Enabler’s supporting digital software enables this process to be completed quickly and efficiently. Due to the nature of the information which is collected, insights can be gleaned from both instruments from a variety of perspectives including demographics and local/geographic differences to name just a few.

The subsequent analysis is undertaken from the perspective of identifying useful and constructive insights for an organization. The results of the custom-designed questionnaire provide feedback about the nature of the participants’ Peer-to-Peer Learning experience in order to get a feel for the impact of the module experience from an individual point-of-view.

The group proposals yield a rich medium for generating new ideas and insights about specific business issues.

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During the course of offering a specific Peer-to-Peer Learning module over a 4 to 6 week period within a company, a wealth of proposals are generated for analysis. After a thorough review of each specific proposal, clusters of emerging thematic issues are generated. The results of this in-depth analysis are transformed into a “10.000 meter view” to enable the company’s management to reflect upon the feedback, build upon the ideas/proposals and consider action on them. Based on our experience, it is very fruitful to provide these executive summaries available not only to the leadership but to the regional office/plants as well, thus flattening the decision hierarchy by making the results accessible to more decision makers throughout the company. This encourages a “test and learn mindset” and a willingness to act on ideas.

What impact does this feedback process have on a company’s organization learning capacity?

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The results from one Peer-to-Peer Learning module from a family-owned manufacturing business with 3,000 employees highlight the enormous potential of the use of such a feedback loop process. During the course of 6 weeks, one third of the employees participated in a specific module about continuous improvement. At the end of the module roll-out, 250 proposals were received from a diverse group of participants.

After careful analysis of this input, four overall thematic clusters emerged from the group proposals:

1.  An employee assessment of the current state of the corporate culture

2. An image about how values, attitudes and behaviors are experienced in the workforce

3. An expressed concern for the development of a digital strategy integrating the production and office arenas

4. Proposed improvements to the overall production process

All of these thematic clusters were accompanied by sub-themes and specific information in order to provide sufficient information as a basis for reflection and learning to glean productive insights for the company. Fourteen specific projects emerged out of the reflection upon the analyzed results.

A willingness to act on these ideas is paramount. Building upon these proposals enabled the company take action and explore better ways to approach specific strategic business issues. The combined process of feedback loops and analysis of the proposals was continued during the next series of Peer-to-Peer Learning modules. These results also provided continual feedback to enhance the on-going development of the business.

Just as innovation is more about the environment of cultivating ideas at all levels of the organization, so the spirit of feedback and learning should permeate all levels.”

The Technology Fallacy

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Why should organizations invest the time and energy into integrating feedback loops into their daily business?

As the quote above highlights, the use of feedback loops becomes part of the way things get done in a company in order to tap into the know-how and experience of everyone at all levels of the business. By cultivating a mindset of organizational learning in this manner, new horizons for continual improvement and innovation become visible. Through reflection and learning from and together with others, an organization identifies new avenues for constructive action. The lessons learned through the use of the feedback loop process effectively address a business’ challenges and identify realizable solutions in a rapidly changing business environment.


Click here to discover more about the potential of Peer-to-Peer Learning in your organization!


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  

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The role of a digital communication platform in a culture transformation https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/the-role-of-a-digital-communication-platform-in-a-culture-transformation/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/the-role-of-a-digital-communication-platform-in-a-culture-transformation/#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2020 20:38:00 +0000 digitalization digital maturity digital change in small and medium-sized businesses digital transformation organizational culture digital change in family owned companies digital change digital leadership digital transformation in business digital disruption Community platform mobile communication platform channels of communication organizational culture digital communication digital culture Culture Change culture transformation culture and organizational transformation growth mindset agile organization community communication digital connector organizational strategy employee participation employee engagement employee feedback prototyping digitalization in mid-size companies digital transformation for KMU digital transformation in companies Pinboards transparentcommunication fluidcollaboration https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/the-role-of-a-digital-communication-platform-in-a-culture-transformation/ Weiterlesen

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In today’s world, just about everyone has a smart phone and therefore the possibility of connecting with others in a myriad of creative ways. Tech companies offer all kinds of collaborative software including real time messaging, file sharing, video meetings, etc. Without a doubt, all of these features have an impact on the culture of an organization. However, most of these software offerings are targeted for individual or team use.

What is needed to support an organization’s culture is a digital offering which inhabits the same dimension where culture lives, one which is a systemic digital offering.


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This was the conundrum which Ensemble Enabler faced when embarking on a large-scale culture transformation process at Musashi Europe GmbH – an automobile parts manufacturer based near Frankfurt, Germany. We had both traditional and not so traditional analog tools (surveys, leadership workshops, peer-to-peer learning conversations, large scale thematic events) at our disposal to help shift and mold the culture. Moreover, we felt that in today’s world a digital component needed to be added to our culture transformation process to support and magnify our efforts.

Musashi Europe is the result of the acquisition of various metal forging manufacturing plants in Germany, Hungary and Spain. They were brought together and finally became a unit when they were acquired by Musashi Seimitsu Industry Co. from Japan.

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Facilitating cross-plant and geographical collaboration

The culture transformation imperative facing this new company is to facilitate and enhance cross-plant and geographical collaboration. This priority is particularly urgent in the face of the shift from fossil fuels to electro-mobility in the automobile industry. The goal of the culture renewal program is to create a sense of identity and belonging across all 9 geographic locations throughout Europe. This is important not only to enhance collaboration within Europe but globally as well. A culture should also emerge which invites greater employee participation in management decisions and fosters a more pro-active accountable attitude throughout the organization.

Against this contextual backdrop, Musashi Europe was a company only beginning to synchronize its IT systems across geographic locations and initiating the process to install collaborative software such as Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams. Almost half of the employees (primarily those active on the shop floor) do not have access to PCs or laptops. What digital communication did take place amongst employees outside of e-mail occurred over WhatsApp – often with employees using their own smart phones.

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A systemic approach to enhance digital communication within a community which strengthens an organization's culture too!

As we searched for a digital element to support our culture renewal efforts, we came across the digital communication platform – Pinboards. Pinboards is a closed network software communications platform, i.e. it is built to enhance communication within a pre-defined community. Individual postings can be made by anyone inside the community. The platform promotes interactive digital conversations through the help of likes and comments/reactions to individual postings. The postings themselves are organized and stored according to a set of customized categories and sub-categories which help to facilitate the navigation through the platform.

To be precise, Pinboards is a software communications platform which is systemic in nature. As a result, it is exactly the kind of digital support needed to support a culture renewal process.


