Design Consultation

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UNDERSTANDING YOUR SITUATION 

There are many different ways to engage or partner with Inflection Points consultants. The starting point is always conversations about "what is going on." During those conversations, we identify "presenting symptoms" -- aspects of the situation that cause concern or need addressing. We also explore possible underlying causes. 

No action is planned or taken until we are both convinced that we have a valid understanding of what is going on. And we may decide to involve others in the effort to get an accurate understanding of the situation.

Typical situations include: 

bulletA VP of Operations wants to improve/refine a process in order to improve operating efficiencies and reduce waste
bulletA Team Leader wants to take the team to a new level of performance because a competitor's team has faster time to market
bulletAn IT Director wants her managers to have better interpersonal and management skills
bulletA VP of Human Resources wants HR Managers to think and act more like Strategic Business Partners

First steps often include interviewing other people in the organization and getting their perspective. We consider the broader organizational context -- what the current strategic imperatives of the business are, current challenges or market pressures, etc. We ask who the stakeholders in the situation are -- and identify the nature of each stakeholder's interest. And we make careful note of all the things which are going right -- positive aspects of the organization that we want to preserve and strengthen, and which will aid us in any change effort.

In all these early conversations and activities, you -- the client -- remain in complete control. No work is done unless you understand its purpose and agree to it.
DESIGN PHASE
After gaining an understanding of "what's going on," we're ready to consider taking action. Inflection Points will have some ideas about what may help. But you -- the client -- remain the decision maker on what to do as well as how to do it. Our experience shows that how to make change is just as important as what change to make. The key ingredient of the "how" is participation. More often than not, your people -- your managers as well as the people who will be most directly affected by any change -- will need to participate in designing the change that will affect them. 
If it's process improvement, the people who work that process meet to be involved in identifying the requirements the improved process must meet, in designing the new process and in implementing the change. If it's team learning, the team members have a say in what they will do. If we design a meeting, then the design becomes a strategy for introducing change to the meeting attendees, and they will need to be involved.
IMPLEMENTATION AND FOLLOW-THROUGH
Because your people will be involved in designing, implementing and evaluating changes that will impact them, it often cannot be known ahead of time what the exact path to be taken will be. The design will emerge. Our role is to partner with you in giving advice about and leadership for the design processes to be used.  
Again, we work to keep you fully informed at all times, to be candid with you in sharing our perspective of the situation and in recommending what to do and how to do it. And we will help facilitate action when invited. You remain in control of Inflection Points involvement at all times. 

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Click here to see notes from poster session presentation on "Design as a Leadership Development Strategy" from 2002 Association of Leadership Educators annual conference in Lexington KY, 13 July 2002. Click here to see parallels between leadership and design as process.

 

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This page last modified on 8/8/16