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Focusing to Win: Executive Seminar Series

This seminar series features Nick’s new book Focusing Change to Win which he co-authored with Kelly Nwosu.

These sessions provides business leaders with insights into critical areas to help focus their businesses and align their people for competitive advantage.  Each seminar helps you answer a fundamental question:

Seminar 1: How Clear Are You On The Why & What Of Change?

Seminar 2: Why Do Your People Resist Change?

Seminar 3: Why Do You Bother to Measuring Change?

Seminar 4: How Can You Implement Change & Gain Competitive Advantage?

Seminar 5: Is Your Organization Thriving or Just Surviving?

Seminar 6: How Effectively Do You Really Communicate Change? 

We take a deep-dive into a change issue that you face. You will come away with an understanding of where your expectations with key employees are aligned and not aligned, and how critical that alignment is for successful change. You will learn how to clarify and specify your own expectations as to well how you can check if they are understood. Each session helps executives assess their performance in terms of:

  • How well have you communicated your expectations to your people?
  • How well do you understand what your people expect of you?
  • What are the likely gaps between expectations and assumptions?
  • What are our options for planning and implementing success change competitively?

What do you get?

  • A copy of our new book Focusing Change to Win
  • A tool, the Four Blocker Alignment Analysis, to identify misalignment
  • A method to help set the right expectations and get people on the same page
  • An understanding of how to align agreed expectations effectively
  • An example of an aligned expectation relevant to your situation
  • An improved chance for successful change in your organization

What preparation is needed?

For each participant organization we have preparation guides that ask people to consider issues related to the question being posed for each seminar.

Who should you bring?

Please select up to five key people to join you who are important to successful change in your organization, such as:

  • Which colleagues will help you answer the seminar question posed?
  • Whose opinion do you value to help look at the question posed from different perspectives?
  • Whose commitment will you need to make improvements in tackling change competitively?

What will be covered?

Each session focuses on real-life scenarios within the framework of the research findings and assessment tools developed. As we say:

“There is no role-play only real-play”

Seminar Format

Seminars are customized for clients and depending on their needs. They normally run from half-day to full-day. They can be run fact-to-face or web-based, although experience suggest face-to-face gets the best results

Maximum attendance is  20 participants!  Costs start at $150 per person per half day excluding agreed preparation time, travel and accommodation.

Why are these seminars important?

Failed change means lost opportunity, competitive vulnerability, poor revenues, lost employees, increased cynicism and fear. Its residue is a hostile and toxic culture, where change resistance becomes the norm. The cost of a failed change can be staggering, from lowering morale to losing key customers due to poor quality.

Focusing to Win and the survey on which is based confirms other studies

Too many organizations are still trying to do things differently not do different things

Survey Contributors realize that working relationships are increasingly stressed in the drive for ever-faster responses to competitive threats and opportunities.

So, what are the meaningful differences between those that thrive on change and those that just survive?

Many contributors seem resigned to resistance being unavoidable yet recognize that trust in management is the only variable that significantly reduces change resistance. They seem to have little focus on improving organizational alignment to achieve change success.

For others, whatever the blend of top down and bottom up led change, it is clear – be intentional. This is invaluable to avoid being misinterpreted and mistrusted. These contributors are clear and details how to lay the groundwork for successful change.

Each seminar takes an aspect of the problem based on over 6,000 comments to give participants an assessment framework for their organizations. These   cover analyzing change impacts, setting-up the change Program with Metrics and on-going communication.

Executive Summary


Rebuilding Trust is Productivity’s Cornerstone

Globally there is a slow erosion of those binding forces for people to “go that extra mile” . The employee-employer psychological contract is  degrading.  The degree to which people identify with their job and consider job performance as important to their self-worth is slipping .In our recently published survey Focusing Change to Win identified the main culprits:

  • Poor Planning
  • Lack of Leadership
  • Inconsistent leadership
  • Poor Implementation
  • Lack of Adaptability
  • Lack of Communication
  • Lack of Control

More than ever, we need to repair, build and protect the trust people have in their employers.

In North America, our evidence from 8 expectation alignment projects ranging from Royal Bank of Canada through Nature Conservancy to Turner Construction shows a clear trend. Leaders consistently under-estimate the gap between what they expect of their managers and what people think is expected of them. In all studies, leaders had 65%+ more expectations than their people were aware.

In the UK, managers need to do more if they want to earn employee trust , according to the latest survey into employee attitudes from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Trust in senior management is declining, particularly in the private sector, with

  • Only 25% employees willing to place a lot of trust in senior management to look after their interests and
  • Only 41% placing little or no trust in them to do so.

Essentially, new research suggests that many employees are losing faith in their  management  yet it seems leaders have don’t connect this condition with losing ground competitively.  (more…)