Latest Updates

Below are updates I make on a regular basis. I hope you find them useful.




Diversity and Inclusion in Stockholm

In March, I conducted two workshops in Stockholm on Diversity and Inclusion at the request of Swedish colleagues. One group, Foreningen Gestalt i Organisation (FGO), consisted of professional organization consultants, education professionals, and persons working inside Swedish companies. The second group, Perlan Dialog och Ledarshkap AB, is the premier Organization Development Consulting Firm in Sweden. Both groups are heavily invested and practiced in Gestalt concepts and models.

First, let me say that Stockholm is a beautiful city. I am sure, more beautiful in the Spring and Summer, but captivating and interesting in March as well. The people I met and interacted with were wonderful, generous, avid learners, multilingual and understood quite well the need for Swedish culture to embrace diversity and inclusion. My time there was personally rewarding due to friends who hosted my visit and showed me a bit of what it is like to live like a Swede! I am most grateful to them.
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Leveraging Differences in Difficult Times

As I listen to the current debate in Washington between tax relief (i.e. cutting spending) and stimulating the economy (investment), I reflect on how that might be playing out in organizations in a smaller way across the Country. When budgets get tight, organizations are desperate to find ways to prosper, or just survive. In good times we hear the mantra - "people are our most important asset." Yet in difficult times the focus is on "holding the line", cost cutting, and focusing on the work to be done (task). This "cutting" is an important part of success. I suggest though that it needs to be balanced with "investment." Regardless of the economic environment, people remain an organization's most important asset, and often have many of the answers that Leaders need. Those answers emerge, when Associates at all levels feel someone is asking for their inputs. But just stating that you want Associate's ideas is not enough. The culture must support people speaking up, and leaders most create the conditions where "different" ideas (often spoken by those who are most "different" in the organization) come forward, are recognized and acknowledged. For most of us this requires more skill and competencies because the workforce is much more diverse than ever before. For organizations to be able to leverage those differences, care must be taken to create a culture of inclusion. That is the investment in our people effort that will help our companies emerge from these scary economic times stronger, more effective and more efficient.

 


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