Ann Arbor, August, 2001
The year 2000 brought with it many changes - the biggest one being a move to the USA after living in Switzerland for the past thirteen years. Since our arrival in October, 2000 I have been re-launching my work, updating an older home in Ann Arbor, readjusting culturally to USA life. To top off all that, my wife and I welcomed a new baby boy into the world in January.
Building Cultural Bridges: With the relocation last fall I have started to find a new meaning to the phrase, "Act local think global." I have found it interesting to run into colleagues here in the USA that I initially had contact with while living in Switzerland. For example, I frequently run into people who I knew from working with GM Europe who are now with the automotive business here in the Detroit area.
This Swiss (European) link to the USA has also put me into contact with a Swiss telecommunication company that was acquired by an American company. The managing director of the company in Switzerland wants to heighten the awareness of his team around issues connected to business reporting and management styles and how the different cultural perspectives are influencing the new organization.
Here And Now with Gestalt: Part of my journey back to the USA has included professional learning process around organization systems and development. I am currently enrolled in the Organization & Systems Development at the Gestalt Institute (based out of Cleveland - http://www.gestalt.org/). It is an engaging program (nine six day sessions over an eighteen month period) that includes personal development work, group interaction and whole system (large group) work. The core of the learning is centered on experiential work applying Gestalt concept, tool and methodology. The program presents great opportunities to sharpen awareness, intervention skills and 'use of self.'
The Whole-Scale Magic: The move to the Ann Arbor, MI area has brought me closer to colleagues working with Whole-Scale change. Kathie Dannemiller, a pioneer in the field of whole system change work, happens to be one of my neighbors. In April I had the opportunity to join her and colleagues from Dannemiller Tyson Associates (http://www.dannemillertyson.com) in a 'Whole-Scale' event for a software solutions company based in Santa Clara, CA. The three-day event was positioned under the theme "Carpe Diem!" The purpose of the event was for all 400 participants to clearly understand & commit to a shared vision with renewed spirit & energy to become a world-class $1 billion company. As part of the event team - I experienced first hand the excitement, spontaneity, power and spirit that can be realized when everyone has a voice and stake in a change process.
Kathie has offered the following articles for your review. One will appear in the September edition of Executive Excellence. The other will appear in the November OD Journal published by the Organization Development Institute based in Chesterland, OH (http://members.aol.com/odinst/).
Employee Excellence and Recognition: Another unit of my work involves facilitation/coaching for a series of workshops on employee recognition, excellence and lean principles for a large automotive supplier group. Some main themes in the one-day workshop include the following: Rewarding and recognizing others, Customer Enthusiasm, Lean Principles and the FISH Philosophy (Fun, Make Their Day, Be There, Choose Your Attitude). Within that same organization I am also doing presentation skills workshops that are highly interactive with spontaneous exercises to help participants bring their full self to making presentations.
Get the eePulse: Does your organization need regular feedback from employees? And the annual survey doesn't seem to do the trick? eePulse may be the cutting edge web based communication process you have been looking for.
I have recently joined on as a partner alliance with eePulse based in Ann Arbor,MI (see: http://www.eepulse.com/). I offer MeasurecomT - a web based measurement and communication process to improve the effectiveness of employees, managers, and organization.
The process takes the 'pulse' (employee opinions/weekly or monthly) within an organization. Executives, key communicators, etc. obtain quantitative and qualitative reports that show how energized employees are in their work environment. There is also the possibility to track personal and group data over time and respond to individuals and groups through a 'manager response ' and 'coaching' function. Custom questions are also possible.
A range of organizations, from Fortune 500 to educational institutions, have benefited from the process. I would enjoy exploring with you how this process could increase employee involvement and effectiveness in your organization.
As you can see, the year 2000 brought many changes that have inspired new opportunities, partnerships and responses to the needs of people in organizations. I welcome the opportunity to speak with you personally to discuss how organization development methods can help you and your organization reach goals in a meaningful way.