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Because Pinboards is a closed network, it can be branded.

The symbolic impact of this possibility is key to creating ownership of the platform. Musashi Pinboards was provided a Musashi Europe look based on their corporate design guidelines. As a user logs onto the platform, the reference to Pinboards is nowhere to be seen. Instead the Musashi Europe logo appears in the familiar corporate identity color palette accompanied in big bold letters with the slogan of the culture renewal program “We form the future”. In other words, this is OUR Musashi Europe’s communication platform - not some kind of external software. Only current employees of Musashi Europe are allowed to use the platform. Again, this reinforces the sense that this is OUR platform.

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The categories and sub-categories used to classify individual postings were also customized.

Through an interactive feedback process using surveys and focus groups, 12 categories were created which reflect the key interests of the Musashi Europe community.

1) business issues (for instance: the future of our company, a technical exchange forum, process improvement suggestions, etc.),

2) cultural issues (examples of living the values, recognition/appreciation of colleagues, peer-to-peer learning sessions, etc.),

3) social issues (ride sharing, sport, celebrations, etc.) and

4) event information.

For the first time, platform users are able to communicate directly with employees from other plants in an easy and transparent way. Communication across hierarchies has also been improved as all levels of hierarchies are participating on the platform. As one employee noted:

“On Pinboards we can see what managing directors are saying and thinking. On occasion we may even be able to enter into a direct digital conversation with them!”

We are currently transitioning from a test phase with a limited number of users to inviting all employees to register onto the platform. Nevertheless, the cultural impact is already visible. The general awareness of what is going on in other plants has risen considerably. In one instance, a plant posted its plans for a Christmas party. That invited a lot of participation and comments from employees about the planned party from that one plant. But that was only the beginning. Seeing all that activity taking place on the platform, other plants jumped in as well and before too long, Christmas party preparations were being discussed on the platform for all plants! Moreover, good ideas were being shared across plants.

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Similar postings have been made on key business issues such as safety. A common posting for one of the plants is to remind everyone how many days have gone by without an injury. The idea is to foster a sense of pride and awareness in the exemplary safety policies and practices which have been put in place.

The first examples of a bottom-up pro-active accountable attitude – one of the goals of the culture renewal program – are beginning to be seen. One of the company values is “Resourcefulness” – i.e. creatively seeking solutions to the challenges which the company faces. In the spirit of this value, a group of employees at one plant decided that they could be a lot more “resourceful” if they had an informal space where they could reflect with others about how to meet these challenges. Their idea? To create a Creativity Room – something other companies have instituted - but was new to Musashi Europe. After getting management approval for their initiative, employees selected a space and converted it into a Creativity Room via a completely bottom-up self-organized process. A neighboring plant recognized what had happened through the Pinboards platform. Within a relatively short time, the second plant also created its own Creativity Room in a similar pro-active self-organized manner!

PINBOARDS Mitarbeiter Community 2


A unique peer-to-peer verification process further strengthens a company culture

As more and more employees join the platform, Pinboards will in effect become one of the most important communication channels in the company. One final challenge lies in the way to achieve this desired goal. Nearly one half of the employees do not have access to PCs or laptops. As a result, they also do not have company e-mails. For the sake of IT security, it is important to verify and regulate those individuals who get access to the Musashi Europe Pinboards platform. Typically a company e-mail is a reliable gateway for this kind of verification. However, given the number of employees at Musashi Europe who do not have a company e-mail, a significant verification challenge was posed. A solution was found in an approach which will further strengthen the company culture: peer-to-peer verification. Without going into technical detail, this process enables employees who are currently using the Pinboards platform to personally verify those employees who would like to register on the Musashi Pinboards platform. Once this verification has taken place, the new user can use his/her personal smart phone to participate on the platform. In other words, most users of the platform will be personally invited to take part.

In this case, the digital journey begins with an analog handshake.

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A deliberate strategy by management to enhance communication

Using Pinboards as a systemic form of digital communication among all employees is a deliberate strategy by Musashi Europe’s management. Not only does the platform support an overall understanding of the company’s vision among the employees and their personal role to “form” its future; it also provides a participatory avenue to foster all of Musashi Europe’s values by providing real examples of living these values in its daily business.

By creating a digital forum to facilitate open communication among all employees, a new communication realm has been created to build a knowledge sharing culture which will support Musashi Europe’s on-going business and digital transformation.

Click here to discover more about how Ensemble Enabler can support your company's individual journey to digital transformation


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  


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"It's the Culture Stupid!" An organization's culture foretells its ability to deal with digital disruption https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/it-s-the-culture-stupid-how-an-organization-s-culture/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/it-s-the-culture-stupid-how-an-organization-s-culture/#comments Sun, 19 Jan 2020 18:00:00 +0000 digital disruption digital transformation organizational culture lifelong learning Collaboration risk-taking cross-functional Peer-to-Peer Learning Learning Organization learning culture digitalization digitalization for mid-size companies organizational development digital maturity digital leadership digital transformation in family-owned companies digital culture digital culture in companies digital transformation in organizational culture agile organization growth mindset organizational mindset culture and organizational transformation digital strategy transformation in the organizational culture culture change in companies digital change team learning organizational learning fluidcollaboration https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/it-s-the-culture-stupid-how-an-organization-s-culture/ Weiterlesen

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Focus on Culture!

In his initial run for President, Bill Clinton is famous for reducing his campaign message to campaign staff to one simple sentence: "It's the economy stupid!"  During his presidential campaign, there were many competing issues to engage with such as foreign affairs (the first Iraq war had just ended and the Soviet Union had just been dissolved), healthcare, trade policy, attacks on his character - to name only a few.  However, he told his campaign staff that the only issue which really mattered was the economy. With the support of this fixated focus, he was able to defeat the incumbent president George H.W. Bush in the 1992 election.

A major economic transformation caused by digitalization is currently in progress.  As disruptive technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence), big data, blockchain, collaborative software, cloud computing, IoT (internet of things), Robotics, VR/AR (virtual and augmented reality) and others take hold, both existential threats as well as historic opportunities are emerging. Since these trends affect every business and industry, it is tempting to focus solely on all of the previously mentioned technology in the current environment of constant and rapid change.

However, recent research proposes that business leaders should be taking another course of action to address digital transformation.   MIT (Massachussets Institute of Technology) and Deloitte have just finished publishing the result of a four year research project on digitalization.  Over the course of this 4 year study, over 16.000 people were surveyed across 18 different sectors of the economy - from IT companies to construction companies as well as the public sector.

