Achieve Your Goals Through Action
Pelerei uses many techniques and approaches to helping clients – you – achieve your goals. They are all designed to help you focus on what works, possible solutions, strengths that can be leveraged, and knowledge that can be harnessed. Every intervention is custom designed for your needs. While I list several techniques here, the design that we present to you talks about how it will address your needs. However, some clients like to know what might be used. And in the philosophy of helping you learn how to help yourself, here are some of the main areas from which we draw.
Knowledge Management has many definitions. The one that seems to be understood most easily is to define it as providing access, creating an environment of sharing, and supporting a willingness to learn the information and knowledge needed to accomplish and improve the work. Pelerei has helped many organizations create KM as part of their business strategies.
Examples: Knowledge Retention is a major concern for any organization concerned about the loss of essential knowledge by those leaving the organization through RIFs or retirements. Pelerei was asked to assist in designing the Knowledge Retention offering for one of the 'Big Four' firms. This design has become a consistently successful offering for the last three years.
In another KM project, a major international agency asked Pelerei to design their knowledge management course for delivery around the world to its clients. Having done so, Pelerei was invited to teach the maiden offering of the course. At its conclusion, the design was found to be robust and effective. It became the basis of future KM courses offered by this agency.
Today's problems are complex. Perhaps they always were, but today, we are recognizing the complex nature of unintended consequences in an interdependent world. Such problems call for teams of people who are acting in alignment – as if they are one. Bringing a group together is the easy part. Helping them build the relationships among and between them that forms them into a cohesive entity is the greater challenge. Yet, once accomplished, the team is so much more effective than the 'sum of the parts'. Pelerei's work with teams begins with helping them find and build the relationships that take the individuals in the team and form them into a strong network.
Example: Pelerei was asked to work with a group to develop an action plan to address gender issues within the organization. The members of the group had differing opinions about what those issues might be and whether they existed at all. In addition to gathering lots of information about the issue, the more important task for Pelerei was to help the group come to value the differences within itself so that by listening to each other they could come together with a single voice. Over a period of a year, differences had been expressed and discussed; and the group formed into a strong, cohesive unit. The action plan proposed by this group and accepted by management has had an extreme, positive impact on the organization to this day.
Group work is difficult at best. When the group has to deal with hard problems that threaten some or all of its members, help is often needed to assure that everyone is heard. Specific processes, as well as group management skills, are called for. Pelerei has worked with both large and small groups, applying the processes that match the type of problem and the size of the group.
Example: Pelerei designed and facilitated a work session for a sub-group of staff who desired to have a separate session for themselves while the rest of the department was in retreat. Within two hours, the group both better understood their own goals and had designed a way to bring it to the larger group for definition of actions. Pelerei turned the podium over to the sub-group in the full session so that their representatives could present their request. The entire department grasped the need and approach, spent the next hour working on it in small groups, and developed actions for each of the goals. Everyone went away pleased with the results.
Three units were scheduled to be merged in an upcoming reorganization. The members of these units knew each other, but they had never worked together before. It had to happen, and it had to happen before the new director took over. Pelerei was brought in to design and facilitate a one day retreat where the staff of the three units could explore what it meant to work as one. Pelerei designed the day with every minute accounted for but not noticeable by the participants that it was so carefully choreographed. The morning was dedicated to laying out their capabilities. The afternoon was designed around creating a future story for themselves. By the end of the day, all members were elated with the results. They loved their story of the future. It was so powerful that in less than a month, when the new director arrived, the group had already coalesced and achieved several of the pieces of their vision of the future. The full story can be found here.
Built around the concept that building on what works is more effective in achieving desired results than trying to solve problems, Appreciative Inquiry is a philosophy as much as a process. Pelerei uses the principles of Appreciative Inquiry in all of its activities, and especially in all of its organizational development work. Using these principles, Pelerei interventions only add to the client's ability to achieve goals.
Example: working with all of the staff of a key business unit within a large organization, Pelerei facilitated a two-day retreat in which the group refined the mission for the business unit so that the group would be ready to present the ideas to an incoming management team. The group members completed their task and found themselves fully energized to present and defend what they had done. After a few months, the new manager of the unit expressed her pleasure in the direction of the group and of working with such an energized team.
Diversity programs are all about helping people see their hidden biases and learn how to translate that knowledge into actions that overcome those biases, thus, releasing the targets of the bias to full membership in the organization. Pelerei has worked with more than 20 organizations examining the issues of women and minorities in the workplace and helping organizations develop action plans to address them. This work was done often within international organizations that have no legal compulsion to deal with such issues.
Example: Working in an international organization, Pelerei assisted by researching the impact and perceptions of those who were citizens of countries considered not "Western" enough. The challenge of the project was to help those in power to see what behaviors triggered their judgment and to understand the negative impact on those targeted and, ultimately, on the organization. Success in this arena has taken several years, following the actions developed from the original work with Pelerei.
Strategy is the pattern of decisions in a company that determines its objectives, purposes or goals. Strategy then moves on to develop the overall game plan or map to help lead or direct the organization toward the desired objectives. Pelerei has worked with numerous organizations, companies, work units, and boards in strategic planning.
Example: Pelerei designed and facilitated a strategic planning project for a small company that was experiencing major growth. It was known for its high quality, quick responsiveness, and attention to excellence. As a boutique company, it wanted to assure that the growth was in the right areas and would not change the qualities the company was known for. The process was done over a period of two months using the Appreciative Inquiry philosophy that involved the staff in directed conversation. This allowed the staff time to explore the values that made the company what it had been, to explore what the clients saw and valued about the company, and to develop specific strategies for maintaining what clients and staff valued most.