RoundTables for Experienced Managers can be neatly integrated into an OD intervention where the aim is more sensitive, creative and effective management. It provides a rare opportunity to bring a cohort of managers into direct learning exchange with peers from other sectors, in a way that respects their own experience while challenging them with diverse perspectives. It is especially suited to contemporary managerial work, giving practical experience of the skills and processes that enable inclusiveness and wider access to managerial authority. It also gives due prominence to systemic issues posed by climate change, localisation/ globalisation, post-colonial policies and subaltern leadership.
This may sound like just more consultancy jargon, but here's what's different!
The following is a list of core criteria:
‘Use work, not make work’: Focus on real current challenges and opportunities at work - we don't work on past case studies, instead using the 'live' challenges brought by each participant.
‘5 mindsets’: managers who consciously weave several managerial mindsets into facing their challenges are more likely to be effective, and also to be wise leaders and colleagues. The schedule and methods encourage reflective, analytical, collaborative, worldly and action mindsets.
Learning amongst peers takes place in pairs, triads, small groups and plenary, and through various activities designed specifically to widen networks, expand options for action and practice valuable managerial and leadership skills.
On-line and in person programmes make use of many ways to engage meaningful exchange amongst participants in both synchronous and asynchronous sessions.
Reflection on experience - including experience from managerial practice and group processes as well as inner, personal thoughts and intuitions - is woven through the programme.
‘50/50 rule’. Formal teaching sessions include 50% of the time on issues raised by participants, keeping them interactive and relevant.
Observing and listening are crucial to appreciating how management is accomplished. Programme activities include interviewing, observing, analysing and consulting on current managerial challenges and business opportunities.
Attention to the cognitive and emotional aspects of managerial work via ‘attentive listening’ to facts and feelings.·
Structured group discussion, analysis and interpretation of the challenges and opportunities faced by participants. Methods include CoachingOurselves, Friendly Consulting, drawing and sculpting.
If you would like to find out more about the design of the program and how to adopt these methods in your own OD practice, we run a facilitator track alongside the programme. Contact us if you think of integrating the RoundTables into a specific OD intervention.
The RT approach has been developed for many specific OD interventions such as: Localisation of decision-making in health care services; improved malaria control and elimination; integration and sustainability of HIV prevention measures; participative development and monitoring of social services for people with multiple disadvantages; start-up and growth of family-owned manufacturing business; culture-change especially amongst middle managers in large and multinational corporations; performance improvement in multi-unit software engineering operations; post-merger integration in the plastics and polyethylene sector; etc.
CoachingOurselves plays a key role in the RoundTables programme, but what is it?
Does an orchestra need a conductor? Does a class need a professor?
Well, sometimes, but not always – a lot of good work gets done by disciplined, good-natured and timely conversations amongst skilful, experienced and curious practitioners. CoachingOurselves is a process for managers to quite literally coach themselves in groups of 4-6, and to improve their day-to-day practice and understanding. You will engage in some of this work, and receive all you need to take the method and materials back into your workplace – just one of several ready- to-use tools from the course. For more details see www.coachingourselves.com.