The conclusion and advice of the MIT/Deloitte researchers to businesses is: Focus on your Organizational Culture! It is the ONLY way to successfully confront the digital transformation challenge.

digital disruption peer2peer learning


Digital Maturity and Organizational Culture

From the very beginning of the study,  researchers were faced with the issue about how to differentiate between the various levels of digitalization which companies had actually obtained. Many companies declare that they are digital but don't actually back-up this assertion with concrete behaviors throughout their organizations. The research results provide a pragmatic framework to classify the level of digitalization in organizations. This framework is designated as Digital Maturity.

Digital Maturity is defined as:

"The ABILITY of an organization to compete effectively by taking advantage of opportunities enabled by technological infrastructure, both inside and outside the organization."

In other words, digital maturity requires new approaches in the following three areas:

  • learning to do business in different ways,
  • restructuring organizations to enable them to respond more effectively to a digital environment and,
  • learning to adapt individual and institutional skill development.


Three categories of Digital Maturity arose from the data:

EARLY  -  companies "dabbling with digital", but where little change has actually taken place.

DEVELOPING - Companies focusing primarily on supporting digital technologies instead of becoming more digital as an organization. 

MATURING - companies deliberately creating more advanced changes to current business, operating and customer models. 

Companies which are more digitally mature are continually realigning their organization.  In addition, these companies are creating corresponding strategic plans to account for on-going changes in the technological landscape which affect their business.

According to the MIT/Deloitte research about 50% of companies which took part in the survey found themselves in the DEVELOPING category while approximately 25% were either in the EARLY and MATURING categories.

Key to Success in Digital Transformation

Many people are asking: What is the key to digital success?

The answer for a thriving and sustainable digital transformation is all about an organization’s culture and its people. Today’s successful organizations are those which enable its people to continually learn, adapt, create, innovate and lead. Moreover, it’s an organization’s approach to achieving digital maturity which plays a key influence.

EARLY and DEVELOPING companies push digital transformation through managerial  directive or by making technology available as part of a business investment.     

MATURING companies pull digital transformation by cultivating conditions which allow transformation to occur

How can a fixed focus on culture bolster organizations which are addressing digitalization?

  1. Digital Maturity is achieved through a culture-driven, bottom-up approach characterized by risk taking, collaboration, agility and continuous learning. 
  2. Digital Maturity is directly related to a SINGLE set of organizational cultural characteristics.  These cultural characteristics are consistent across industries and company size.  Digitally mature companies are:
    • less hierarchical and more distributed in leadership structure
    • more collaborative and cross-functional
    • encourage experimentation and learning
    • more bold and exploratory, with a higher tolerance for risk
    • more agile and quick to act.

The implications of this cutting-edge research provide a clear direction for all organizations which strive to foster digital transformation throughout their companies.

Cultivate the characteristics of a digital culture.

(Or as President Clinton may have advocated to business leaders: "It's the Culture Stupid!")

Click here to discover more about how Ensemble Enabler can support your company's individual journey to digital transformation


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  


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Mastering digital disruption is primarily a people issue - not a technology issue https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/mastering-digital-disruption/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/mastering-digital-disruption/#comments Thu, 19 Dec 2019 10:11:00 +0000 digital disruption Peer-to-Peer Learning congruence scalable learning Collaboration Culture Change Culture Renewal Digital Leadership organizational culture organizational development digital maturity digital transformation digital leadership digital transformation in KMUs digital transformation for family-owned companies digital culture digital culture in companies digital transformation in the organizational culture digitalization digital transformation in companies agile organization growth mindset organizational mindset culture and organizational transformation digital strategy transformation in the organizational culture culture change in companies digital change team learning organizational learning peer to peer learning https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/mastering-digital-disruption/ Weiterlesen

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We have encountered the enemy and the enemy is us

A four year research project conducted by the MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte has just come to an end.  For a period of over four years, more than 16.000 people were surveyed about their experience with digital disruption and the adequacy of their organization's response.

The results are in.

"The true challenge of mastering digital disruption (and a major part of the solution) is enabling people.  Companies can effectively navigate the challenges of digital disruption by undertaking initiatives which are far more organizational and managerial than technical."
digital disruption   biggest threat to your company 2

Source: The Technology Fallacy: How People Are the Real Key to Digital Transformation,   MIT Press, 2019


One of the central questions which was asked in the survey addressed the nature of the threat which organizations face as a result of digital trends:

  • Yes, markets are being disrupted and traditional products are becoming obsolete. 
  • Yes, new competitors are unexpectedly arising - seemingly from nowhere. 
  • Yes, the more an organization takes steps to digitalize, the more cybersecurity issues are encountered. 

Identifying all these threats and ranking them as big threats to organizations was to be expected. However, the number one threat which was identified may be a bit of a surprise for many companies undertaking measures for a digital transformation.  The number one challenge which was identified in order to successfully navigate the turbulent waters of digital disruption:

The organization's ability  to respond appropriately to the digital challenge.


digital disruption peer2peer learning


Lack of Agility, Complacence, Inflexible Culture

All levels of an organization need to learn, grow and adapt in order to become a truly digital organization. C-Suite executives need to propose a bold new vision about how their organizations will adapt to this constantly changing world.  Project managers must create an operating environment which is more conducive to effective work and collaboration in a digital age.  Employees need to respond to digital disruption by mastering new skills through continual learning.

An effective response to the changing environment must involve all aspects of the organization. This includes concrete actions and clear communication about how the organization is changing.

Unfortunately the organizational congruence needed to mount this type of response is sorely lacking at many companies.  Some executives may not understand enough about the emerging technology to plan strategies, make necessary changes and/or understand the urgency of the task.  Investors may care more about short-term profits than the long-term viability of the company.  Many leaders who are approaching retirement may not have the interest and/or energy to invest in change which will be necessary in order to to adapt for a future beyond their tenure at a company.  Employees may not sufficiently understand the need or be encouraged to learn the necessary skills to be able to work and collaborate in teams in fast-moving and ambiguous conditions.  Last but certainly not least, clear communication about digital strategy and why certain changes are key for success may not be ocurring and, as a result, employees on all levels may be 'in the dark' about the company's emerging future.

Only by fundamentally changing the way the organization works - through flattening hierarchies, speeding up decision-making, helping employees develop needed skills and successfully understanding both opportunities and threats in the current and future  business environment - can an organization truly be prepared and successfully adapt to a digital world and its on-going challenges.

