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Season’s Greetings 2016

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SMALL STEPS: NIAGARA TO NEW YORK

Capri shirtCycling from one of nature’s greatest feats, Niagara Falls, to one of mankind’s greatest feats, New York City, is no walk in the park. Capri Consulting is proud to support Small Steps on their 740.3 km voyage over 7 days through Canada and USA. The previous blog post describes only a few of the many great things the charity does for special needs children in Solihull. Here is a brief day-by-day account of the trip.

Day 1: After arriving at Niagara Falls on 2nd August, the group made final preparations on their bikes before they set off on their first day’s ride on 3rd August. They cycled from Niagara Falls to Buffalo, crossing the American border.

Day 2: The group cycled 112km from Buffalo to Olean. They started at 6am to avoid the midday heat. Day 2 saw some difficulties with many punctures due to gravelly roads.

Day 3: Day 3 was another early start as the group cycled 131km from Olean to Wellsboro. Spirits were still very high.

Day 4: The group cycled from Wellsboro to Towanda. With very hilly start the route was quite tough, but at the end of the day, 400 km had been completed and 340 km remained.victory pose

Day 5: The cyclists travelled 122km from Towanda to Wilkes-Barre with huge hill climbs and 5000 feet of elevation.

Day 6: The group embarked on their longest stretch of cycling of 138km from Wilkes-Barre to Stanhope.

The last leg of the trip was from Stanhope to Newark, just outside of New York. After such a long and strenuous trip, a sense of achievement was felt throughout the group as they went the extra mile in order to raise money for the Small Steps charity and bring a smile to the many children with special needs that the charity helps.

We at Capri Consulting believe that business and social enterprise should go hand in hand. We feel the responsibility to support charities that aid social welfare and we look forward to doing so in the future.

We would like to congratulate every team member and their families for their effort & dedication! Well done !!

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Welcome to the culture of change

lipstick-on-a-pig

If you’re a manager, whether at middle or corporate level, you more than likely have the power to fire, hire, promote or demote people with very little effort indeed.  You may have the power to move your companies office space to the other side of the city, to change the logo, to make changes to your companies product. Some of these might appear to be stark changes on the surface, but do they really change the company? You can put lipstick on a pig, but its still a pig. You can make as many changes to the company as you want, but it won’t really actually change. After all, your company isn’t your product or your office space or your logo; its your employees. It’s the people. And they’re who you need to change.

No, I don’t mean fire everyone and hire a plethora of new people, I mean change the business culture your current employees have entrenched into them, and everything else will change too.

Professor John Kotter outlines how to go about this in his 1995 book ‘Leading change’. He outlines 8 steps for leading change in your organisation, and they are as follows:

 

STEP ONE: CREATE URGENCY

For change to happen, it helps if the whole company really wants it. Develop a sense of urgency around the need for change. This may help you spark the initial motivation to get things moving.

This isn’t simply a matter of showing people poor sales statistics or talking about increased competition. Open an honest and convincing dialogue about what’s happening in the marketplace and with your competition. If many people start talking about the change you propose, the urgency can build and feed on itself.

What you can do:

  • Identify potential threats, and develop scenarios showing what could happen in the future.
  • Examine opportunities that should be, or could be, exploited.
  • Start honest discussions, and give dynamic and convincing reasons to get people talking and thinking.
  • Request support from customers, outside stakeholders and industry people to strengthen your argument.

STEP TWO: FORM A POWERFUL COALITION


Convince people that change is necessary. This often takes strong leadership and visible support from key people within your organization. Managing change isn’t enough – you have to lead it.

You can find effective change leaders throughout your organization – they don’t necessarily follow the traditional company hierarchy. To lead change, you need to bring together a coalition, or team, of influential people whose power comes from a variety of sources, including job title, status, expertise, and political importance.

Once formed, your “change coalition” needs to work as a team, continuing to build urgency and momentum around the need for change.

What you can do:

  • Identify the true leaders in your organization, as well as your key stakeholders.
  • Ask for an emotional commitment from these key people.
  • Work on team building within your change coalition.
  • Check your team for weak areas, and ensure that you have a good mix of people from different departments and different levels within your company.

 

STEP THREE: CREATE A VISION FOR CHANGE


When you first start thinking about change, there will probably be many great ideas and solutions floating around. Link these concepts to an overall vision that people can grasp easily and remember.

A clear vision can help everyone understand why you’re asking them to do something. When people see for themselves what you’re trying to achieve, then the directives they’re given tend to make more sense.

What you can do:

  • Determine the values that are central to the change.
  • Develop a short summary (one or two sentences) that captures what you “see” as the future of your organization.
  • Create a strategy to execute that vision.
  • Ensure that your change coalition can describe the vision in five minutes or less.
  • Practice your “vision speech” often.

