Since its inception, under the thought leadership and guidance of the Taylors, the Accelerated Solutions Environment (ASE) has always been about enabling organisations through systemic change. The principle of how the ASE enable businesses to go through transition and transformation remains at the core of who we are.
Much of the need for the ASE originated from a change business landscape; a paradigm shift in the model of consulting; a desire and demand for a new way of working that would accelerate strategic decision-making; and the ability to mobilise organisations for change.
We’re seeing this again now, for very different reasons. The move to remote working is highlighting both the huge benefits and of course the limitations of virtual interactions. It is possible to work virtually, but that’s not the same as collaborating: to build human relationships through shared experience that can form the basis for real and lasting change. Yet at the same time if we have learnt one thing over the last few weeks, it is that humans have the capacity to adapt and change at the most staggering rate!
So how do we progress in this new paradigm? How do we (re)establish our confidence in our ability to truly collaborate in this new environment? Well I believe some things remain constant, some things we will need to adapt, and some things will simply need to change.
For us this paradigm has challenged us to think differently, to redesign the way we work and the way we deliver. At the same time, we have found many of the principles and fundamentals of the support we offer are more important than ever. Here are just a few:
- Facilitation is key. Facilitation for us has always been about making simple, making easy. Removing the barriers that prevent people making decisions. This remains constant, albeit in a different, technical environment. We still need to create an environment that enables the right conversation to happen, that people can feel comfortable in. This needs to be supported, so participants can focus on the work. I believe as people become more accustomed, technology can be seen as an accelerator not an inhibitor, but the experience still needs to be good.
- Learning still comes in many forms. We need to remember that as individuals and communities we have different learning styles. We need to be able to accommodate these in an online world. We can still use visual facilitation and graphics, allow the sharing of information in multiple format. Online doesn’t have to equal PowerPoint!
- True collaboration is a science and an art. Whether designing a collaborative event or collaborative work, the design needs to be logical, and more so online as the group need you to guide them through the process. But the art remains, of how you construct your interactions, conversations and teams; how you provide insight and knowledge at the right time to stimulate the right conversations; and how we can bring creativity to the process and experience. Simple things like allowing teams to work offline with paper and pencil, and then submit their work, can be liberating, rewarding and humanising all at the same time.
- Leaders still need the support, rigour and challenge that we bring. We have always focussed our energy on helping leaders frame their challenge, help them lead their teams to design solutions, and to be bold in allowing ideas to emerge that will challenge the norm. Never has this been more important. This is the most exciting and rewarding work we can do.
So, in summary, you can be bold at this time; have confidence that the plans you had to transform your business can be sustained; and that there is a capability out there who can help galvanise your business to be successful in the times ahead.