Ultimately, organizations need to learn how to learn together.


mastering digital disruption 1


Click here to discover more about how Ensemble Enabler can support your company's individual journey to digital transformation

Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  

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Customized Modules – Tailoring Peer-to-Peer Learning for your company’s needs https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/customized-modules-tailoring-peer2peer-learning-for-your-company-s-needs/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/customized-modules-tailoring-peer2peer-learning-for-your-company-s-needs/#comments Sun, 01 Dec 2019 20:32:00 +0000 P2P Peer-to-Peer Learning purpose CoachingOurselves network learning team learning organizational culture organizational learning agile organization agile collaboration learning from networks learning method for teams Learning Organization lifelong learning capacity building learning culture collaborative learning Peer-2-Peer Learning social learning organizational development Organizational capacity growth mindset organizational mindset culture and organizational transformation Culture Change Culture Renewal scalable learning scalable learning in business culture transformation culture change in companies peer-to-peer-learning https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/customized-modules-tailoring-peer2peer-learning-for-your-company-s-needs/ Weiterlesen

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More than 100 different topics offered through the CoachingOurselves© module library

Ensemble Enabler is proud to be a certified provider for CoachingOurselves© – the company which was inspired by Professor Henry Mintzberg of McGill University (Montreal). This Peer-to-Peer Learning concept was launched in 2007. Over the years, CoachingOurselves© has developed an extensive library of content for use in Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions in conjunction with world renowned experts and business leaders in their fields. For instance, Professor Edgar Schein of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has written modules on leadership and organizational culture. Professor Philip Kotler – a distinguished Professor of Marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago – has written modules on the subject of marketing for CoachingOurselves©. An extensive overview of the content provided by CoachingOurselves© is provided in the blogpost “Content is King”.


library of modules CoachingOurselves


What to do if your topic is not found in the CoachingOurselves© Library?

Given the breath and quality of topics available in the CoachingOurselves© repertoire, most companies will easily identify several modules which are indispensable for their specific learning objectives. Despite the richness of the library of available modules, the moment inevitably arises when an organization says: “We have a special need and would like a learning module on topic XXXX (fill in your topic request) which is not included in the CoachingOurselves© module library.”

No Problem! Ensemble Enabler specializes in conceiving, designing and producing customized modules to meet customer unique needs.  These modules are available for use either digitally or on-site in your organization's own meeting rooms.


Customized solutions for Peer2Peer Learning


The example of a custom-designed module can be illustrated by one family-owned medium-sized business. A German automobile part supplier, one of Ensemble Enabler clients, was  acquired by a Japanese company. This client was faced with an unusual challenge. One of the key strategic business principles at the heart of the way Japanese companies organize their operations and other key business processes is the concept of “Monozukuri”. This term refers to a sense of pride in the work which is done by every employee and their personal dedication to the pursuit of continuous improvement. How could this company make this concept not only understandable to all of their employees but also integrate it into its operating strategy going forward?

To meet this challenge, Ensemble Enabler researched and wrote a Peer-to-Peer module on the topic of “Monozukuri”. In keeping with Peer-to-Peer guidelines, the module was written for groups of four people coming together for a 90 minute learning experience. This is an ideal length of time during which adults can easily focus on a topic.

This “Monozukuri” Peer-to-Peer module was offered as a voluntary learning experience for the 3000 employees of this automobile parts supplier. In the first year of the use of this module,  nearly 2000 employees attended a Peer-to-Peer learning session on this topic (and others as well). The results of this Peer-to-Peer Learning initiative have been visible in all of the company’s factories and offices. Ask a random employee in any factory what “Monozukuri” is and they will be able to explain the concept. Plant managers now often speak about “pride in your product” as a component of the manufacturing process. This is a key principle of “Monozukuri”.


Customized modules for Peer2Peer Learning 2


Developing new Peer-to-Peer Learning modules

In the process of conceiving and developing modules on new topics, Ensemble Enabler utilizes the fundamental principles of effective adult learning practices which include:

• Explain why participants are learning something

• Foster “Learning by doing”

• Integrate new ideas with existing knowledge

• Provide social interaction as the key component of the learning experience

• Use and connect the participants’ life experience to the learning process

• Demonstrate an immediate use of the learnings from the experience

All of these elements were integrated into its concept design of the module “Monozukuri”. To start the discussion, the purpose of the module is presented and explained. This is followed by a presentation of a similar concept from Western culture - “Craftmanship” or in German “Wertarbeit”. The concept of “Wertarbeit” encompasses such qualities as reliability, functionality and lasting value. Participants are encouraged to share their own experiences about “Wertarbeit” with their colleagues as part of the discussion in the Peer-to-Peer module. The Japanese concept of “Monozukuri” is then introduced and correlated to the concept of “Wertarbeit”. In order to make the concept of “Monozukuri” more accessible, two videos of Japanese companies are shown which highlight practical examples of this concept. This information forms the basis for a discussion among the participants about the distinctions and similarities between the two concepts. This learning is consolidated with a group activity: participants collaborate on a tower made out of wooden blocks. The team’s objective is to reconstruct the tower to the best of their ability using the principles of “Monozukuri”. The final portion of the Peer-to-Peer Module is dedicated to the participants who reflect and share with each other about how their learnings are applicable to their everyday work.

Partnering with you to create the optimal learning experience

Ensemble Enabler’s know-how to design a learning experience for your workforce provides a significant value added for your organization. We collaborate with select team members from your company to understand a key issue. As needed, we consult with subject matter experts to help inform and shape the module’s content. All of this collaboration and information form the basis for the conception and formulation of an appealing adult learning experience. All Peer-to-Peer modules are designed to allow employees to easily absorb the key content within a 90 minute timeframe.

While one topic specific module was developed for the Peer-to-Peermodule “Monozukuri” for the German automobile part supplier, a series of inter-connected module topics can also be developed. 

One example is a Ensemble Enabler's Peer-to-Peer module initiative which consists of a series of modules on the impact of digitalization in the workforce. We have developed 6 modules to deal with the multi-facetted aspects of this on-going challenge for organizations of all sizes. This example illustrates how similar series of Peer-to-Peer modules on company specific topics can be developed for specific needs. These customized can be offered to employees over shorter time periods (3 or 6 months) or longer over the course of a year or more.

