WHY YOUR PROPOSALS END UP IN THE SHREDDER

WHY YOUR PROPOSALS END UP IN THE SHREDDER

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In a conversation with Mrs Aberta Chuku Dono, a marketing professional in Ghana, she said” Marketing is a skill but Selling is an Art” she explains that people need to see the brighter colours of a new purchase to gain satisfaction. So the job is to paint them a picture of added value . The clearer and prettier your art, the quicker the sale.
Entry into an Organisation is an interestingly dicey phase of Consulting in Organisational Development (OD). It may come as a clear cut strategic phase with clear expected outcomes when a client calls you in to Consult on perceived issues. However, it becomes a much trickier art when the initiative is coming directly from you. You may have observed and researched enough to identify unhealthy Organisational Practises warranting Organisational Development processes to transform the organisation into higher and healthier performance.
Ironically your prospective client shoots you down each time you try to enter. Each proposal is treated with a waive of the hand and may just end up in the shredder. Your mind is constantly bugging why? Why? Why?
WHY ARE YOU NOT GETTING THE ATTENTION YOU DESERVE???  WHY
There could be several reasons why you are not being taken seriously, the sooner you find out why, the quicker you get signed in.

WHAT IS THE LEVEL OF DISSATISFACTION IN THE CLIENT???
More often than not, it comes at a seemingly absurd cost of pride and reality for most organisational leaders to accept dissatisfaction in their organisational systems until they are helpless with problems. However, dissatisfaction is a major determinant of of the willingness to effect change and transformation in an Organisation. In my earlier post “The Role Of Dissatisfaction In Change” I elaborated on the importance of the client’s dissatisfaction in a current state to warrant a change effort. It is important to clarify that dissatisfaction must not necessarily mean poor performance bugged with Organisational problems. Every organisation that sees itself in its true reflection will most certainly wants to grow stronger, better and healthier. In this light, the client needs not be dissatisfied with setup or need not be underperforming to warrant an OD intervention. The OD process is intended to enhance and foster sustainable healthier growth. So if the organisation is doing so well on its own, imagine how much more maximisation and sustainability can be achieved with the incorporation of OD
That said, your proposal will only appeal to the client’s dissatisfaction only if it depicts an addition of value. Don’t be modest in stating the benefits of your proposal to the client but rather be clear and succinct in describing what they stand to gain. Keep in mind that the organisation’s prime motive is to maximise profit, hence a process to enhance productivity and increase profit margins is surely a process of interest to the client. Clients need not be saddled with problems and at the brink of closure to require OD. OD needs to be incorporated into an organisation’s activities to ensure sustainability of development and growth.
Draw a picture of added value rather than a transformational picturesque. Dr. Roland Sullivan, one of the 100 original change agents, said at the 2015 international OD conference held in Kumasi,Ghana ” Transformation is so obvious, it needs no measure” This truth of this statement should guide you in your proposal. You do not need to focus on the amount of transformation but rather the additional value the OD process brings.

                                                                                            THE FOLLOW-UP STRATEGY
Believe it or not, the facts remain that only a marginal  few deals are closed on the spot. Realistically, a business proposal requires constant follow ups and revisions. The idea is not to put pressure on the client to accept your proposal but rather to find understand the client’s position on the subject of discussion. A follow up preferably in person creates the opportunity for the client to expound his position on the proposal. This allows the consultant to tailor a follow-up proposal to suit the client.
Creating a timely follow up strategy is very important if the client is to develop trust in your proposal. This is undoubtedly part of your entry process as an OD Consultant.
It is very important to use each follow-up meeting to create a reason to keep contact with your client.

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND DURING FOLLOW-UPS
You want to understand the client more than you want the client to understand you.

Do not try to force your idea, listen to what the client really wants.

You hold a process which will definitely help the client grow so relax and be professional.

Don’t be glued to your initial proposal, look for other areas where you can work with the client

Don’t leave the table with nothing to follow up on

Stay in touch, one way or the other.

To develop and enhance your organisation with Organisational Development, talk to The OD Professionals  at “www.vitusodconsult.comThe Most Trusted OD Consultants in Africa.


