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Who’s got your back?

Posted on Friday, April 26th, 2019

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Who's got your back

A few weeks ago, I was facilitating a session at our EAHAE conference in Kazakhstan. Part-way through the session, one of the stunning horses (a Freesian mare) came and stood at my back. This is her in the photo above.

When she arrived at my back, you can see she’s stood right at my right side and looking over my shoulder. I had such a strong felt sense of support, like a strength behind me that was fully available for me – allowing me to stay grounded and in my own strength.

It got me thinking about the question: “When we are facilitating, who has got our back?”

‘Change’ has become more of an ongoing condition of survival

A lot of my work is providing coaching and development for Internal Change Agents. Having had Change Agent roles myself, in a variety of organisations, I know this requires a high degree of self-sufficiency and resilience.

Change has shifted from being a single event in an organisation’s history that can be discretely managed, to more of a dynamic and ongoing condition of survival.

It is vital, therefore, for organisations to build systemic change leadership capacity and capabilities that are fit for purpose, within the ecosystem.

Some things that you can do, to ensure you’re feeling resourced

Lean into your roots and remind yourself of:
• Where you have come from
• The sacrifices you and others have made to get you here
• All of the training, education, and development you have undertaken

Resource Yourself
• Take time to stay centred/regain your ‘centre’ – this will look different for each of us and doesn’t have to be complicated – it can be as simple as taking some conscious breaths before a session, introducing mindfulness as a daily routine or simply taking a walk in nature
• Find people you can trust to talk through AND work through your approach within a safe environment. From a systemic perspective we call this scenario testing – where you can create a ‘living map’ of the system you are working with and sense check the potential impacts of your proposed approach
• Be clear on your own purpose – your bigger why of doing this work

Be clear on the wider context:
• Ensure there is a clear sense of purpose –i.e. the bigger why of the change process and of the organisation as a whole. This will help orient the whole system AND create a sense of belonging for those within it

When navigating the various work streams of change, it may be helpful to adopt our ‘SHARE MODEL’, which embraces systemic principles and provides a recommended sequence to the change approach:

Transformation Agency, SHARE model

We provide bespoke and open programmes to develop systemic expertise for Internal Change Agents. You can find out more about our one day F-A-S-T Programme (Facilitating and Activating Systemic Transformation) here. Please do get in touch if you’d like to have a conversation – we’d be delighted to hear from you.

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Tess (O’Kane) Cope is the founder of The Transformation Agency and has extensive experience within organisational and personal development across both the private and public sectors – working within global and UK based organisations at Board level – media, distribution, financial services and healthcare sectors. She works with senior management teams and HR leaders across a range of diverse organisations and specialises in Cultural Transformation, Leadership Development, and Executive Coaching. She is a qualified practitioner of a range of diagnostics, psychometrics and integral methodologies which she applies for whole system sustainable change with clients.

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