 

STEP FOUR: COMMUNICATE THE VISION


What you do with your vision after you create it will determine your success. Your message will probably have strong competition from other day-to-day communications within the company, so you need to communicate it frequently and powerfully, and embed it within everything that you do.

Don’t just call special meetings to communicate your vision. Instead, talk about it every chance you get. Use the vision daily to make decisions and solve problems. When you keep it fresh on everyone’s minds, they’ll remember it and respond to it.

It’s also important to “walk the talk.” What you do is far more important – and believable – than what you say. Demonstrate the kind of behavior that you want from others.

What you can do:

  • Talk often about your change vision.
  • Address peoples’ concerns and anxieties, openly and honestly.
  • Apply your vision to all aspects of operations – from training to performance reviews. Tie everything back to the vision.
  • Lead by example.

 

STEP FIVE: REMOVE OBSTACLES


If you follow these steps and reach this point in the change process, you’ve been talking about your vision and building buy-in from all levels of the organization. Hopefully, your staff wants to get busy and achieve the benefits that you’ve been promoting.

But is anyone resisting the change? And are there processes or structures that are getting in its way?

Put in place the structure for change, and continually check for barriers to it. Removing obstacles can empower the people you need to execute your vision, and it can help the change move forward.

What you can do:

  • Identify, or hire, change leaders whose main roles are to deliver the change.
  • Look at your organizational structure, job descriptions, and performance and compensation systems to ensure they’re in line with your vision.
  • Recognize and reward people for making change happen.
  • Identify people who are resisting the change, and help them see what’s needed.
  • Take action to quickly remove barriers (human or otherwise).

 

STEP SIX: CREATE SHORT TERM WINS


Nothing motivates more than success. Give your company a taste of victory early in the change process. Within a short time frame (this could be a month or a year, depending on the type of change), you’ll want to have some “quick wins ” that your staff can see. Without this, critics and negative thinkers might hurt your progress.

Create short-term targets – not just one long-term goal. You want each smaller target to be achievable, with little room for failure. Your change team may have to work very hard to come up with these targets, but each “win” that you produce can further motivate the entire staff.

What you can do:

  • Look for sure-fire projects that you can implement without help from any strong critics of the change.
  • Don’t choose early targets that are expensive. You want to be able to justify the investment in each project.
  • Thoroughly analyze the potential pros and cons of your targets. If you don’t succeed with an early goal, it can hurt your entire change initiative.
  • Reward the people who help you meet the targets.

 

STEP SEVEN: BUILD ON THE CHANGE


Kotter argues that many change projects fail because victory is declared too early. Real change runs deep. Quick wins are only the beginning of what needs to be done to achieve long-term change.

Launching one new product using a new system is great. But if you can launch 10 products, that means the new system is working. To reach that 10th success, you need to keep looking for improvements.

Each success provides an opportunity to build on what went right and identify what you can improve.

What you can do:

  • After every win, analyze what went right, and what needs improving.
  • Set goals to continue building on the momentum you’ve achieved.
  • Learn about kaizen, the idea of continuous improvement.
  • Keep ideas fresh by bringing in new change agents and leaders for your change coalition

 

STEP EIGHT: ANCHOR THE CHANGES IN CORPORATE CULTURE


Finally, to make any change stick, it should become part of the core of your organization. Your corporate culture often determines what gets done, so the values behind your vision must show in day-to-day work.

Make continuous efforts to ensure that the change is seen in every aspect of your organization. This will help give that change a solid place in your organization’s culture.

It’s also important that your company’s leaders continue to support the change. This includes existing staff and new leaders who are brought in. If you lose the support of these people, you might end up back where you started.

What you can do:

  • Talk about progress every chance you get. Tell success stories about the change process, and repeat other stories that you hear.
  • Include the change ideals and values when hiring and training new staff.
  • Publicly recognize key members of your original change coalition, and make sure the rest of the staff – new and old – remembers their contributions.
  • Create plans to replace key leaders of change as they move on. This will help ensure that their legacy is not lost or forgotten.

Get in touch:
Our website
E-mail: info@capriconsulting.co.uk
Telephone: 0333-321-8999

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Capri to donate 10% of all proceeds to Nepal Earthquake Appeal

 

On the 25th April at 11:56 NST a 7.8 Magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, which devastated the nation and its people, killing over 7,000 people and injuring nearly 15,000. 3 million people have been left starving and in need of food, 130,000 houses have been destroyed, 24,000 people are living in makeshift shanty towns and 1000’s of children have been separated from their families.

To try and aid the millions in need and support the charity workers who travelled from around the world to help, Capri will be donating 10% of all of its training course proceeds for the whole of May to the Nepal Earthquake appeal – this includes our Agile Master Class beginning on the 23rd and our User Story Writing workshop on the 30th.

View our courses and register here.

Even if you’re not booking a course with us, please donate to the appeal anyway; people need your help. You can donate here.

Thank you.