February 2013: 7 Steps to Renew Your Organization


In this Issue

Opening Remarks

In these constantly-changing times, organizations find themselves facing the questions: Are we still relevant? Are our resources being used in the best way to further our mission? Senior Consultants Tom and John Reid describe a process that can help organizations answer those questions and re-invent themselves for a more effective and vital future.

At The Reid Group, we have a passion for helping leaders and organizations transform their challenges into opportunities to create a better world. One of the ways we do that is through this e-letter, Transforming Challenges. Is there someone you know who could benefit from receiving it? Forward this edition to them and encourage them to subscribe for themselves. They’ll thank you—and so do we!

The Reid Group News

  • Maureen Gallagher and John Reid have begun their work with the Sinsinawa Dominicans on a 10-year plan to be completed by 2014.
  • Tom Reid will facilitate a staff retreat in Victoria, B.C. for two Catholic elementary schools that are merging. The retreat is the next step in the process of bringing the staffs together.
  • The Sisters of Humility have renewed their contract with The Reid Group and Maureen Gallagher will facilitate upcoming chapter meetings as they move forward to re-imagine their future.
  • Maureen has also signed a third contract with the Sisters of Charity of New York for a planning process.

So as you look at your individual or organizational future, what are your challenges? Could you benefit from skilled support? Give us a call at 206-432-3565 or send us ane-mail to start transforming those challenges into opportunities.

Quotes for Inspiration and Action

The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.
Marcel Pagnol

Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.
Maria Robinson

Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm.

Feature Focus

7 Steps to Reinvent Your Organization

ImageTom Reid, Senior Consultant,
The Reid Group

John Reid, Senior Consultant
The Reid Group

“Are we allocating job responsibilities appropriately among our staff? Are we organized in the best way to further our mission and deal with changing needs and priorities?”

john reidThese questions from a bishop of a medium-sized Catholic diocese calling us for consultation echo those of many organizational leaders. With all the change we all experience today, a central question for organizations is: how do we re-invent ourselves? How do we focus on our mission while adapting to a new environment of demographics, social media, and more?

One proven way for leaders to help their organizations reinvent themselves (in the best sense of the word) is through an organizational assessment. At The Reid Group, we have conducted organizational assessments with a number of organizations, with positive results. The process we designed in collaboration with this Catholic bishop can be adapted for use in many organizations:

1. A conversation with the lead executive and his/her core team of advisors to clarify outcomes for the assessment and the key issues to be addressed.
2. Individual and focus group interviews with selected shareholders throughout the organization, including a representative cross-section of the organization.
3. Identifying a preliminary set of recommendations based on the desired outcomes, key issues and the interviews. These recommendations are reviewed by a Futuring Team (10-15 women and men invited by the lead executive to contribute to the project).
4. Drafting the recommendations with a rationale and timeline to be shared with all shareholders for feedback.
5. Based on the feedback, creating a final draft of the recommendations for review and amendment by the Futuring Team.
6. The lead executive decides on the recommendations and develops a specific action plan for immediate, short- and long-term actions over three to five years.
7. Broad-based communication of the results of the assessment throughout the organization and to the public with an explanation of the changes and an invitation to all shareholders to contribute to a new chapter in the life of the organization.

“The future is ours to plan,” commented one participant in this diocesan assessment. “I truly believe and trust that the straight talk will effect change that builds a stronger Diocesan faith community with a more unified sense of our mission. That gives me hope!”

With an interactive, participatory process, your organization can build the excitement and ownership that is necessary for you to move into a new future with confidence.


fifth-discipline-webThe Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization
Peter Senge

In The Fifth Discipline, Senge describes how companies can rid themselves of the learning “disabilities” that threaten their productivity and success by adopting the strategies of learning organizations-ones in which new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, collective aspiration is set free, and people are continually learning how to create results they truly desire.

reframingwebReframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership
Lee G. Bolman, Terrence Deal

First published in 1984, Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal’s best-selling book has become a classic in the field. Its four-frame model examines organizations as factories, families, jungles, and theaters or temples:

  • The Structural Frame: how to organize and structure groups and teams to get results
  • The Human Resource Frame: how to tailor organizations to satisfy human needs, improve human resource management, and build positive interpersonal and group dynamics
  • The Political Frame: how to cope with power and conflict, build coalitions, hone political skills, and deal with internal and external politics
  • The Symbolic Frame: how to shape a culture that gives purpose and meaning to work, stage organizational drama for internal and external audiences, and build team spirit through ritual, ceremony, and story.

Feature 2

Book Review:  Blessings for Leaders

l-roywebReviewed by Lucien Roy, Senior Consultant
The Reid Group

Dan Ebener is convinced that we can practice our faith while facing the challenges of organizational life. In developing this conviction he draws on the wisdom of the psalms, proverbs and prophets as Jesus has distilled it in the eight blessings or beatitudes presented in the sermon on the mount. This marvelous resource for faith-based leaders is invitingly easy to use and rewardingly challenging. Working within the framework of the beatitudes, Evener deftly weaves together the transformative insights of Jesus and the proven skills of contemporary corporate practice. This integrated approach is demonstrated by numerous examples drawn from the experience of the author.

The style is concise and compressed. I found it helpful to read a chapter at a time and to spend time in reflecting on my own experience of working with teams and organizations. Fleshing out with narrative and imagination the principles presented here helped to grasp why this approach to leadership is so transformative.

I recommend Blessings for Leaders for three reasons. The integration of spiritual insights with demonstrated skills is a rich and rare blend of theory and practice. The author’s experience with a range of situations and organizations confirms the broad application of this approach to leadership. The chapter on peacemakers is in itself a marvelous resource for any leader ready to engage the conflicts and tensions that inevitably arise.

Special offer:  Through March 31, you can order Blessings for Leaders for a 20% discount at http://www.litpress.org/Blessings/.


The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning

Think about what your organization could do if the process of planning met the inevitability of change head-on—and it resulted in significant success.

Organizations large and small, religious and secular, for-profit and not-for-profit, successful and unsuccessful, go through change. John Reid and Maureen Gallagher of the Reid Group have been instrumental in helping many groups discover the power of Prophetic Planning. This book presents a complete overview with detailed information that any organization will find useful in understanding how to plan for change.

The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning, and its companion CD are now available from Liguori Publications as well as from Amazon.com.


And that’s it for this month. Look for Transforming Challenges next month–and until then, have a good day and a great week.
Kathy Johnson, Editor
Transforming Challenges
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