Advancing Workplace Excellence

Targeted Curriculum
Solutions to help you advance organizational excellence.

Advancing Workplace Excellence provides a suite of targeted talent development programs, consulting services, coaching options, events, comprehensive training curriculums, and membership resources that are all designed to shore up critical leadership skills needed for growth and development.  AWE is ready to pull from our vast curriculum and services or develop new solutions to address goals for strengthening the organization’s leadership pipeline and creating an inclusive workplace culture where people are more consciously, creatively and confidently contributing at a higher level.

We invite you to partner with AWE to design a solution that combines the content, sequencing, and method(s) of delivery that works best for your vision of growth.

Program Descriptions

Organizational Excellence

Organizations are defined by their culture, which consists of core values, mission, structures, and spoken/unspoken rules. The successes of the organization are critically dependent on individuals’ ability to consciously and effectively navigate the culture. Individuals must be equipped with the tools and practices that enable them to operate with increased clarity and savvy in their work environment.

This body of work compromises a set of practices that focuses on the strategic thinking and planning of the organization as well as the development of a flexible operating model. Operating model design and implementation includes well-defined core/support work, roles, tools, competencies, organization structure and rules of engagement.

This work is intended to insure that people are aligned to the plan, the work and the results.

Our services, workshops, coaching, and consulting, provide tools and practices that can be customized for individuals at varying levels of the organization.

Services:

Organization Savvy I: Leveraging Power and Politics

 

This highly experiential program is intended to invite participants to inventory, assess and as appropriate shift both their belief systems and practices with regard to operating with more clarity and savvy in their work environment. The premise is that one’s belief systems directly impacts their attitude and behaviors with regard to understanding their role as leaders as well as behaving in ways that enable both their agenda and the company priorities.

Foundations of Management Boot Camp

Participants are asked to inventory and self-assess their current capabilities against the role definitions and the competency set in order to gain fuller understanding of their strengths and opportunities for improvement. The group is then introduced to people management cycle that shows the work and relationship between sourcing, selection, on-boarding, performance planning, development planning, performance management, disciplinary action as well as succession management. The group engages in a workshop to identify what their current experiences are for each of these capabilities as well as identify the challenges that they have implementing these management/HR practices effectively. Dialogue occurs to establish best in class practices.

Organization Assessment

Organizations are established and structured to plan, execute and govern to a set of outcomes based on vision, mission, values, and intended results. These organizational structures and practices are put in place with the intent to leverage people and their skills and technology in order to hit targets and respond to stakeholder or customer requirements and preferences. It is important to continually step back and take stock of an organization’s capabilities based on the current environment as well as upcoming or future trends and needs.

We offer a multi-disciplined approach to working with our clients to assess current organization capabilities or put a stake in the ground for what may be required going forward. Different capabilities, planning, operating model, HR, etc., of an organization’s assessment drive both the methodology and level of involvement by the client. We provide a wide range of criteria to perform the inventory and analysis. These options can be bundled or delivered individually:

Planning: From Strategy to Execution

With the use of a well-defined planning methodology organizations are able to have an experience of bringing the right people together to create a viable snap shot of the environment, generate a vision and mission that reflects where you want to take the organization, establish a set of strategic goals and break these goals down into a 3 year rolling plan with a set of annual initiatives. A planning capability also allows organizations to understand the interdependencies of the plan on the current environment, determine how to best prioritize where to start, determine the most appropriate sequencing of activities, as well as determine who needs to be engaged across the organization to make the plan real. Also, it clarifies the impacts of where the organization is heading in the current operating environment with regard to structure, processes, roles, skills and resource requirements to achieve the vision.

Building Program and Project Management Capability

Organizations are continuously initiating bodies of work based on building or improving capabilities. Depending on the scope and magnitude of these efforts, project management is usually required to put the right structure in place to insure a predictable outcome within desired time frames. Companies often start these efforts and do not make the investment in a structured program or project management methodology. This creates the real risk of not delivering on the intended agenda because what it takes to get the work done, all the interdependencies of work tasks, and/or the required engagement of all the right stakeholders throughout the process are not fully understood.. These challenges can often be minimized or avoided by having a solid project management capability throughout the organization.

