Posts

Small Steps

Do you think you could cycle from Paris to Geneva? 503.9 km, mainly uphill, over mountains and hills, with no material reward? What about 643.7 km from Niagara to New York?

niagara to nyc logo

The former is exactly the journey a group of cyclists undertook to raise money for Small Steps charity last August, and latter is the journey they will be undertaking on the first of August this year. The causes that they’re helping to support this year include the SCSNA (Solihull Special Needs Children’s Association), which provide’s support to the children, often for free, by teaching basic skills, which we might take for granted. They also take the children swimming once a week in an old minibus on its last legs! Without such a playgroup, parents and carers would not have any rest from the hard work they have to put in just to look after these children with special needs. Small-Steps have supported the local charity since 2011.

This year they also begin their support of the Chandratilak Vidyamandir Society, which runs two Primary schools in the tribal area near Bilaspur in Chattisgarh, India. The society runs primary schooling in the tribal area near Bilaspur in Chattisgarh, India. In this school, 186 village children are getting free education until year 4. The society, which has been running on voluntary contributions alone with little support available from other sources, is in danger of closing down. Small-Steps Charity is contributing towards provision of books, school bags, shoes, raincoats, warm clothing to both students and parents, and a healthy and balanced diet. The vision is for Small Steps to establish a long term relationship with the school and help support them as they continue with the fantastic work that they do.

krishna small steps

Capri Consulting has worked closely with the charity since the beginning of its support of the Society, and we’re proud to announce that we are the official sponsors of the 2015 cycling team for their journey from Niagara to New York, after our Company Director, Krishna Thakur, was inspired by the fantastic work they do whilst on a recent business trip to India.

The Charity also holds other regular sporting fundraisers like badminton tournaments and charity walks, find out more and see how you can help here.

twitter | facebook | linkedin | website

, , ,

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

twitter | facebook | linkedin

 

 

The Capri Agile Academy

The Capri Agile Academy has now gone live.

We are very excited to announce that the Capri Agile Academy is now active, offering anyone around the globe access to a comprehensive portfolio of options to match whatever their needs may be, whether it be pertaining to Agile, Lean, Scrum, whether its a starter course or a refresher course.
The academy is run by a team of expert Agile coaches with years of extensive hands-on practical experience, and an unrivaled knowledge of specific real world problems you’re likely to face, as well as their solutions.
The academy offers 10 courses, available both online and for private classes/workshops.

To find out more, click here.

Get in touch:
T: 0333-200-7257
E: info@capriconsulting.co.uk
W: www.capriconsulting.co.uk

twitter | facebook | linkedin

The new courses…

FDP-ComputerTraining

 

Our next courses have just been announced, and are set to sell quickly:

23/05/2015 – Agile Master Class

30/05/2015 – User Story Writing 

Book either of these course now and receive a 10% discount using the code CAPTWT10. A further 10% of all booking fees will be donated to the Nepal Earthquake Appeal. Book here.

 

Capri’s Agile Masterclass is specifically designed to accelerate experienced Agile practitioners to a new level, led by Agile guru Krishna Thakur.
Using a mixture of discussion, instruction and exploration you will learn new techniques for development and testing, operations, automation and team dynamics, as well as working with legacy systems and integrating with third parties. Using these techniques you and your teams will deliver business solutions faster than they thought possible.

In a business, it is very important that the work being produced is well organised and priortised efficiently in order for it to be delivered at a high standard. Capri Consulting offers a specialist course in writing User Stories that can help you manage your work into smaller chunks to create tangible value.
User Stories helps us manage requirements. Their primary job is to define the value a user gains from the system. Since User Stories focus on the underlying Agile values of collaboration and Just-In-Time definition, it makes them a good Agile tool. User Stories are small narrative texts (2-3 sentences) in everyday/business language of the end user of a system. These capture what the user does, or needs to do as a part of his/her job function.

 

Follow us on twitter @CapriConsulting

,

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.