June 9, 2023
What a seed crystal has in common with your change network
I was recently helping my daughter set up a home crystal growing kit, and having created a few rock candy growing jars in my childhood I thought the process would be simple.
A jar of warm solution, a stick, and a string. Done!
Not so fast…
I was surprised when the directions read that a seed crystal was required. I wondered why this was necessary and learned that using a seed crystal has the following benefits:
- reduces randomness in crystal formation – new crystalline structures attach to the seed crystal not anywhere on the jar
- the new molecular formations will form more easily into the desired shape
- decreases the amount of time for the phase transition to occur
What does crystal growing have to do with leading change?
This immediately made me think of a common structure for facilitating organization change and engaging employees, the change network. If you aren’t familiar, a change network is a select group of employees or representative sample of the groups impacted by the change who interact with the change lead for a specific purpose.
I think a change network actively researching the organization and experimenting with solutions to the challenges of change is a great way to use a change network. It works with the iterative nature of organization change and it engages the organization in the critical success factor, learning!! The change network learns the new ways of working through experimentation and eliminate activity that is no longer needed.
Regardless of the purpose that you assign to the change network. Keep in mind that the network is the ‘seed crystal‘ and the purpose of leveraging this structure for change is to reduce the randomness in the organization, send the same message broad and deep throughout the organization. Avoid having multiple interpretations of the change form throughout the organization.
The change network gives employees an example of stability and a group to emulate as they encounter many points of instability as the changes occur. The org can model the ‘shape or the interactions and behaviors of the change network. Once a peer is seen doing the ‘new way’ it will be easier for others to follow.
Lastly, change networks can reduce the amount of time for change because more parts of the system are involved sooner and can begin to make micro adjustments as the future vision is described and understood. Not to mention the benefit of having the people with the most experience of the organization and their job responsibilities designing the common sense approach to the change that will impact them.
Suggestions for how to build your change network:
Selection considerations –
- representatives from each of the teams impacted by the change and representatives from each organization level
- a group of enthusiastic employees who are ready to learn and want to be in the middle of it all to help actively design the future
- leverage social network analysis and identify your top socially credible and highly connected employees to influence change
Options for the work and purpose of the change network
- Consultative – notice how the organization is learning and adjusting to the change. Discuss observations and impact with the members of the network to make adjustments where necessary
- Employee Listening – gather information about how the organization is adapting to the change and identify any associated risks to the desired end result
- Action Research – gathering up information about what the organization needs to make a change and then experimenting with solutions in real time in the flow of work to gain commitment and buy in for a solution.
Here’s the link to an experiment you can do at home in case your inner scientist is curious or you just need a break from the daily grind!
May 25, 2023
Endings Are Hard
Schools Out for Summer!
Today is the last day of school for my kids and they were both in tears at drop off this morning. As I reassured them that all is right with the world and that summer is on the other side, I’m reminded that endings are hard.
I am conditioned through my experience to look forward to the freedom, days at the lake, warm sunshine, and long days of summer but my girls only have 4 summer break experiences between them and what they are seeing is a loss of connection to their peer community and the feeling of disruption to their daily routine as studies ended and they brought home their supplies over the last 2 weeks.
When I look at this from the lens of an organization change leader I’m reminded:
- When you’ve had the experience of a particular change many times its important to remind yourself what it was like the first time, go back to the fully sensory experience of it.
- When routines are disrupted it moves us out of what is easy and comfortable. Learning and unlearning take extra mental energy to establish the new routine.
- Change is best when led as a transition versus a cliff event. Most of the time the need to ‘cut over’ to the new is not necessary for human behavior changes.
- Support people by helping them to appreciate the experience that is ending in an authentic compassionate way (no need to have a champagne toast ???? to a change that people don’t yet believe in). Also, on’t just walk away and ignore their hurt (because its easier for you to assume that ‘they’ll get over it
- Even the good change (aka summer break) comes with the sorrow of an ending. Translation…don’t expect the stock payout for an M&A to be enough for people to jump on board to the new way of doing things.
- Endings are a part of Transition.
May 19, 2023
Attunement the Why, Why & How
A self-regulating capability that enables us to be aware of our individual state of being (e.g. thriving) and cues us, via our feelings, to the need to adjust or maintain a state of being.
Benefit: Operational Efficiency
If individuals on a team are tuned into both their individual states of being and the collective state of the group, then they can determine if they are in a state of health or dysfunction and make choices to stay or improve the collective experience and achieve higher quality outputs.
How to build team Attunement
- Create a shared learning experience (beyond education/training) on any of these topics:
- Micro-teaming or coaching
- With this shared knowledge agree as a team to the behaviors you would expect to see when these skills are occurring.