Human Capital Management as a Strategic Lever

The utilization of a Human Capital Management strategy that reflects both strategic and tactical Human Resource (HR) capabilities provides a significant lever to your organization. The ability to insure that the right HR conversations are going on during planning (strategic staffing, succession management, organization development, total rewards, etc.) are all imperative to insure that your organization is consciously thinking through how to best leverage people in support of current and future needs. At the same time getting the basics of human capital management done well is also imperative.

When both the strategic and tactical elements of human capital are combined, your organization will be able to align plan to work to people and keep your people engaged both when things are going well and when challenged with change.

Change Excellence

Organizations are continuously grappling with the need to change and /or “reinvent” to remain relevant and competitive. Change usually shows up as shifting customer/constituent needs, change in strategy, change in charter and mission, change in organization structure, work, roles, and competencies. Organizations invest significant time, money and resources on developing strategies, creating projects, hiring consultants and training employees.  However most organizations underestimate the investment and effort required to move people to change. Organizations do not change unless people change.

Additionally, leaders and managers must possess the tools, processes, and leadership practices required to effectively lead change.

We offer a series of services that facilitate the creation of an effective and predictive change management capability. With the existence of an effective and predictive change management capability, organizations will have the skills, processes and tools required to assess the need for change, determine what kind of change(s) to go after, design the change, prepare the environment and people for change, implement it, anchor it into the operating environment, and measure the return. .

Often, organizations require customized solutions that address their business requirements and culture. We have the experience and capability to provide consulting, coaching, facilitation, and training solutions. We also have significant experience customizing solutions by developing packages that combine multiple content areas, modes of delivery and sequencing of delivery.

Services:

Building Change Competency

One of the challenges organizations face is the ability to understand what all the change is, translate it into a strategy and set of goals and/or initiatives, get people on board and then have effective governance practices to keep the change aligned. More often than not they find that change gets jammed into the work system because the organization does not have the know how or time to focus on how to change. In the absence of effective change management practices and tools, as well as the ability to consciously keep everybody engaged in the change process, you might experience levels of frustration, lack of ownership or engagement and, in some cases, the planned change does not get implemented. If it does get implemented, it may not stick in the operating environment. All these dynamics are a call to action for investing in change competence.

Developing Change Resilience

This highly experiential program is intended to invite you to inventory, assess and, as appropriate, shift both your beliefs and practices in ways that allow you to operate with more clarity, resilience and motivation in work and life. It is also intended to provide you with a model for handling constant change with greater levels of resilience and motivation in yourself and others by demonstrating authenticity, making clear choices, and creating balance.

Developing Change Leadership Practices

This program focuses on developing and aligning the team of change champions, instrumental to the success of your change efforts. Change champions create, hold, and sustain the vision of what will be different after the change. More significantly, they represent the compass and the guide that continuously execute the practices required to maintain momentum, keep to and/or modify course as needed, and engage people.

Accelerating the Change Leadership Team

We expect our leaders to naturally know how to lead change, but leading people through change is a capability that requires knowledge, guidance and practice. The 5-Day Leading People Through Change intensive prepares a team of leaders to make a greater impact by giving them the knowledge, guidance and support to be truly effective change agents. This highly intensive and experiential program invites participants to get clear on the intended impact of the change. From this place of clarity, participants are taught to take the actions that shift the beliefs and behaviors in themselves and others needed to accelerate the change effort and achieve required results.

Managing Change

A case for investing in change management competency at both the individual and organization level is introduced so that participants can connect how the absence of effective change management hinders an organization’s capabilities and employee engagement. A well-defined change management cycle and steps are reviewed in detail so that people understand that change management is in fact a process with clear inputs and outputs as well as quality indicators. Time is spent practicing the change management cycle and related practices using past, current or planned change in the participants’ environment. A workshop occurs to identify what if scenarios.