THE ROLE OF DISSATISFACTION IN CHANGE

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The aged Akan adage states that “advice changes no man, but trouble surely does”. The relation between the change and its catalyst lies not in the trouble but rather in the amount of DISSATISFACTION of the current state presented by the magnitude of the trouble.
People change only when there is reason to warrant a change. The reasons may vary from individual perspectives but the underlining factor constantly remains the same. DISSATISFACTION of current state + a VISION of better future state is the basic underlying factors for change. Prime to the change effort is the amount of dissatisfaction evident in the effort. Without enough dissatisfaction, the vision of a better future is limited by the illusion of the current state. While dissatisfaction may come as an involuntary spontaneous reaction to problems and issues emanating from present state, it may pay immeasurable dividends to consciously access the level of dissatisfaction in the current state of your organisation. This is Achievable through an Organisational Capacity Assessment (OCA) conducted by a certified Organisational Development Professional. The OCAT is an assessment tool used in OD to bring to bear the true reflection of the organisation’s current state. While an organisation may portray on the surface, a healthy and high performing status to the public, an OCA into the organisation could reveal hidden tendencies and drawbacks limiting the true potential of the organisation. The OCAT allows the stakeholders in the organisation to identify with the issues and drawbacks of the organisation while taking due cognizance of the organisation’s successful strategies and procedures. The organisation in unison thereof, acknowledges the amount of dissatisfaction present in the organisation and together as a team, consciously makes an effort to change.

It is expedient without prejudice to say that every organisation needs to periodically assess itself using proven OD tools and models to brace and buckle up its own growth.

For more on Organisational Capacity Assessment, visit St Vitus OD Consult “The Most Trusted Organisational Development Consultants in Africa”


HOW SMART IS YOUR DEVELOPMENT PLAN?

Being smart in ordinary parlance is built on a connotation of intelligence, knowledge and appeal. However, the Discipline of Organisational development gives a much detailed and pragmatic application of the word SMART. In OD, smart refers to a yardstick in creating sustainable change efforts: goals, visions, missions, etc.
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Specific: This is a unique attribute of the OD practice. It emphasises the exact specification of every outcome stating in simple terms, a succinct description of the expected outcomes. Being specific eliminates assumptions and clarifies every outcome. This is important in OD because it offers the client as well as the consultant the unparalleled advantage of working towards a distinctly defined goal easily understood by all those involved in its achievement.

Measurable: Every outcome of the OD process should be measurable. A quantifiable appreciation in reference from a baseline is indeed necessary to ascertain the quantum of impact of an expected outcome. It follows logically in that, every specific desirable outcome should have an amount of measurement. This allows both consultant and client to work towards a respective amount of development. Furthermore, it serves as a monitoring and tracking mechanism to keep the OD process in check with the expected outcomes.

Achievable: This draws the link between the desired outcome and the facts on the ground. It rids the organisation off the luxury of dreams into a pragmatic analysis where the desired outcome is tested against the realities at stake. All expected outcomes must pass this test to make it worth the change effort. This theme of analysis takes due cognisance of the implementing partners of the process and its outcomes to ascertain its achievable status. OD is a science and hence faith and luck play no role in its outcomes.

Relevant: Relevance is what sets an outcome above others. Each expected outcome should be appropriate in promoting the vision and mission of the organisation. This underlines the “why” of the OD process and ensures complete buy-in from the organisation.
This is a key analytical procedure which may be used to select from a wide range of goals and outcomes desired by the organisation. Furthermore, the theme of relevance is used to project and forecast the benefits and impact of the expect outcome or goal.

TimeBound: Time is a luxury too dear to be accorded in excess. Therefore, the OD process makes use of time boundaries as a measure of progress while using it to effectively sustain focus of the organisation. With Time limits assigned to all processes and outcomes, the process is duly monitored and the outcomes clearly observed.

For more on SMART action planning, contact www.vitusodconsult.com
“The most trusted Organisational Development Consultants in Africa”


INTRODUCTION TO TEAM BUILDING

“Team Building is a specific intervention to address the development of theteam. Typically, it consists of a one (or more) day programme focussed on improvement of interpersonal  relations, improved productivity or better alignment of organisational goals” ( Kreik & Vent or,2009)
Team building is an OD intervention  aimed at enhancing team relationships to foster team planning and team performance through selected models of team building and facilitated by the use of tailored OD exercises and tools. (Personal)
As much as the success of a team building intervention strongly lies within the competency of the facilitator  and his tools, the outcome truly lies in the organisation’s ability to identify the need to transcend into higher performance to achieve greater goals as a team rather than fathom individualistic achievements. The OD Consultant herein has a role to bring to the fore, enough dissatisfaction in the current state  of the organization through data collection to warrant the needed change effort.
In facilitating the Team Building intervention, the OD Practitioner needs to stay conscious of the adult learning strategies to present an introduction in a way that creates an immediate striking realisation of the  relevance of the intervention to the organisation.

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WHEN IS A TEAM BUILDING INTERVENTION NECESSARY

Organisational interventions are basically based on the outcomes of an Organisational Capacity Assessment.
With due regard to analysed organisational data, Team Building is often recommended as an expedient intervention in organisations whose capacity assessment indicates a less than satisfactory representation in relationships, reward systems, and leadership.
It may also be used as an effective intervention in strengthening and enhancing the performance of a mature  organisation. Its relevance may also be recommended where an organisation seeks to setup a new team.
Effective Team Building is achieved via a variety of Organisational Development(OD) tools, models and processes. This may range from simple bonding exercises to complex simulations designed to develop the team into a sustainable healthy and high performing setup.