Peer-to-Peer learning offers a novel new approach to provide powerful learning process for your organization. Not only does it support personal and team development but also fosters a lively learning culture in an organization. A customized Peer-to-Peer module offers an addition value to this approach by creating learning experiences on content which are customized to your organization’s specific needs. As a result, the importance of a business issue is promoted and an deeper understanding of its significance for your organization is strengthened in your employees.

To continue your learning journey about the potential of Peer-to-Peer Learning for your organization click here


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  

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Learning Organizations, Senge's Five Disciplines and Peer-to-Peer Learning https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/learning-organizations-the-five-disciplines-and-peer-to-peer-learning/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/learning-organizations-the-five-disciplines-and-peer-to-peer-learning/#comments Tue, 26 Nov 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Peer-to-Peer Learning P2P-Learning Learning Organization lifelong learning organizationallearning learning culture in a business learning method for teams learning culture in an organization learning from networks learning culture enabling organizations Peter Senge Five Disciplines Personal Mastery Mental Models team learning shared vision systems thinking proactive learrning storytelling learning journey assumptions behavior dialogue social learning problem solving https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/learning-organizations-the-five-disciplines-and-peer-to-peer-learning/ Weiterlesen

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How does Peer-to-Peer Learning support the Five Disciplines?

The Five Disciplines of the Learning Organization include: Personal Mastery, Mental Models, Team Learning, Shared Vision, and Systems Thinking. The discussion which follows demonstrates how Peer-to-Peer Learning supports all five of these disciplines.


Personal Mastery

Discipline 1 - Personal Mastery

Personal Mastery describes the strength of people to be proactive and keep on learning in order to continuously achieve results which are important for them.

The two key factors of this discipline are:

1. Defining what is important to us and

2. Being able to see the current reality as it is.

The essence of the Peer-to-Peer Learning approach supports proactive learning. The process of self-organized small groups of employees holding discussions about key business topics demonstrates how learning can take place throughout the workplace. This group learning from these sessions naturally shapes other processes in the organization.

The Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions are constructed in such a way to encourage and support personal mastery development. These conversations invite participants to deeply reflect upon the personal importance of the topic in a business context. This is achieved by telling and reflecting upon personal stories related to these topics. Adult learning theory advocates that when this process is put into motion, a very personal connection to the topic is created. As a result, participants are exposed to different perspectives from their colleagues at the same time. This exposure to a broad spectrum of distinctive perceptions supports each individual in his/her own learning journey. In addition, it supports the formation of a more objective view of his/her environment.


Mental Models 1

Discipline 2 - Mental Models

Mental Models are conceptual frameworks which consist of generalizations and assumptions about how individuals understand the world which in turn, affects their behavior. Individuals may not even know that these mental models exist or are affecting their behavior on a daily basis.

The concept of mental models is a deeper paradigm than personal mastery as described above. It aims at the very core of the navigator in individuals which helps them to understand his/her world, make sense of it and take action. However, this navigator is often not visible to individuals.

Peer-to-Peer learning session make this navigator more visible through a two-step process:

1. Reflecting upon their own’s behavior and beliefs support individuals to change his/her mental models

2. By listening and hearing alternative points of view one’s own assumptions are challenged

Cutting edge psychological theory postulates that dialogue is the most powerful force which shapes our thoughts, beliefs and identity. Peer-to-Peer Learning’s dialogical approach effectively surface personal assumptions and, by doing, explore and challenge them.


Team Learning

Discipline 3: Team Learning

Team learning is a skill aimed to enhance group problem solving and learning. Team learning is characterized by two aspects:

1. Effective teamwork leads to results which individuals could not have achieved on his/her own and

2. The team members have to be willing to shift his/her mental models and be open to learn from their colleagues. Individuals within a team learn more and faster than they would have without the team.

If there were one discipline with which Peer-to-Peer Learning particularly aligns, it is team learning. The essence of Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions is to learn how to learn as a group. The lessons which are learned during a Peer-to-Peer Learning session are also applicable to teamwork throughout the organization.


Shared Vision

Discipline 4: Shared Vision

When all employees in a company share the same vision of where an organization needs to go, they all have a common understanding of a shared vision. (This differs from a vision-statement which management has written to direct where the organization should be going). This vision is must be both authentic and shared. Only then will employees intrinsically participate in improvement processes to support the company move closer to accomplishing its vision. Senge describes a shared vision as follows: “People are not playing according to the rules of the game, but feel responsible for the game.”

Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions also supports the formation of a shared vision. An example of this process can be illustrated by the acquisition by a Japanese company of a German company in the automotive industry. One of the key objectives of the Japanese company was that its newly acquired German subsidiary understand and support the key Japanese concept of “Monozukuri”. This concept can be understood as “taking pride in what an employee produces and continuously trying to improve what is done no matter how an employee undertakes it.” It is a core principle and driving force for this (and many) Japanese companies. To enable employees to develop an understanding of the “Monozukuri” approach, Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions on this topic were offered to all employees on a voluntary basis. Nearly two thirds of employees attended these Peer-to-Peer sessions over a six week period. Before the kick-off of the Peer-to-Peer sessions, Monozukuri was not understood. Six weeks later even those who had not attended the Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions recognized the word “Monozukuri”! Employees throughout the German subsidiary now routinely use the word “Monozukuri” to refer to improving processes and products.


Systems Thinking

Discipline 5 - Systems Thinking

By looking at an organization from a holistic viewpoint rather than small unrelated manageable parts, systems thinking is used to analyze patterns throughout an organization. Senge refers to an elephant metaphor to illustrate this concept: When you split an elephant in two, you do not have two small elephants to take care of. You can only take care of the one complete elephant! According to Senge, an organization is like a living organism and should be managed as one.

A view for the whole emerges through the feedback loops which are incorporated into Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions. One Peer-to-Peer Learning initiative focused on the the topic of “Accountability”. The improvement suggestions which emerged from the Peer-to-Peer learning sessions registered the pent-up desire to take on more responsibility. These suggestions conveyed their latent fears and assumptions about what they believed was holding back the organization. This feedback provided managers with rich input to take appropriate action on both a local and regional level.

Why are Peer-to-Peer sessions and its support of the Five Disciplines so effective?

When Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions are offered to a large portion of the employee population, these conversations open windows to better comprehend what is happening throughout the organization. This input promotes a broader overview of what is working well and which issues deserve more focused attention. Both the process and its resulting output is the essence of collective intelligence which provides organizations the foundation for on-going agile problem-solving and innovation.