Engaging Others With Change

Understanding the differences between leading change (engaging people) and managing change (the work steps associated with change) and the interdependencies between both is essential to the success of any change initiative. Time is spent doing a self-evaluation on change management/leadership capability so that there is a baseline for each participant to work from as they move through the training. Time is spent introducing several change leadership models/tools and related practices, inclusive of: The Change Curve, Change and Loss, Resistance Pyramid, Coaching Curve, and Change Leader Role. The session focuses on work shopping each of these tools and practices so that participants get experience applying them to the actual change occurring or about to occur within their organization. Time is spent looking at what if scenarios so that participants can anticipate and understand how to deal with the various situations that come up with change leadership.

Preparing the Organization for Change

While the specifics of our lives may be very different, we are all often overwhelmed by the magnitude of roles and competing priorities that we face every day. During times of significant change, the sense of being overwhelmed is compounded by the uncertainty in our circumstances. Because most of the roles that we are in are significant to us we want to do the very best we can in all of them. For most of us, that means trying to be all things all the time and never feeling that we are doing anything “good enough”. We introduce you to change leadership practices designed to assist you in getting clear about the kinds of impact you want to have in all aspects of your life and developing daily practices that assist you in choosing the actions and activities that are aligned with your desired impacts. Consequently, you do not respond to everything, are very intentional about what you do respond to, and are clear that you are making the choices that achieve the outcomes that you seek.

Leadership Excellence

Today’s leaders and managers are faced with greater degrees of turbulence, uncertainty, and unexpected change. The challenge is embracing these new situations while keeping those they are leading/managing aligned to and focused on organization priorities. Leaders must possess the competencies required to effectively lead and manage work, processes, and people. They must also be highly skilled in identifying and cultivating the competencies needed throughout the organization to achieve results

Leaders within organizations are bombarded with hundreds of models and methods for effective leadership. They can all be effective as long as it is clear which to use in a given situation. Ultimately, leaders must find a core set of leadership practices that leverage their strengths. They become a fundamental compass in all situations.

We offer a full range of services and tools to enable you to empower your leaders and managers.

Services:

Strategic Leadership: Thinking to Action

This program commences with a discussion about the speed of change occurring in our work worlds and the implications on being able to identify opportunities for sustainable growth and delivery of an organizations vision and charter. Time is spent identifying the attributes of strategic thinking and how they connect to actions that enable organization growth and sustainability. Participants offer up examples of the pros and cons of strategic thinking citing examples in their work and personal lives whereby thinking and acting strategically both created a positive outcome as well as risk or negative outcome. A model and set of attributes for thinking strategically, knowing how to frame and ask the right questions, that allow for the generation of strategic and/or future insights is covered. Time is spent reviewing the various applications of strategic thinking and action to planning efforts as well as change initiatives. 

Leading with Resilience

This highly experiential program is intended to invite participants to inventory, assess and as appropriate shift both their belief systems and practices with regard to operating with more clarity, resilience and motivation in their ever-changing work environment. It is also intended to provide them with a model for creating greater levels of resilience and motivation in others by demonstrating authenticity and focusing simultaneously on both the structural and people attributes of change and transition.

Defining Leadership Competency

We believe that leaders and managers that lead with clarity, integrity, and authenticity produce great cultures and achieve excellent results. All organizations have some idea about how they want those and other qualities to show up in the leaders and managers in the organization. Once they are identified, inclusive of what they look like in practice, and connect them to outcomes (cultural and business), leaders and managers are equipped with the clarity that will empower them to grow, excel, and positively impact people and results. Whether an organization is only beginning to establish definition and clarity around leadership and management competency, have already done a substantial amount of work in this area, or are somewhere in between we can offer a set of solutions that address your needs.

Planning Succession

Having an effective plan of succession for all key positions is a significant step in reinforcing business continuity and growth plans. Having individuals that are experienced and prepared for increased levels of responsibility ready to step up ensures that the organization is less likely to experience business disruption due to planned or unplanned changes. Furthermore, talented individuals looking for the opportunity to advance to the next level are more likely to stay because they see that the best opportunity for them to be developed and given new opportunities exists right where they are. Succession planning also becomes one of the key Human Resource strategies, aligning to the longer-term, overarching staffing requirements that drive the organization’s priorities year over year based on growth or change requirements. Whether succession planning is an integrated component of the organization’s Performance and Development management process or a standalone process, the key steps are the same. We will partner with you to assess your current state, build the plan that will move you from current state to completion of a solid succession plan, and initiate execution of the plan.