- Begin creating a safe space by allocating 10-20 minutes of each team meeting to discuss times when you and others saw the behaviors occurring and the impact. Also discuss critical times that the skills should have been used but weren’t and what supporting each other would look like to collectively use the skills to create the shared state that brings out everyone’s best.
- Encourage each person to reflect daily or at a minimum after each team meeting about their actions and self-regulation of their individual state of mind by giving them the following writing prompt. Reflection helps repattern the mind and generates as stronger awareness which can result in having different choices for action which strengthens self-regulation and opportunities for thriving more of the time.
- I noticed that my state of mind improved when I…
- The habitual thinking that pulls me away from supporting the collective state of thriving for this team is… (e.g. ‘we are not a team’, ‘the leader is not authentic’, ‘I’m not in the role that is using my strengths’)
- Other times that I have noticed how my state of mind impacts my experience of someone or a group are…
In time the collective work + the individual reflection will bring about a state of thriving more of the time and if fueled by the team leader will continue to foster psychological safety and the VIRTUOUS cycle continues!
We can’t wait to see how your team develops! Drop us a note at email@example.com and share your success!
Got 5 minutes?
We are building an assessment to measure attunement for individuals and teams. To contribute to our research on attunement please follow this link to complete the survey. All participants will be the first to receive the summary report of our findings.
March 16, 2023
The Intrinsic Value of High Quality Connections
Attune Collective is a group of people passionate about building positive productive workplaces and we each bring a different perspective which we aim to honor and demonstrate in this post. Starting with the writing prompt below we each took our own approach to responding and sharing our strengths with our network.
Writing Prompt: How have you seen High Quality Connections (HQC)at play in the workplace? What has been the impact of these connections in your experience?
I am struck by the feeling of HQC. They bring a sense of connection and reciprocity for me, mutuality. I also receive energy from the interaction with the person, I feel stronger and vital to the situation and relationship. These types of relationships are so powerful and I have experienced them on temporary teams and formal teams. And often in the most unexpected way, someone who I didn’t even think would be a match for me in the work turns out to be in sync. So much gets done in a short amount of time with HQCs there is time to connect and relate and time to work. The work flows easily and we aren’t straining for ideas or direction, it just unfolds.
What makes these HQC possible? What I have found for myself is that I first must place myself in an open mindset, one that presumes that there is a way to connect with the person who I am working with, I just have to find it.
From there it is a walk in the other’s shoes, what are they seeing? Why are they viewing it that way? I take their perspective and try to see what they see.
With this deep understanding and connection I’m able to share my perspective. What often happens next is not a negotiation for who is right but rather an alignment to the best path or interpretation of the situation.
Because of our connection quality we both just know that is the next best step. For those times where nothing emerges it is often the case that we come up with an option for a trial run or short term test for an idea.
Based on my lived experience of HQC I can see that this could easily be read as suggested steps for forming HQC but that is not at all what I’m suggesting, this is how it happens for me and I presume that your way of developing HQC will be unique to you.
My bottom line for HQC and most work for that matter is that if you don’t gain positive energy from it then don’t do it, find another way. HQC might not happen every time but know that the possibility of them happening is always at 100%.
How do HQC happen for you? What’s your experience?
“High quality connections are the glue on a team. I see and hear this over and over again with teams AND 1:1 coaching clients. These types of connections and relationships aren’t ones built on sarcasm or gossip, it’s quite the opposite. These are relationships built on mutual purpose and respect while learning deeply about other people. Clients come to me over and over again, ready to make a change in their career or jobs and the number one thing keeping them in a job they don’t like? They like the people. They are committed to their manager and their peers. People are the hardest thing for people to leave. Jobs can be done over and over again in different companies, but you can’t replicate a team that works well because that is unique.
These deep connections not only help teams weather the tough times (economic downturns, layoffs, reorganizations, difficult deadlines) they help teams have more moments of thriving when innovating, building, and most importantly operating on a daily basis. Members of a team begin to see the impact of this on their team and most importantly feel it everyday. Communication goes up, empathy increases, and collaboration will likely go through the roof!
Deep connections = game changing secret sauce in my opinion.
Here’s a short survey to to measure if you are achieving high quality connections within your team
Please rate each item on 1 to 5 scale. 5 – High, 1- Low
_____ Members of the team are empathetic toward each other
_____ Team members notice when others are in need
_____ When someone is in need, the team takes action to assist them
_____ The relationships in the team are a source of energy
_____ The atmosphere in the team is vibrant.
_____ Interactions in the team is lively
Score of 24 and above- Congratulations! You have high quality connections
Score of 18 – 24 – Continue to apply HQC tips provided in this blog to achieve higher quality connections within your team
Score below 18 – Diagnose what is working and what may not be working with your team; Further leverage your strengths within the team to overcome your shortcomings; Apply HQC tips provided in this blog consistently
To understand how to leverage your strengths and achieve high quality connections with your team for stronger team performance, reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org