November 2012: 5 Tips for Renewing Your Organization

In this Issue

Opening Remarks

Does your organization feel stuck in a rut? Almost every organization experiences that feeling at some time. This month, Senior Consultant John Reid gives you 5 tips for getting your organization out of the rut and back in the running.

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

  • Mercy Health Systems in Cincinnati, OH has hired The Reid Group for an executive search for a Vice President for Mission and Community Outreach. Lucien Roy will be the consultant for this search.
  • Tom Reid will be working in the Diocese of Victoria, BC with two Catholic schools that are scheduled to merge. Tom will work with the two school councils, including facilitating a retreat, as they move toward merger.
  • The Reid Group has been hired by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange for two executive searches: a Senior Vice President for Mission Integration at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, CA and a Vice President for Mission Integration at Covenant Health in Lubbock, TX.
  • The Diocese of Saginaw, MI has contracted with The Reid Group for assistance with implementation of the parish reorganization plan, “Planning Tomorrow’s Parishes,” recently adopted in the diocese.
  • The Reid Group has a new search contract for a Senior Vice President for Mission Integration position with St. John Providence in Detroit, MI.
  • In continuing work with the Tacoma Dominicans, Tom Reid will provide ongoing consultation on the celebration of the community’s 125th anniversary and Tom and Maureen Gallagher will facilitate a winter retreat in preparation for the June 2013 Assembly.

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

Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.
Sandra Carey

[We] cannot discover new oceans unless [we have] the courage to lose sight of the shore.
Andre Gide

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

Neither comprehension nor learning can take place in an atmosphere of anxiety.
Rose Kennedy

Feature Focus

5 Tips for Renewing Your Organization


John Reid, Senior Consultant,
The Reid Group

The mission of The Reid Group is to help leaders and organizations transform challenges into opportunities to create a better world. One of the most important challenges every leader faces is resisting the temptation to stay at status quo and embrace an ongoing renewal process where relationships, systems, and outcomes are all strengthened through processes of renewal and refreshment.

You can lead your organization in an ongoing renewal process by following these five “easy steps:”

Care and nurture of staff
This is critical because staff—executive or support—represent the heartbeat of your organization. Sometimes in the rush of day-to-day work, the contributions and needs of staff members can be overlooked. Take time for team-building activities; shared play away from the office, thank-you dinners or celebrations marking significant milestones can strengthen relationships and improve morale and performance. Any investment in building a strong staff always pays dividends.

Update your organization’s vision and mission
We’re all tempted to relegate the organization’s mission and vision statements to wall-hangings that remind people of past planning processes. As a leader, you have the opportunity to make these statements real and practical by integrating them into the ongoing life of your organization. For instance, dedicate one month to a focus on vision and mission, and take the first 20 minutes of each meeting to reflect on why your organization exists and where it is headed.

In succeeding months, focus on your six to eight core values in this reflection time. Values are the guiding principles of conduct. Reflecting on them makes them more relevant and increases understanding and acceptance. These initiatives help renew your organization’s collective voice.

Address conflicts while they are still small
Conflict in the workplace is inevitable but many of us are tempted to ignore them, especially if we consider them petty, and hope they’ll go away.

One organization we’ve worked with uses the images of pebble, rock and boulder to remind the staff that conflicts addressed at the pebble level are more easily handled than rocks or boulders. Approaches to conflict management emphasizing “win-win” outcomes—making good decisions and respecting individuals—are critical to the health and vitality of your organization.

Sharing the work load
Too often, leaders get in the habit of saying yes to more responsibilities and fail to delegate appropriate tasks to gifted colleagues. But “many hands make light work” is true in every organization. You might get stuck because you think if you don’t do it, it won’t get done right. Through effective coaching and mentoring, major work responsibilities can be shared without compromising high performance.

Think outside the box
Sometimes even very successful organizations can get in a rut of doing the same things over and over. After all, they work and yield positive results. While this is okay, the reality is that people change as do their needs. The most effective organizations are those that name changing needs, identify new approaches to meet those needs, and model a both/and spirit in the organization: both focus on the tried and true and innovate with new approaches that meet emerging needs.

These are five steps we’ve learned from working with organizations over the years. What are your strategies for renewing your organization?


mininggroupgoldMining Group Gold, Third Edition: How to Cash in on the Collaborative Brain Power of a Team for Innovation and Results
Thomas Kayser

If two heads are better than one, how about a team of heads? An effective team can be more innovative than an individual. But how do you get there? While it is true that building and managing a strong, productive team is difficult, Mining Group Gold gives you a set of proven tools, techniques and processes that you must use and practice at all levels of your organization to build and maintain strong, collaborative teams.

Based on 30 years of research and applied work with teams and organizational development by the author, this updated classical guide–now in its highly revised 3rd Edition–shows you how to how to plan, start-up, facilitate, and close-out efficient and effective collaborative meetings.

goodtogreatGood to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t
Jim Collins

This worthwhile effort explores the way good organizations can be turned into ones that produce great, sustained results. To find the keys to greatness, Collins’s 21-person research team (at his management research firm) read and coded 6,000 articles, generated more than 2,000 pages of interview transcripts and created 384 megabytes of computer data in a five-year project. That Collins is able to distill the findings into a cogent, well-argued and instructive guide is a testament to his writing skills. After establishing a definition of a good-to-great transition that involves a 10-year fallow period followed by 15 years of increased profits, Collins’s crew combed through every company that has made the Fortune 500 (approximately 1,400) and found 11 that met their criteria, including Walgreens, Kimberly Clark and Circuit City. At the heart of the findings about these companies’ stellar successes is what Collins calls the Hedgehog Concept, a product or service that leads a company to outshine all worldwide competitors, that drives a company’s economic engine and that a company is passionate about. While the companies that achieved greatness were all in different industries, each engaged in versions of Collins’s strategies. While some of the overall findings are counterintuitive (e.g., the most effective leaders are humble and strong-willed rather than outgoing), many of Collins’s perspectives on running a business are amazingly simple and commonsense.

Feature 2

A New Kind of Interview for Searches

When you are conducting a search, how do you handle the candidate interviews?

In the traditional approach usually used, the candidates never meet. They come in for their interviews on different days or different weeks. It can be quite a challenge to find interview teams that can meet such a demanding schedule. As one of our clients told us, “When the interviews are a week apart, by the time I get to the third one, I’ve forgotten the first—there must be a better way.”

We have found a different approach that seems to work better. The interviews are all conducted on the same day and the candidates meet face to face. For this to be successful, however, there are several things that need to be in place:

  • The candidates are told in advance that they will meet other finalists.
  • A host is assigned to greet candidates individually and show them to a space they can collect their thoughts.
  • If there are three candidates, there are three interview teams of three-five members so each candidate meets each interview team in a revolving order.
  • The candidates receive the questions in advance so they can prepare and focus on the “heart of the matter” in the interview.
  • Once the interviews are over, the candidates are thanked and told they will be contacted within a few days.
    The interview teams meet and rank the candidates.
  • The hiring officer reviews the recommendations from the teams, consults with them and decides on the finalist.
  • The hiring officer enters into negotiations with the chosen candidate.
  • After the candidate accepts the position, the other finalist are notified.
  • The organization puts in place a detailed orientation plan to ensure a successful start for the new employee.


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


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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