OSG Quarterly

Kiersten Rippeteau | Consultant | Palmer OSG

Last quarter we introduced the idea of leveraging teams for successful change. We provided tips for avoiding “team survival mode” that comes about when a team’s context is threatened by change. Our focus this quarter is to help you understand what happens to a team’s performance elements during change.

According to Leigh Thompson, a team’s performance elements are its expertise, engagement, and execution needs (2014).

Here are some tips for preparing for changes to any of these elements during change.

When a team’s required expertise changes, it can create anxiety. Without proper communication, team members will start to recognize their current skills are incongruent with the changes being discussed. Without the facts, they are likely to make inaccurate and counterproductive assumptions. Getting in front of those assumptions and communicating plans for supporting new required expertise will lessen anxiety and reduce assumptions.

Prior to the change, identify what skills and behaviors will be required for all impacted teams to perform well in the new context. Then look for any gaps between the current and required future skills and behaviors. Create a plan for how the organization will help team members gain the sk...

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Kiersten Rippeteau | Consultant | Palmer OSG

Organizational change practices focus a lot on the individual and on the global organization. Teams, however, are powerful forces that live somewhere in between--and often just out of sight of change leaders. During change initiatives, a focus on impacted teams leads to higher change success rates by increasing engagement and decreasing anxiety and resistance.

Like individuals, teams become hardwired to survive. When threatened, a team will go the extra mile to stay intact. Without sufficient information or voice in the change process, a team will likely go into survival mode and exist as an unaddressed source of resistance.

So how do you avoid team survival mode and engage and leverage teams for successful change?

When a team is trying to stay intact, it will protect what we call its context. According to Leigh Thompson (2...

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Kiersten Rippeteau | Consultant | Palmer OSG

Recent research tells us that purpose-driven organizations are among the most successful today—and that they are likely the only sustainable organizations of the future. Purpose-driven organizations (PDOs) are those that exist to serve a purpose beyond profit, beyond the shareholder. Purpose in this context serves something greater; a shared, meaningful goal among leadership and employees. A goal that everyone in the organization is aware of, cares about, and is willing to work for.

All sounds well and good, but perhaps a little pie-in-the-sky, right? Here are some numbers that bring organizational purpose back down to earth:

+ Purpose-driven companies outperformed companies that ...

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