Executive and Leadership Coaching

Sourcing and hiring leaders and managers with the requisite skills and experience, when done thoroughly, usually consumes a great deal of time and resource. A perfect fit is often not attainable. Assisting an individual to fill the gap(s) that will make the fit more perfect is very effectively accomplished through coaching. As organizations shift and change proven leaders and managers sometimes struggle to make the required shifts in behavior. Targeted coaching is a very respectful method of intervention. Investing in proven leaders and managers reinforces their value to the organization and further solidifies their loyalty and connection. These are just two of many examples of situations where coaching is a very effective and efficient solution. What is imperative is that the organization is able to identify those kinds of coaching opportunities and apply the most effective resources to enable success. We view coaching as a personalized solution. Our approach needs to comprehend the specific shift that is required, the size of the gap, the impact of the shift on organization culture and outcomes, and the strengths of the individual. The coaching plan and approach that considers these factors as significant inputs is more likely to produce realistic, sustainable results over time.

Group and Team Coaching

Organizations committed to the development of people know that strong development processes leverages talent to achieve current and future organization results. Group or team coaching as a complement to other development practices enhances and strengthens the learning environment, more effectively leverages development dollars, and, mosre often than not, more fully engages your targeted population(s) such as managers/leaders, project managers, specialists, etc. We offer a wide array of services in support of development through group or team coaching.

Relationship Excellence

Within organizations, individuals, teams and departments have significant interdependencies on one another. At times, they do not realize just how much interdependence there is or they may not be insuring that everyone is aligned with regard to the work, the roles, the processes and agreements for how to work together. Often, there are different filters and biases as to what is important and/or assumptions about what the other person or team does and knows. In the absence of slowing down and having discussions about how individuals and teams will interact with one another and test their assumptions or inferences; challenges with executing the work, the effectiveness of communications, and sound decision-making will affect prioritization and the achievement of results. Effective relationship management requires conscious and intentional self-awareness, awareness of others, and the ability to use that information to engage in relationships. When individuals, teams, or stakeholders come together and not only agree on the work and the priorities for getting the work done, they also get to talk about how the work will be accomplished.

Services:

Social Styles: Awareness and Flexing into Relationships

 

Social Styles is a predictive model that identifies four different modes of operating: Driver, Analytic, Amiable and Expressive. Each style has its assets and, at times, challenges. In this program participants are introduced to the Social Styles model, the four different styles preferences and the attributes of each style. Time is spent showing how predictive each style can be based on the participants actually sharing experiences of their style, both the assets and challenges. A self-assessment instrument is used to assist participants to identify the social style that most reflects their behavior. A workshop, the Style Summit is conducted to engage participants in a reality based discussion regarding the beliefs and values behind their style and how they experience other styles. This exercise provides a deep understanding of how often times our assumptions of the other three styles may in fact impact our experience of one another and/or the relationship and the team dynamics that enable to detract from effective outcomes. A learning action planning session concludes the program so that there are clear commitments to apply learning back on the job.

Cultural Competence

Leaders often question why all members of our team are reluctant or not comfortable contributing their authentic ideas and perspectives. Particularly because they know that it is the true diversity of thought based on unique and different experiences that leads to the best solutions and results. Effective leaders also know that they must be intentional about creating the culture and, ultimately, the results that they want to achieve. Participants identify the types of diversity in their work environment and the kinds of challenges that come up with planning, executing or monitoring the work. A definition of cultural intelligence is introduced as well as the language, attributes or behaviors that support engaging others more effectively. A model and set of practices is introduced for effectively engaging others and a workshop is conducted that allows others to apply the concepts to day-to-day practices. The workshop also includes providing insights and feedback to participants so that they are able to assimilate the learning from the session.