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  

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Peer-to-Peer Learning: An indispensible building block for developing a Learning Organization https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/peer-to-peer-learning-an-indispensible-building-block-for-developing-a-learning-organization/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/peer-to-peer-learning-an-indispensible-building-block-for-developing-a-learning-organization/#comments Sat, 09 Nov 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Peer-to-Peer Learning P2P-Learning Peer to Peer Learning Organization lifelong learning CoachingOurselves peer-to-peer-learning organizational learning social learning Peter Senge Fifth Discipline learning culture learning culture in a business Learning culture in an organisation learning environment learning from networks learning method for teams networking organizational networking feedback loops organizational feedback loops https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/peer-to-peer-learning-an-indispensible-building-block-for-developing-a-learning-organization/ Weiterlesen

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In his epic book The Fifth Discipline published in 1990, Peter Senge – a Professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – coined the phrase “Learning Organization”. This idea of an adaptable organization that transforms itself through learning caught the attention and imagination of many academics and management practitioners worldwide.

Peter Senge 1

Peter M. Senge, The art and practice of the learning organization: Currency - The Crown Publishing Group - New York 1990, second edition 2006

You can see why such a concept was attractive then and is arguably equally if not more attractive now. Learning at the level of the individual is a fundamental life process which promotes survival and helps an individual to adapt to their environment. Why shouldn’t this feature be a fundamental characteristic of an organization as well?


Have organizations forgotten how to learn?

Unfortunately we know of too many organizations that refuse to learn or have forgotten how to learn. They are often victims of their past successes and are unable to adapt to new environments as demand for the products and services changes. They get stuck in their own assumptions and only notice too late that the rules of the game have changed.

One of the key questions facing learning organization practitioners has been to understand and codify the key processes which help to keep the learning flame alive – so that organizations embrace the passion for learning as part of their DNA, regardless of whether they are experiencing an upturn or a downturn in the marketplace.

Over the years Peter Senge and many of his colleagues have explored and discovered many different practices. For those interested, I refer you to The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook – a book which helped to revolutionize the practice of management over the past two decades and has been an inspiration not only for managers but also for many consultants and trainers worldwide, including yours truly.

Fifth Discipline Field Book

The Fifth Discipline Field Book - strategies and tools for building a Learning Organization, Currency - The Crown Publishing Group - New York 1994

A breakthrough in the development of a learning organization

Today, however, I would like to inform you about what I consider to be another great breakthrough in helping to attain a learning organization – Peer-to-Peer Learning.

On the face of it, Peer-to-Peer Learning is a very simple process:

  • Four people come together along with a learning coach and engage each other in a dialogue on a pre-selected specific organizational topic for 90 minutes.
  • Topics for these dialogues can be taken from a library of pre-prepared modules or they can be custom developed to meet the company’s specific needs.
  • Typically this kind of learning process is scheduled to take place once a month for each employee that is involved in the program.
  • The process is normally designed in such a way that each time an employee joins a Peer-to-Peer learning session, they engage with different individuals from the organization.

This simple practice when expanded to scale out to the entire organization has profound implications for the organization’s ability to learn. For one client in Europe with ca. 3,000 employees for instance, Ensemble Enabler has been able to roll out a Peer-to-Peer Learning program that has involved almost 2/3rds of the company’s employees.

How does these dialogues support organizational learning?

First: Establishing learning as a process throughout the organization

Peer-to-Peer Learning anchors the learning process deep into the organization. On a regular basis, employees from all over the organization are involved in learning. This is also not a solitary effort. Employees learn together. This learning process spills over into other activities and projects throughout the organization.

Second: Networking

Networking throughout the organization is enhanced. Through a software based scheduling system, Peer-to-Peer Learning occurs in a self-organized way. This means that employees sign up for Peer-to-Peer sessions that are convenient to them. When they sign up for a session, they don’t know ahead of time who will show up.

Example:  If an employee does 12 Peer-to-Peer sessions a year with 3 other participants in each session, there is a possibility that they will have 36 different learning partners throughout the year.

At Ensemble Enabler clients who have used this approach, participants have often commented that getting to know people (some from other departments or functions) whom they had seen but not really had an opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with, was one of the most rewarding parts of the Peer-to-Peer Learning process. We also know from research that strong networks in organizations are essential for sharing knowledge and enhancing collaboration.

Third: Organizational feedback loops

Thirdly, Peer-to-Peer Learning provides useful feedback loops to the organization. At the end of each Peer-to-Peer Learning session, participants are asked as a group to reflect on what they have just learned and provide suggestions on what the organization could do to improve given the topic just discussed.

For instance, one Peer-to-Peer Learning topic at are recent client was “Continuous Improvement”. Participants at the end of the session were asked how Continuous Improvement could be supported and/or enhanced. During the course of six weeks that this module ran, participants at these sessions documented 250 improvement suggestions for the organization.

These included improvements in manufacturing processes, management practices, project management and office efficiency. These types of feedback loops allow knowledge and insight to overcome internal organizational barriers that sometimes prevent such improvement suggestions from being voiced and heard.

In short, Peer-to-Peer Learning provides a fundamental building block for constructing a learning organization!


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  


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6 Key Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Learning for your Organization https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/6-key-benefits-for-your-organization/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/6-key-benefits-for-your-organization/#comments Tue, 09 Apr 2019 00:00:00 +0000 organizational culture Peer to Peer Learning creative employee development agile organization competency models organizational networking change initiatives Change management organizational communication digital culture disruption learning culture CoachingOurselves leadership collaboration P2P Learning employee engagement social learning KMUs mid-tier businesses family-owned business peertopeerlearning learning culture in a business learning culture in an organization learning journey https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/6-key-benefits-for-your-organization/ Weiterlesen

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Peer-to-Peer Learning is an innovative approach to employee development

The use of Peer-to-Peer Learning enhances a company’s development programs in a myriad of ways. At the same time it also improves  organizational effectiveness. 

Any business or organization can achieve the following goals through the use of Peer-to-Peer Learning by:

 1. Providing development opportunities for KMUs or Family-owned companies 

2. Enhancing existing development programs

3. Supporting the effectiveness of existing competency models 

4. Promoting inter-organizational networking 

5. Bolstering change initiatives and 

6. Turbo-charging internal communications

Your employees can use Peer-to-Peer Learning to work towards these goals either face-to-face on-site in your office or digitally from their home offices or geographic distinct locations.

Peer-to-Peer Learning is not only a way to develop people, 
but it is also an organizational skill.

