Monday, February 10, 2014

Free Webinar for Leaders: Managing Transitions to Change - Feb. 18 at 2 pm EST

I will be the featured guest for a free webinar next week!

Managing Transitions to Change: Wisdom for Leaders on Life in the Transition Zone - In today’s competitive business world, an organization’s success depends largely upon its ability to respond to change. How we manage change and lead people through transitions has a tremendous impact on productivity, and thereby business success. Failure to recognize and respond to the needs of people in transition can cause slowdowns, roadblocks, bottlenecks, and negative attitudes, ultimately defeating the change process. This 45 minute leadership webinar touches on the Change Formula, the Change Game Plan, and three proven Approaches to Change that will lead to business success.

When: February 18, 2014

Time: 2:00 PM EST

Please register at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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Friday, February 07, 2014

On starting Facilitation Solutions

A few years ago, I was interviewed by a site called Maestro about why I started Facilitation Solutions.

Q. What inspired you to start your own company?

The idea of having my own company has been in my heart and on my mind for most of my 30+ year career. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss. Call my own shots. Have a broad portfolio of clients. Variety. Diversity.

And one more thing: I’ve always wanted to make the world a better place. As an external consultant, you can touch a wide range of organizations. Steve Jobs said, “Make a dent in the universe.” That’s what I want to do.

So the mission of my company is to facilitate learning so that individuals, teams, and organizations can improve, grow, and achieve success.

*Q. Tell us about a training experience that was particularly memorable. *

I was the Training Manager supporting a R&D unit in NJ of a global pharma-chemicals company based out of Germany. The business unit head flew to NJ for a management meeting and, to my great surprise, asked to see me. He said, “Please help them to change.”

He was talking about my client group, a community of research scientists and technicians. The change he was referring to was the need to become more customer focused. The customers were the business units in North Carolina and Texas, both of which were fed up with the lack of commercially viable new product ideas from the NJ R&D unit.

Over a number of years, the perception had formed that the R&D unit in NJ was an ivory tower, disconnected from the real needs of the revenue generating business units. What did I do?

Working in concert with local management, HR, and Quality, I developed several initiatives, including an intra-preneuring course that showed the scientists how to frame their new ideas as business proposals. As well received as this was, the real breakthrough was a series of new idea brainstorming sessions, comprised of max-mix groups where researchers met with reps from the business units.

A young researcher, during these brainstorming meetings produced many innovative ideas that excited the business units, and helped shift their perception of the NJ R&D unit. It was an experience where I learned some important lessons about changing deeply entrenched perceptions and what it takes to turn around an organization that was headed for the chopping block.

Q. If you could make a list with the top 5 things that it takes to turn an organization around, what would they be?

1. A sense of urgency

2. A vision for the change (i.e. the desired end state)

3. A roadmap to get there, with clear roles, resources, and metrics

4. Lots of opportunities for involvement so that those affected by the change have a voice into the process

5. Unrelenting drum-beat and high visibility_

Q. What is the most challenging thing about creating cultural change in an organization?

Making it real and lasting.

By real, I mean more than just a fad, a slogan, or a new set of motivational posters. Real cultural change is behavioral. At the end of the day, the question is: Are we doing things differently?

By lasting, I mean institutionalizing the change, anchoring it (as John Kotter says) so that you can “hold the gains” and not slip back to the way we used to do things.

Q. What is the first question you ask the leaders of the business that requested your help?

Often the first question is “How can I help you?” which brings out their thinking on what the need(s) may be in their organization.

At some point, I will ask about the problems they are trying to solve; the skills they are trying to build in their people; the changes they are trying to drive in their business; and the results they hope to achieve with my help.

Posted by Terrence Seamon on Friday February 7, 2014

Thursday, February 06, 2014

What does OD mean to you?

A couple years ago, Rowena Morais, the editor of HR Matters, asked me for my input on the field of Organization Development. She was conducting a global survey of OD practitioners on the state of OD.

I was asked, What is OD? What does OD mean to you – what are the things that you believe the person tasked with this role should look to manage and resolve?

Here's what I said.

At its essence, OD is about change. The person tasked with an OD role is an agent of change. The intent of organisational change is to improve the operating effectiveness of some part of the organisational system (or the whole system), improve the results, and improve the capabilities of the organisation.

Whether the projects address such diverse topics as leadership development, succession planning, merger integration, diversity, culture change, strategic planning, or performance management, the common denominator is change. Therefore, the effective OD practitioner is ever mindful of the change goal, understands the nature of organisational change, and utilises change models.

The effective OD practitioner is a consultant who manages OD projects by managing expectations with sponsors and clients, as well as those affected by the change, and other key stakeholders such as Human Resources. Because change causes uncertainty, stress, and even conflict in the organisation, the effective OD practitioner is ready to help facilitate the conversations needed to help people navigate their transitions to change.

As Principal and Senior Consultant with Facilitation Solutions, Terrence Seamon brings more than 25 years of extensive experience. His main practice areas are leadership development coaching and training and organisational development facilitation.

Terrence designs and delivers customised solutions to diverse clients in sectors such as Insurance, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Food, IT, Retail, Consumer, Non-Profit and Executive Education. Terrence works with executives, professionals and teams, coaching them on all aspects of organisational effectiveness, including leadership, culture, communication, and employee engagement. Terrence is a highly creative business leader with signature strengths in client-focused design and facilitation. His clients have praised him for his attentive focus on needs, as well as his ability to custom tailor an intervention that drives results for the business.

Posted on Thursday February 6, 2014

Monday, February 03, 2014

Be A Small Leader

U.S. President John Quincy Adams once said, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."

Now there is a model of leadership that is well within reach of the ordinary person.

American folk music legend Pete Seeger died a few days ago at age 94. Not only had he helped pioneer the folk music movement of the 1960's, he was a social activist as well, whose efforts helped clean up the Hudson River.

In an interview, Seeger was asked how he feels about America's future. He said that he was optimistic.

But he added "Be wary of great leaders. Hope that there are many, many small leaders."

In his sermon this morning, my pastor Fr. Doug spoke about this point that Seeger made. We often put our faith in Great Leaders only to end up disappointed and demotivated by their lack of real change. We pin our hopes on them...and then they let us down.

Instead of hoping that Great Leaders will do things for us, we should become Small Leaders. Small Leaders, like my friend John Fugazzie, the founder and director of Neighbors Helping Neighbors in northern New Jersey, are ordinary citizens who see a need and decide to get involved. They step up and do something about it.

Small Leaders are not in it for the glory. They are in it for the positive effect that they want to have in people's lives.

Small Leaders act locally while thinking globally. They look at the big intractable problems that we face and, rather than being paralyzed, they take action.

Where can you be a Small leader this year? What can you do in your town or community to help others? What can you do to lift up someone who is struggling?

Are there people who are out of work in your area? Do you have a chapter of Neighbors Helping Neighbors in your local public library? Why not start one?

Posted on Terrence Seamon on Monday February 3, 2014