Complex transformation

Cultural change and adaptation.
Bringing up to datethe ways of working in new environments: multicultural, intergenerational, new competitors...

No matter how rationally justified a change may be, by definition it implies a phase of uncertainty that creates complex dynamics in the people involved.
Completing a transformation or reducing the time needed to bring it about requires understanding and management of the complex human dimensions that it stirs up.
Especially on the part of the leaders and agents that promote the change that should govern the process, understanding the resistances and tensions less visible.
This is especially true for the leaders and agents who are promoting the change and who have to steer this process, understanding the less visible resistance and tensions.
Helping those leaders and agents is the specialty of OutZinkers.

Cultural communication block

Communication between the first senior level of management in a multinational company and the second level managers was so deficient that it was clearly affecting the business´s performance.
Twenty years previously, the senior managers had launched the business in Spain. Two years ago, the strategy of accelerating the company´s expansion had required the hiring of dozens of young managers.

The initial reaction...

The initial reaction

The company assumed that those involved had difficulty communicating (due to lack of personal skills or technical resources).

A sophisticated communication training course was purchased and software was installed which further facilitated the exchange of information among managers.

However, apart from some improvement on a personal level, the systemic block in communication between senior managers and junior managers persisted.

Beyond the obvious...

Beyond the obvious

OutZinkers designed a cultural exploration program in which managers had the opportunity to analyse the behavior and meanings around the communication and technology involved.

The result allowed senior managers and junior managers to establish the professional communication that the business required and take advantage of existing technology

Overcoming problems

Situations in which the usual solutions, based on previous knowledge and experience, do not seem to work.

These types of problems are insolvable if there is an attempt to evaluate and solve them without considering some crucial information which may be present but hidden from usual viewpoints.
Not infrequently, these chronic problems end up being accepted as inevitable and can become part of the culture of the organization as inherent characteristics of the business. Slowing them down.
In OutZinkers we use proven perspectives and approaches (business experience, management models, psychology and anthropology) which when combined, give access to causes and relationships beyond the obvious.

A disconcerting technological project

An experienced project manager faced a serious delay in the deadline, consequence of the stalwart resistance of his team to work cooperatively with each other.
The 70 people in his team seemed to have split into two sides, each with their own ideas about the assigned project.

The initial reaction...

The initial reaction

The project manager set about employing the usual team management methods: meetings to clarify aims, reassigning tasks and people,...

This did not solve the problem and so the manager assumed that those who were giving most resistance to cooperation were in fact not suited to the work. He transferred some of them to other departments.

Nothing changed and after weeks, to his astonishment, managers in those departments even thanked him for the great competence shown by those workers he had transferred to them.

Beyond the obvious...

Beyond the obvious

The functioning of any group does not depend merely on clearly expressed rational arguments: aims, tasks, deadlines, resources,...

There exist underlying dimensions of equal importance to the above. Exploring these gives a more complete and rounder understanding beyond the usual information available to the manager when weighing up situations and managing teams.

Analysing what was going on in this situation from a broader OutZinker perspective revealed the stumbling blocks which were obstructing the team work. Upon dealing with them, the problem disappeared.

Leadership development

Development programs for experienced managers.
Human Centred: designed and implemented according to the real objectives and interests of each participant and those of the business.

It has been understood for many years now that the development of soft skills for leadership is only possible by using:
  • An experiential learning.
  • A design in process which is iterative.
  • An implementation which is flexible according to context.
It is not about learning more theory, but about developing skills related to the way of conceptualizing the environment, oneself and the relationship between these two.
In OutZinkers we have more than 20 years experience of designing and putting in place programs for genuine manager development.

The CEO and the old fashioned leaders

The CEO of a multinational needed his team of directors, 25 people, to update their leadership style.
The average age of the directors was 45 years old. They were all experienced engineers with considerable, high level post-graduate training (INSEAD, Harvard,...)

The initial reaction...

The initial reaction

A leadership development program with a strong practical element based on the Case Study Method was acquired, organised by a prestigious business school.

The program was topped off with a series of masterful lectures by well-known business leaders.

However, a year later, the leadership style in the company had not changed at all.

Beyond the obvious...

Beyond the obvious

Leadership style is a consequence of deeply held ideas resulting from personal experiences and organisational culture. These deeply held ideas are not obvious on the surface.

Discussion, insights and inspiring speeches may change the conscious way in which one understands leadership, but if you are really looking to upgrade your leadership style, you need to develop the ability to bring out and analyse those deeply held ideas.