For more on Team Building, Contact St VItus OD Consult “The Most Trusted OD Consultants in Africa”


CHANGING FOR ORGANISATIONAL GROWTH

Change is an inevitable aspect of life. It is therefore necessary to undertake successful change efforts to foster growth and development. Successful change efforts are dependent on the effectiveness of the change model or formula utilized in managing the transition.

THE SCE FORMULA

                                                  SCE = D x V x Fs x B

Where:

SCE = Successful Change Effort
D.      = Dissatisfaction with the current state
V       = Vision for a desired Future
Fs     = First small steps to implement change
B.      = Belief in the desired future state

The working principle: No value < or = 0.

DISSATISFACTION: This underlines the amount of displeasure in the current state of the organisation. It calls for a reality check to identify the true worth of the organisation efforts a
against its performance. For there to be change, there need to be enough dissatisfaction to warrant the change. In an Organisational change process, it is important to uncover dissatisfying issues through data collection to give the need for change the needed attention.
VISION: Having identified dissatisfaction with a current state, a SMART vision of the desired future state should be carved into the minds of the people to perceive a more desirable future. This serves as a motivator to see the change effort though. It stands as a trophy for a successful change effort.
FIRST SMALL STEP: Just as the 1000 mile journey shall always begin with a first step, so does it follow in that, every successful change effort shall always begin with a first small step. This step may vary between persons, organisations and Visionary stand points. However, the emphasis lies in the ability to make a strategic step towards a desired goal or vision.
BELIEF: This may be described as the fuel kindling the fires of each strategic step. It is what keeps the vision alive and worth the effort. Every change effort requires a deep rooted belief in it success, outcomes and benefits.

                                                         THE ROLE OF THE CHANGE AGENT
The organisational Development (OD) Consultant otherwise referred to as the change agent has an exponential role to play in success of the change effort. While acting as a facilitator, the amount of clarity and trust may depend on the unique ability of the consultant to apply a proven formula of sustainable change.
The change agent shall be responsible without limitation to:
Bring to the fore, a true reflection of the current state through data collection and feedback.
This is intended to serve as a mirror for the organisation to see its shortfalls as perceived by the organisation itself thereby unearthing enough dissatisfaction to warrant a change effort.
Empower the organisation to see a better future through the eyes of the organisation itself thereby creating a vision a transcending beyond the current state of the organisation. The Consultant may be required herein to provide enough direction to create a vision which is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
Engage the organisation in strategic planning. This is deemed as a tool that transforms visions and ideas into realities. It is the process that will stipulate the various steps in achieving the  the vision for a better future. The OD consultant may be required to facilitate a strategic plan to develop the vision into actionable steps.
Finally comes the belief factor. A change effort will not succeed unless the client organisation believes its ability and capability to change and sustain a desired future. This is inevitably the duty of the change agent to guide the organisation to trust in the process as well as themselves.

For more on Organisational Development Contact :
“The  Organisational Development Professionals”St VItus OD Consult


ARE YOU A WANTREPRENEUR OR AN ENTREPRENEUR?

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The misconception that everyone  who conceives or starts a great Idea is an entrepreneur has misled potentially successful Corporations to crumble and fold up within the first five years of the business’ life. True entrepreneurs know as a fact that establishing a self-sustaining Idea goes beyond the conception and inception of a business. Leaders of the Business world know all too well that the unique key to the successful establishment, sustainability and growth of every business lies in the skill to develop a systematic and fail-proof Business or Strategic plan. Sadly, many persons with great ideas tend to delude themselves into believing they have everything planned out, and are often too enthused in the glow of their ideas to realize the need to follow the science of Strategic or Business planning.
While a comprehensive business plan presents the entrepreneur with several funding opportunities, the process of developing the plan is of priceless value to the entrepreneur. The process of Business planning using the unparalleled Organisational Development(OD) approach serves as a mirror which transforms the feasibility and viability of the business into a reality. In practice, a good business plan is the lifeline of every successful business, and has always been the growth specimen of successful companies.
It is herein expedient to reason out the importance of experiential training using proven OD models and strategies to equip the youth of our continent in the preparation of apt business plans. The unique OD approach allows entrepreneurs to polish up their Ideas into SMART business plans while building commitment and direction for their business. Pragmatic experience in business and strategic planning as applied in OD, is what African entrepreneurs and  “wantrepreneurs” need  to enable sustainable development.

For more on Business planning, contact St VItus OD Consult