Stakeholder Management: Creating and Sustaining Effective Partnerships

Time is spent identifying stakeholder, stakeholder management and the competencies associated with effective stakeholder management. Participants are asked to inventory a comprehensive list of the different kinds of stakeholders they have and prioritize which ones currently have the largest impact on the work. A Stakeholder Management Cycle and related tools and practices is introduced and reviewed in detail so that participants understand that relationship management capability is actually predictive and proactive. Time is spent working with the tools: stakeholder maps, communication plan, rules of engagement, partnership agreements, etc. so that participants can align their actual stakeholders to more disciplined stakeholder management practices. A workshop occurs using what if scenarios introduced by both the facilitator and/or participants to further clarify content, identify various kinds of situations, and identify the numerous approaches for working through problem areas of stakeholder management. The session ends with each participant defining a learning action plan to further practice back on the job.

Matrix Management: Leveraging Expertise Across Multiple Functions

Participants are asked to identify their experiences regarding the pros and cons of matrix relationships, including the impact that effective matrix relationships have on work and results, as well as the risks, challenges or potential pitfalls. A business rationale is identified regarding why organizations are, at times, required to utilize matrix relationships in support of alignment of strategy, book of work and execution practices. Participants are introduced to a process for effective matrix relationships inclusive of identifying the numerous stakeholders that impact their work, evaluating the interdependencies and also identifying what is required in order for the matrix or alignment to be effective. Time is spent articulating the different roles that can exist within a matrix inclusive of direct line manager, matrix manager, direct report as well as other positions that impact alignment and execution of the work. A work session is conducted whereby participants are asked to identify specific strategies and practices that they would need to employ to further understand the value of the matrix partner/manager. Each participant concludes the session by defining a learning action plan to apply training back on the job.

Conflict Management: Moving From At Odds to Effective Outcomes

The program explores participant’s experience and beliefs around conflict and conflict management, including the positive and potentially down side of conflict as well as the detractors of engaging in conflict management. A definition of conflict and conflict management is introduced as well as the sources of conflict. Time is spent introducing five different conflict management styles whereby each participant assesses their primary and secondary styles. A workshop occurs so that people can identify strategies for strengthening their styles as well as more effectively utilizing different approaches for different situations. A conflict management cycle is introduced that reflects the assessment, strategizing, engagement and tracking of conflict situations. A workshop occurs that allows participants to take a past or current conflict situation and practice using the conflict management cycle to more effectively assess the nature of conflict, strategize different approaches and then determine how to effectively engage in resolution and finally evaluate the effectiveness of the outcomes. Time is also spent understanding the role of escalation and positive and developmental feedback as forms of conflict management tools. Participants are asked to then spend some time identifying a learning action plan to apply what they have experienced in the training back on the job.

Emotional Intelligence

This program is intended to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the Goleman EI Model with emphasis on four components: self-awareness, self- management, social awareness and relationship management. In the session, an overview of each of the four quadrants occurs, with dialogue and assessment occurring with program participants to enable greater understanding and assimilation. Specific breakout sessions for each quadrant occur that further enable individual assessment, reflection, sharing and action-learning planning.

Creating Rules of Engagement

We offer a set of tools and facilitated interventions that allow an intact management/leadership team, program/project team, or multi-disciplined team to come together and have a dialogue, encouraging team members to articulate how they are going to operate in order to keep both the work and the relationships on track. This can be both during the times that the team is together as well as outside the room during day-to-day work. These sessions basically allow a team to put together what we call Rules of Engagement or operating norms/agreements. These Rules of Engagement can include such topics as: communication practices, conflict management, positive and developmental feedback, escalation, decision-making, problem-solving, meeting management, confidentiality, diversity, other elements of the company/organization core behavior, and documented procedures for performing work. During a facilitated session for Rules of Engagement, impacted team members or stakeholders come together and, based on the work and priorities, engage in a dialogue that allows them to identify those agreements that will maximize the effectiveness of the team, the individuals and ability to achieve outcomes. This session allows people to not only inventory past and current practices and evaluate its effectiveness, but also reinforce what is working, not working and then generate solutions.

Team Assessment

The factors that contribute to high performance by teams are very well known. Assessing your team based on these factors, identifying where they are strong and reinforcing, and diagnosing where improvement is needed and developing a plan will very quickly begin to shift team dynamics and performance. Your team will not only understand how to better participate and leverage each other, they will also gain significant clarity about how they do that in the way that will have the most impact on objectives and outcomes. You will also gain perspective on whether and where some individual team member development and reinforcement is needed.