Real Time Strategic Change

Change simultaneously

Structure: Current problems are pointed out to demonstrate the urgent necessity for change. People from outside add important impulses. Management’s goals are presented to participants. Participants state their own goals and present them in the plenary session. A dialogue follows and the two goal formulations are integrated. The result is a resolution stating a common objective. Action steps for individual departments ensure the immediate implementation in the organisation.

Duration of the event: 2 to 3 days with at least 50 people participating.

What is special about this method? Real Time Strategic Change is achieved by working on various levels simultaneously. The change begins in different sectors and departments of the organisation at the same time. Many important elements such as goals, values, relationships, standards and measures are changed at the same time. Planning and implementation happen almost in parallel and the implementation takes place in various sectors and departments of the organisation.
The “top-down” approach is typical for RTSC conferences. Before the event, management determines what changes should be made within the organisation. During the conference, however, this draft is edited taking participants’ suggestions into consideration. The possibility to modify management’s draft assures participants’ commitment to results.

Sequence of Events: The initial steps of the conference serve to rouse interest and to create a common basis of information. Important aspects of the organisation’s current situation are investigated from different angles. The organisation’s situation is not only made clear on an intellectual but also on an emotional level. The urgent need for change is felt.
Usually management prepares a draft formulating the envisaged changes. These could be strategic goals, programs, visions, values or projects. On the second day management explains its final goals in detail. The aim is to win and motivate employees for the proposed changes. Thus, the end result is sketched out. But the final form is left open. Participants can formulate their own visions of the future and subsequently collect additions and suggestions for modifications. At the end of the day management and participants integrate those additions and modifications into a draft.
On the third day the revised draft is presented and approved by all. In addition, first implementation steps are planned. Every participant joins a group on a subtopic of a goal that concerns them most. Small groups work out the first implementation steps. At the end of the event, time is reserved to discuss how the results and participants’ motivation to cooperate in the change process can be passed on to their colleagues.

Principles:

  • To launch change simultaneously
  • To allow participation on a large scale
  • To confront people with reality and to create a common basis of information
  • To achieve identification with one long-term goal
  • To renew the “spirit” or to redirect
  • To encourage the community to grow
  • To put the responsibility for implementation into the hands of participants

RTSC-Conferences are Used:

  • to put new guidelines for a whole organisation or a part of it into effect
  • to introduce quality standards
  • to envisage strategic changes
  • to change the culture within an organisation, division or department.

An example: Brain International is a software company with 750 employees. It was created in the mid 80’s by a merger of BIW and Rembold + Holzer. Brain International’s goal is to become the leading producer of standard software for medium-sized companies. In order to achieve this the existing software worlds of the two companies need to be integrated into a new common product range. This is the task of the research and development department with its 180 employees. Three months after the announcement of the merger 170 of these employees gathered in a two-and-a-half-day conference. Apart from getting to know and trust each other the most important goal of the conference was to create the best possible general framework and impetus for ten new common key projects.
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