Sustainable transformations drive good business results. What happens on the inside will always find a way out. When leaders increase their own skills, work more effectively with their colleagues, initiate and navigate disruptive organizational change competently, and resolve relational conflict, they see hard numbers move. They experience increases in efficiency, productivity, profit, innovation, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement.
What happened over the next year not only showed me that I was wrong but introduced me to a powerful, culture-shifting tool Chip calls Run to the Fire.
By teaching us to address real workplace issues head-on instead of avoiding them and hoping they will go away Chip moved a divisive group to an honest team. He did this one meeting at a time, with clear tools to use and expectations for the next. Most importantly, he held us accountable and kept directing us back to building trust and addressing real issues.
Nine months into this training I took over as the Executive Director of the Indianapolis Art Center. The Leadership Team continued in stride and with Chip completed our training. I must add that by this point we were all at a relatively high trust level so the transition was relatively smooth. I also had the benefit of six one-on-one coaching sessions with Chip after taking this new role allowing me his leadership insight and coaching.
Four months isn’t a long time. But in the four months since we have completed Chip’s Run to the Fire coaching I have made it a priority and begun to take action to instill his practices into our workplace culture.
I have seen individuals who would not speak to one another six months ago become active teammates working together with a healthy balance of offers and requests.
I have seen individuals in leadership roles exhibit managerial courage for the first time and grow from the experience.
I have seen this process work and would recommend it for any team looking to build trust and reap the benefits increased productivity brings.
Chip and Kris facilitated the development and implementation of Key Message workshops. These workshops provided a safe environment for leaders and staff to learn the Key Messages and to process through their concerns. Chip and Kris provided engaging leadership to the workshop participants, creating a safe space for them. As a result, we saw a significant lift in the confidence, unity, and commitment of our frontline leaders, which led to a surprisingly smooth launch of the new system.
Also of high value to us was the “RACI” Decision Rights tool that Chip and Kris introduced. Previously, we needed all 15 people in the room to agree on a course of action. Now, we still benefit from the opposing viewpoints of key stakeholders, but we don’t get paralyzed by conflict. We make better and quicker decisions, because of the clarity and accountability built into our decision-making processes.
I’m grateful for the way Chip Neidigh and Kris Taylor respectfully challenged our thinking. Their outsider perspectives and objective evaluation of our growth opportunities were a breath of fresh air. They understand how to help leaders drive deeper engagement and commitment during organizational change. I recommend [Kairos] to all leaders who want to deepen their capability to drive healthy change.
It became abundantly apparent in a few short weeks that we were having major breakdowns in relationships between the involved departments along with the development of major turf battles for influence, decision-making, and work assignments. We, in HealthNet administration, became very concerned that all of our efforts to implement some very drastic changes could easily be derailed by this fractious, and increasingly hostile environment that was evolving between the staff we were depending on to make it happen for us.
We contracted with Chip Neidigh to assist us in assessing the situation and introducing strategies to improve the working relationships between individuals and departments. Following is what I consider to have been the really effective strategies that Chip used to turn our difficult situation around and get us going in the right direction:
1. He consulted with each individual involved to get their opinion of what was wrong. 2. He developed strategies for improvement that he consulted with senior management on and made changes based on our suggestions and knowledge of the situation. 3. He met with the entire group on as many occasions as needed to get past the hurts of the past and start focusing on a future of working together in a trustful environment. 4. Chip was always well prepared for our group meetings with a plan, but if the group started to take solution-oriented directions that were not in Chips plan he fluidly adapted to an exploration of where the staff suggestions were going. 5. He kept things on track and made sure we were productive and never let a meeting disintegrate. 6. Our meetings were always very productive and I never felt that we wasted any time.
This is certainly a very abbreviated description of the work that Chip did with our group, but the fact is that he helped us get to a point where our staff was able to work together in a professional manner and deal with their turf issues in a productive manner. Chip helped the group identify a process for making decisions, which was very much absent prior to his involvement. He has continued with us by providing coaching on an individual level as needed to help our staff continue to grow a more trusting relationship.
I highly recommend Chip’s services to any organization that is planning to go through a big and stressful change in business practice, or any organization who might be experiencing a breakdown in workplace relationships. I think he understands the impact(s) of stress produced by change better than anyone I have met. He is also very effective in creatively planning solutions that are staff-centered flexible.
Chip and his team initially met with our team to define our current processes and to understand our business sector. Once the background research was completed [Kairos] was appropriately diligent to keep our team on task to reach a successful outcome. The processes that were developed have been critical to our current success and ability to compete within our marketplace.
Chip and his team provided ongoing progress updates and helpful insight as to how to coach our team to embrace the changes. I felt that the [Kairos] organization was capable and flexible enough to adjust to the needs of my organization outcome while providing helpful insight as we navigated through a very challenging adjustment.
Last but not least, I grew to have a deep respect for Chip as the project unexpectedly went over budget and he ethically honored our business agreement and worked with us to reach a mutually agreeable economic result. I would highly recommend his organization as they provide our company with strong conceptual insight and value, which has helped us establish a solid foundation for our future.
The Birkman method involved a very simple, low-commitment questionnaire. I was astounded at both the amount of information gleaned, and the accuracy of that information. The graphic report was filled with a wealth of insight, so much so that I was confused until Chip explained it to me. Once my coaching sessions with Chip began, I saw a very dynamic difference between this assessment and others I had used. Rather than taking a snapshot of the personality, Birkman exposes and explains various elements of the subject and then explains how these different elements interact with each other.
The coaching sessions took me from a level of curious interest in the test itself to one of much deeper personal revelation. I attribute several very positive changes in my career and in my personal life to the insight I’ve gained from the Birkman method, but even more so from my coaching sessions with Chip.
Chip brought a level of business expertise not present in our boardroom. As an independent third party, his insight allowed for more objective discussions with the board. Chip helped us step back from the project and gain a clearer understanding of our goals, expectations and timeline. One of the biggest assets Chip brings is his keen insight and ability to comprehend the thought processes of those around him. We, as a board, were then better able to discern what our objectives were in this project. Our efforts were more focused and expectations more realistic. Chip also kept the project moving forward with clear timelines for completion of work. He is a pleasure to work with and someone I consider a friend. We will not hesitate to utilize Chip again for future projects.