P R A K H S I S
The biggest room in any organization at any time is the room for improvement.
To stay on top of constant change, organizations must be adaptive. While both the strategic environment and people within organizations obey intense and unpredictable social dynamics, the tools and approaches available to management to achieve improvements are highly mechanical, often working based on a static snapshot of the organization: instead of drawing directly on people’s intelligence, innovation, creativity, and natural abilities, they force them to comply with artificial processes in order to develop the illusion of control, summed up nicely by the dogma of “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”.
But empirical evidence tells us a different story. Measuring brings only limited control in social systems, and the more mechanical organizations get, the less intelligent they become. Similarly, the more mechanical the approach to improvements, the less effective it is. Class room trainings for managers, analysis/paralysis, constantly missed opportunities by incumbents in markets, post-merger or acquisition integration projects, or the constant disasters when it comes to crisis management are some of the classical examples of this.
A better approach to change
Prakhsis focuses on the organic aspect of organizations to achieve real and sustainable change, taking a fundamentally different approach to improving people and organizations. Below are a few of the differences between the organic and the mechanical characteristics of organizations. All companies operate somewhere between these two extremes.
|Pro-active change, working from the inside-out||Reactive change – it is forced on people|
|Creates room for unfolding potentials||Sacrifices potentials for unnecessary processes (Procrustean bed)|
|Processes serve people||People serve processes|
|Creativity and innovation is natural||Creativity and innovation is a challenge|
|The organization is adaptive and nimble||The organization is reactive and slow|
|Teams and individuals reflect on events and constantly make small but high-impact adjustments||Management buys and implements “best practices” with disappointing results|
|Frequent, intelligent, ritualized exchange of insights and experiences||Off-sites a few times a year|
To approach organizations with people in mind is, alas, nothing less then revolutionary. Fortunately, there are many revolutionaries among clients, in the consulting field and in academia. We are proud to introduce our partner, whom we represent in Europe:
CoachingOurselves was founded in 2007 to bring Henry Mintzberg‘s approach to management education directly into the workplace. The CoachingOurselves approach to peer-coaching is a cost effective alternative or supplement to conventional leadership and organizational development programs. It results in learning, improved performance and stronger community in organizations. CoachingOurselves programs have been used by approximately 20,000 managers a year in 8 languages through peer-group coaching programs deployed in their organizations.
We believe management and leadership development should result in managers doing a better job at managing and leading, and we believe managers learn best from each other in small groups directly in their organization. Through CoachingOurselves peer-coaching programs we help organizations become better places for everyone, creating and strengthening the sense of community inside the organization and enabling them to support the communities in which they operate.
How it works
Many leadership development programs focus on learning about leadership. But organizations need better leaders, not managers who are more knowledgeable about leadership.
CoachingOurselves peer-coaching is a scalable learning approach to increasing organizational performance. It is easy to set up, demonstrates immediate business impact, and is a key catalyst to successful leadership and organizational development.
A peer-coaching session is 90 minutes of reflection and dialog with a small group of up to 6 peers guided by a CoachingOurselves module. The module has the content and questions to focus reflection on experiences and learning on a specific leadership theme or soft skill.
Sessions are facilitated by a certified facilitator or by one of the participants prepped by the facilitator. They are run in person or via group video conference or conference call.
A CoachingOurselves program consists of 6 or more sessions, typically once per month, for up to hundreds of groups across the organization. A sequence of modules is selected to align with organizational needs.
Our approach enables the executive, HR or L&D team to design and deliver a scalable high impact leadership development program across the organization by leveraging the power of peer-learning.
We have over 83 peer coaching modules exclusively designed for CoachingOurselves by leading management and business thinkers such as Henry Mintzberg, Edgar Schein, Marshall Goldsmith, Philip Kotler, Ricardo Semler, and Nancy Adler.
The modules guide reflection and dialog on a broad range of leadership themes. Our catalog includes classic themes for first line and middle management such as Candid Conversations and FeedFORWARD instead of FeedBACK to more nuanced themes for senior leadership such as Strategic Blindspots and Leading with Humility.
Each module combines high-quality content with questions, exercises, and discussions. Participants explore the new perspectives through reflection and story sharing to stimulate learning, skill building, and creative workplace solutions.
Each module is intended to guide one 90-minute peer-coaching session for a group of 4-6 leaders, cross functional or intact team, at a similar level in the organization.
Our extensive library of modules provides the flexibility to deploy CoachingOurselves programs with a curriculum targeted to both the individual needs of the participants and the business goals of the organizations. (You can download a brief overview of the 80 modules here).
CoachingOurselves modules are licensed per module per participant so organizations only pay for what they use and we have a yearly subscription model to enable broad usage in large programs for a flat yearly fee.