This skill helps a company to become more adaptive and responsive to outside market forces. This capability is critical in an age where industry-wide disruptions are the norm, not the exception.  When people in a company learn how to learn, the organization increases its capacity to adapt and change. Peer-to-Peer Learning offers both a flexible, low-cost approach to develop these organizational skills with employees either face-to-face on-site or digitally.


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1. Providing development opportunities where none (or few) existed before

Searching for a flexible, low-cost approach to develop organizational skills led to the development of CoachingOurselves©.  One of the founders, Phil LeNir was an engineer at a small Canadian software company.  He wanted to provide development opportunities for his co-workers. However when he inquired at McGill University about providing such development courses, he realized that he did not have the adequate budget to do so.  The idea of bringing the classroom into the workplace was born through his interaction with Professor Henry Mintzberg at McGill University.

For smaller companies (similar to Phil LeNir’s) which lack the budget to send their valued employees to high-priced educational offerings, Peer-to-Peer Learning offers top notch content at a fraction of the price.  Even smaller companies (or larger companies with budget restraints!) can offer their employees high quality development opportunities through the use of Peer-to-Peer Learning modules.

A broader spectrum of stakeholders can be reached through Peer-to-Peer Learning.  Workshops on innovation are often restricted to a small percentage of the workforce. The number of people who are included in a skill development program which fosters innovation can be exponentially increased through the use of Peer-to-Peer Learning modules. As a result, those individuals (not just their managers) who play key roles to any innovation effort can participate in an innovation-centered Peer-to-Peer process.

2. Enhancing existing development programs

Peer-to-Peer Learning can also be used to both broaden and deepen existing development programs.  Participants of leadership development courses can be offered Peer-to-Peer modules both before and after their formal training workshops.  

  • Peer-to-Peer modules which are introduced before a training session can help to better prepare participants for their learning experience. 
  • Peer-to-Peer modules used after a formal training session can serve to reinforce concepts or models which have already been learned or to serve to enhance the workshop content.

Lufthansa improved upon this enhancement model.  Managers who are sent to the prestigious International Master Program in Practicing Management (IMPM offered by McGill University in Montreal) are asked to continue their learning via a Peer-to-Peer process after their workshops.  5 other employees who have not attended the formal sessions join this Peer-to-Peer learning group.

The role of the International Master Program in Practicing Management (IMPM) workshop participants is to twofold:

1) to lead the Peer-to-Peer Learning conversations and

2) share their learnings to the other five Peer-to-Peer participants who did not attend the formal IMPM workshops. 

The success of this process helped Lufthansa to create the motto “Send 1, develop 6” - for each manager sent to the IMPM program, 6 other Lufthansa employees are introduced to their learnings from the IMPM workshop experience.


3. Supporting the effectiveness of existing company competency models

Does your company have a competency model which defines the skills and knowledge that are required to perform jobs at various levels throughout the organization?

Is it your job to help employees understand these competencies and support them both in their job performance and their assessment of others?

Peer-to-Peer Learning modules help employees to better understand the skills and behaviors which are associated with competencies identified in most company competency models.  The table below illustrates hows a variety of CoachingOurselves© modules can be used to support the development of classical work competencies:

P2P table   competencies

4. Promoting inter-organizational networking

Companies are encouraged to begin their Peer-to-Peer Learning journey by initially creating fixed learning groups (i.e. the same 4 people and a Learning Enabler get together on a regular basis to learn together).  The stability of these groups supports the acceptance of this novel approach as well as fosters a solid foundation for the on-going process.  Once co-workers have begun to feel comfortable with the Peer-to-Peer process, organizations can begin to innovate with the use of Peer-to-Peer modules to enhance collaboration throughout the organization.

Experienced learning groups can be formed across functions, across geographies and/or across business units using virtual technology.  Teams of 4 agree to get together for a learning session which is moderated by a Learning Enabler through the use of an interactive online calendar system. This provides the opportunity for learning partners to become variable (rather than fixed). This fosters thriving connections across the organization.  As a result, insights into different functions grow and individuals get a sense of the larger organization. Peer-to-Peer Learning provides a simple yet effective way to increase collaboration at all levels!


5. Bolstering change initiatives

When a large change initiative is started, Peer-to-Peer Learning helps prepare employees for the envisioned change process. A major restructuring effort, for example, might result in a more decentralized decision-making processes throughout the organization, thus creating change. A CoachingOurselves© module such as “Understanding Organizations” helps employees to understand the types of changes which are taking place.  Another module “Decision-Making – it is not what you think” supports managers whose own roles are also changing.

Ensemble Enabler collaborates with companies to develop custom-designed modules for Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions. These modules are designed to address specific changes which are taking place and support employees to better understand the on-going change process.


6. Turbo-charging internal communications

The conundrum of internal company communications is that there are a myriad of ways to reach employees. As a result, it is often very difficult to really capture employees’ attention.  A meeting of the strategy staff of a large corporation provides a good example of this kind of challenge.  During the meeting, other employees complained that they were not being sufficiently informed about the company strategy. The strategy staff listened to this complaint with exasperation since a broad spectrum of efforts had been used to foster communication - such as written articles in newsletters, posted information on an intranet page, broadcast videos of the CEO and other officers talking about the strategy. Despite all these efforts, their message had not arrived.

Peer-to-Peer Learning provides another learning channel to support important internal communications by serving as cross-functional communication vehicle. Through Peer-to-Peer Learning modules, employees are able to discuss the implications of important company developments and/or policies (such as strategy) with one another. 

A custom-designed Peer-to-Peer Learning module can address unique and specific company issues. As a a result, these modules provide a platform for learners to discuss the issue at hand during a compact 90 minute session. Using one (or more) custom-designed Peer-to-Peer Learning modules can ensure that internal communications get the attention it deserves with a very diverse spectrum of employees!


Milky way

 

The above six ways to improve organizational effectiveness through Peer-to-Peer Learning offers many opportunities to provide tremendous value to any organization. These Six Ways offer the beginning of an organization's learning journey. As the use of Peer-to-Peer Learning is embraced by more organizations, novel ideas to implement this approach will certainly continue to evolve. 

