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Positive Change Circle

Are you part of a Positive Change Circle?

  • 14 June 2018
  • Posted by Marcella Bremer

Seventeen consultants and leaders from four continents spent three days together in a countryside venue on a riverbank. The May 2018 Culture Change Leadership Workshop was intense. The topics: organizational culture, organizational change, the Competing Values Framework and the OCAI, positive leadership, positive culture, change circles, and interaction interventions.

Transactional or Transformational

We combined the CVF and OCAI with the field of Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS), as described in my Positive Culture Book. We can help organizations develop more positive and productive cultures if we apply positive leadership. If consultants are Positive Agents the results of their consulting projects can be spectacular and transformational (instead of transactional). What’s more: this goes for leaders and employees in organizations as well.

You are responsible, too. Every member of the organization contributes to the culture (starting with your direct team) and you can start working toward a positive culture. The days of waiting and blaming the top of the organization are over. We can take charge of our own workplaces and become “positive agents”. We can be a force for good in any large corporation. We can start small - and, hopefully, “go viral”. We might start a movement of Change Circles, working toward a positive culture with the OCAI tool and the Competing Values Framework.

Positive Agents

Positive Agents embody these ideas:

  • I choose positivity, with a focus on possibilities. I look to find the positive potential in a situation or a person and amplify what is already working well.
  • I develop and apply kindness and compassion - I aim to bring my best self forward.
  • I am responsible for my actions and interactions. What I do, matters. 
  • I make a difference without needing permission or resources from others.
  • I empower myself and engage with others to work on positive change.
  • I aim to be the change I wish to see.
  • Every positive interaction contributes to a workplace where people can thrive.

The colleagues who attended the workshop are such positive agents. It is so inspiring and energizing to see a new wave of transformational consultants and leaders emerge. They are such an important source of positive energy and change in organizations. That’s not just happy-bunny talk, by the way. Research shows that positive cultures lead to an outstanding performance as well… There’s the business case!

The expertise in the workshop room was awesome. That’s why I chose a very interactive approach, engaging participants in the program and consulting with each other. We were eager to learn and share, trust was easily built and the learning space multiplied the workshop outcome for all of us.

Positive workshop circle

We covered the basics of Culture, the Competing Values Framework, and Positive Leadership. But we also went much further: we learned from actual cases and developed solutions, we reflected on our own consulting and leading, and we dared to be authentic, vulnerable, and, thus, powerful.

Here's how some participants experienced the workshop:

  • This is a transformative workshop equipping you to exert the leadership qualities that are now required.
  • Totally recommended. Great balance between practice and knowledge. 
  • This workshop is a fabulous way to immerse yourself in culture, change, and positive leadership and draw on collective wisdom by engaging with others An organization survives through its people. So, understanding culture is essential for all leaders. This workshop gets you there.
  • This workshop brings together a wealth of experienced professionals from all over the world who share their stories and we all learn from each other.
  • Inspiring, thought-provoking, educational.

Tap into the Collective

That’s awesome but what struck me (again) is that both leading and facilitating change is hard work and that we tend to do it alone. In the process of serving our clients or employees, we often forget to take care of ourselves. It’s not just that we work too hard, with a focus on action and little time for rest and reflection. It’s that we often forget that we are social animals who need to receive support as well as give it to others. We tend to forget that we need to be part of a circle, not outside of it: in our isolated position of leader, consultant, supervisor, or the “go-to person” of a team.

Many leaders, consultants and supportive co-workers “hold the space” for others - but they don’t always receive the same support as they give. They see themselves as separate from the group they are serving. That group sees them as different, separate, the expert, the helper.

Many leaders and consultants may be working from an individualistic state of mind and forget to tap into the collective. A great group can be a source of energy and ideas. A group is much wiser than you, all by yourself.

We probably know, but do we apply it? Often, we don’t. Or, not enough. Nah, too busy. Nah, too vulnerable to ask for support or ideas. Nah, what if they think I can’t handle my position? What if they don’t respect me anymore? Nah, I know more than they do - I know best….

You’re not alone

But what if we did connect (more) with the group we’re serving? Or, what if we organized more support for ourselves outside this group - and get it from colleagues, friends, mentors, family? We’d have more energy, more belonging, more ideas, more support, and probably better results at work.

  • Are you connecting with enough helpful others?
  • If you shoulder your workload alone, who could be part of your support circle?
  • Which people could help you with a fresh flow of energy and ideas?

Do you want to join a positive change circle? You might want to check out my next open workshops. I’m looking forward to connecting with more fellow consultants and leaders! You’re not alone. Let’s develop more positive organizations.

© Marcella Bremer, 2018. All rights reserved.