To continue your learning journey about the potential of Peer-to-Peer Learning for your organization click here


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  



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An Agile Solution to enable your Employees to manage Organizational Learning together https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/five-steps-to-enable-self-organized-learning-in-an-organization/ https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/five-steps-to-enable-self-organized-learning-in-an-organization/#comments Thu, 29 Nov 2018 00:00:00 +0000 organizational development Personal and Team Leadership Development Peer to Peer Learning learning culture Learning Organization Agile organization CoachingOurselves digital communication community communication software solution employee communication employee networking mobile employees corporate communication internal communication channels of communication digital culture digital culture in companies digital transformation in companies digitalization in mid-size companies digital change in family owned companies digital change in small and medium-sized businesses digital leadership scalable learning scalable learning in business team learning organizational learning KMUs family-owned business mid-tier businesses fluidcollaboration social learning learning culture in a business learning culture in an organization learning method for teams learning from networks https://www.ensembleenabler.com/blog-en/five-steps-to-enable-self-organized-learning-in-an-organization/ Weiterlesen

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Solving the Challenge of Sustainable Learning in a Business Setting: Introducing Peer-to-Peer LearningPeer to Peer Organization Challenge d5e5b5b7

Peer-to-Peer Learning is a flexible and agile concept which consists of bringing four people together with an experienced Learning Enabler for a 90 minute learning session.  The content of these Peer-to-Peer sessions draws from a growing library of more than 100 modules on topics which have been written by a select group of the world's leading business experts.  When special company topics are required, custom-designed Peer-to-Peer modules can be developed by Ensemble Enabler to meet a company's distinctive needs. All Peer-to-Peer modules can be  made accessible to employees digitally or experienced face-to-face  on-site in your organization's meeting rooms.

Everyday routine and time constraints often interfere with company-wide learning initiatives. The constant ebb and flow of planning and scheduling learning initiatives often presents a managerial and organizational challenge.

As a result of prior experience with traditional learning initiatives, questions frequently arise about the effective roll-out of a Peer-to-Peer initiative in a company. Questions are often posed about the effective administration of such an initiative within the organization.

"What happens when there are 100 employees participating in a Peer-to-Peer Learning Initiative?"

When each of 100 employees attends 1 Peer-to-Peer session per month, about 25 sessions will be scheduled each week. This is could create an administrative overload. However, this challenge is easily met by the online scheduling of the Learning Enablers' availability who serve to moderate the Peer-to-Peer-Learning sessions. Once the availability of these moderators has been determined, the online calendars of all participating employees can be coordinated to 1) sign up for a specific Peer-to-Peer Learning session and 2) ensure that there are fully attended Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions.

"How should the Peer-to-Peer learning groups of participating employees be organized?"

As part of the planning process, a company meeting room where the session will be held on-site needs to be reserved. Other possibilities could also affect the organizational process: What happens if a Learning Enabler gets sick? Or an employee needs to defer a session due to a unexpected business meeting which they need to attend? These are just a few questions about the behind the scenes organizational work of a Peer-to-Peer initiative! To address these kind of issues, Ensemble Enabler has developed a proprietary app which makes the scheduling of Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions both uncomplicated and self-managing.

Peer to Peer Help 125e5df4

Our digital application provides an uncomplicated and agile solution to schedule Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions

Ensemble Enabler has developed a dedicated software solution for the scheduling process which is used by both the Learning Enablers and Peer-to-Peer session participants. Administration overload adieu! No additional organizational support is required to roll-out an effective Peer-to-Peer initiative. 

What's the solution? Employees manage their OWN learning process.

Here is 5 step-by-step overview of how this dedicated software works.*

Step 1. Learning Enablers enter his/her availability in Ensemble Enabler's proprietary        Peer-to-Peer Calendar Scheduling System.

  • A Learning Enabler enters his/her scheduled Peer-to-Peer session on topic X which will be held on Tuesday, February 2nd at 11:00 am into the system.
  • The available Peer-to-Peer session time slots for this session are visible to all of the employees who are participating in the Peer-to-Peer Learning initiative via a log-in link on their smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Step 2. Employees view the available session times which have been entered by the Learning Enablers into the scheduling system and sign up for the session which is most convenient to them.

  • Participation in the Peer-to-Peer Learning session is on a first come, first serve basis.  There are 4 slots available for each session.

Step 3. Automatic confirmation notifications are sent to each employee who has signed up for a specific Peer-to-Peer Learning session.

  • Learning Enablers receive the names and contact information of their participants.*
  • 24 hours prior to the session to which employees have signed-up, they receive an automatic e-mail reminding them of their session.

Step 4. If cancellations are necessary for any reason, the participants enter the change into the scheduling system themselves.

  • Learning Enablers are automatically notified of the cancellation.
  • After the cancellation, the scheduling system automatically shows that an open slot for another employee is available for that specific Peer-to-Peer session.

Step 5. The information about the location of the Peer-to-Peer sessions can also be communicated through the scheduling system.



* This dedicated software scheduling system adheres to the guidelines of the European Union's General Data Protections Regulation (GDPR) law.

 Peer to Peer Self Organization cb9fbe4d


All organizational headaches disappear with the use of Ensemble Enabler's dedicated software scheduling system. Once the scheduling system is in place for a Peer-to-Peer initiative, it provides a self-organizing process which runs independently of all administrative coordination.  At one client, more than 100 Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions were taking place every week without any organizational issues ever arising! Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions also foster cross-functional business networking.

Other benefits emerge as the organizational issues disappear. Some clients request that the scheduling software be set up to ensure that the participants of a Peer-to-Peer Learning session are not visible to other participants who have registered for the same session. As a result, an employee who participates in multiple Peer-to-Peer sessions over the course of a year - ie. attending one Peer-to-Peer session a month  -  meets diverse learning colleagues from participating employees from all over the company at each session.  Not only do employees learn together, the intermingling of employees in different Peer-to-Peer sessions fosters cross-functional business networking as well as enhances company-wide collaboration.

Peer to Peer Self Organizing Calendar 2cc9b7c9

Virtual Peer-to-Peer Learning in the Digital Era

With the support of experienced online Learning Enablers, the networking aspect of a Peer-to-Peer Learning process can be offered digitally through virtual Peer-to-Peer sessions.  Participants can be located anywhere on the globe and connected with each other through these virtual sessions across geographical boundaries. Our scheduling system allows participants to coordinate time zone differences with ease. 

Learning Enablers who have completed Ensemble Enabler's certification process can be additionally trained to master the moderation of a virtual Peer-to-Peer Learning session.

And of course, the learning process organizes itself!

To discover more about how Ensemble Enabler can support your digital transformation journey click here


Ensemble Enabler partners with organizations to transform their work environments.

Through the use of innovative practices in the context of our four thematic focal points - Organizational Learning, Network Leadership, Fluid Collaboration and Transparent Communication - new sources of energy are released throughout an organization and the internal information flows enhanced.  


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