Executive Working Breakfasts address the changing management imperatives demanded by an unpredictable and turbulent environment.  Each will provide an overview of relevant concepts, guidelines for application, and references for further information. 

Convenient Location:   The Georgian Club
100 Galleria Parkway Southeast
Atlanta, Georgia 30339

Manageable Chunks of Time:   7:30am.–10:30am.

Affordable price:   $225 per executive; $1215 advanced registration for all six Working Breakfasts

PDHs:  The American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia will award three Professional Development Hours per Working Breakfast to Professional Engineers who attend.

Facilitator:  Dr. Ruth Middleton House

Thursday, October 11, 2012.   Individual Resilience and Readiness for Change.
(Lack of ability and willingness to change was the number one concern raised by the Emerging Trends Task Force.)

Change takes energy—even when it’s a change you chose.  And you didn’t choose many of the changes you are facing now.  Perhaps you didn’t see them coming; perhaps you were not the decision-maker; perhaps they were beyond both your control and the control of your organization.  You may have used every legitimate tool at your disposal to steer events in a different direction.  Just the same, the changes are here; and you are tired.

You may feel depleted, discouraged and disinterested.  You may be asking yourself “What’s the use?”  Or you may feel angry or confused or both.  You have trouble focusing at work and your family tells you that you seem distant and preoccupied at home.

The Middleton-House & Company Working Breakfast Individual Resilience and Readiness for Changecan help you stay centered, productive and happy in the midst of turbulent change.  It can help you move forward after changes you didn’t choose and don’t like:  it can help you anticipate the changes that lie ahead; it can help you embrace change for the better.

Thursday, December 13, 2012.  Managing Resistance to Change.

How often have you seen these things happen?  One person strongly opposes this change but is afraid to speak up. So she just withholds information that is essential to the success of the effort.   Another intermittently explodes to express his displeasure. His outbursts are so disruptive that some other team members have just shut down. Some employees are so resentful of the change that they actually would be happy to see it fail. So they stay busy with showy activities that actually produce no results. “The way we’ve always done it here” is a stronger driver than the call for change. The unwritten rules of the organization bring any real progress to a halt. Oh, people repeat the new slogans, alright; but no one is actually doing anything differently.
It’s tough to lead a successful change in the face of all this resistance. Tough, but possible. Successful change leaders deal with resistance differently than change leaders who fail. They surface hidden disagreement, acknowledge it, and work it through openly. They sometimes even turn the push-back into a creative force. They recognize what works and does not work in groups and set the stage for collaborative effort. They understand the culture of the organization and how to work with it and within it. Yet they also plan, step-by-step, ways to alter the culture to accommodate the needed change.
The Middleton-House & Company Working Breakfast Managing Resistance to Changecan help you be more effective in the face of resistance to change—as the sponsoring change leader, as the change agent, as an advocate.

February 14, 2013.  Organizational Redesign and the Financial Bottom Line. 
You may already be in the midst of redesigning your organization to reduce unavoidable costs in this tough economy.  And you probably haven’t seen the end of it.  But redesign under this kind of financial pressure is fraught with hazards.  Sometimes cost-reduction attempts actually trigger other unexpected costs, limit the ability to do business, and result in the loss of clients at the very time you need to keep the ones you have the most.  This session will address these questions:

  • What are the common pitfalls in organizational redesign?
  • What can you do to avoid, mitigate, or manage them?
  • How can you create a sense of urgency in your organization without also creating panic?
  • How can you keep employees engaged and satisfied at work even when lay-offs are likely?
  • How can you keep your Organizational Body Mass Index at a healthy level when it’s time to gear back up?

April 11, 2013.  The Morning After:  When Cultures Collide (following Merger, Acquisition or Reorganization.) 

The deal is done.  The Acquisition Team has left.  A “Transition Team” is now supposed to guide the integration of the two newly joined organizations.  And, sure enough, the payroll systems seemed to be integrated;  and you now have a shared performance appraisal system.  But the human system?  Ah, that is a different matter.  The “Transition Team” was never dedicated full time to the change.  Some of their day-to- day work fell on the floor while they focused on the change; now they have eagerly returned to it to clean up the mess.  And the truth is, they really didn’t know how to handle all of this “people stuff” even when they were focused on it.

Except in a few instances where work groups remained intact, you’re not seeing much teamwork.  You feel like you dig a hole only to have someone come behind you and fill it up again.  And there just doesn’t seem to be a good way to openly talk about the issues.  So resolution of them certainly isn’t likely.  You’re pretty sure things aren’t going well.  But you don’t know how to talk about it without sounding like a “Whiner.”  And if you could figure out what to say, you wouldn’t know who to say it to.

The Middleton-House & Company Working Breakfast The Morning After:  When Cultures Collide can help you identify the unspoken ground rules that are causing your organization to fragment, get those rules out in the open, and decide how to deal with them.

Thursday, May 9, 2013.  Strategic Change in an Age of Uncertainty. 

Start with a “Wicked” Problem—one with no clear solution and no agreed-upon formula for arriving at any solution.  Then blend in some social complexity—interested people from different professions; from different organizations; and, perhaps, from different parts of the world.  Finally, toss in the emerging trends—those developments in technology, society, the economy and so on that are often beyond your control.

Five years ago, you could run your business in much the same way as you ran your technical projects.  No more.  Today it seems that change is something that is done to you not something you make happen.And strategic?  Aren’t strategic plans a thing of the past?  With so much happening so fast you’re beginning to think that your hoping-for-the-best-plan is as good as it gets.

The Middleton-House & Company Working Breakfast Strategic Change in the Age of Uncertaintycan help you deal systematically with a world around you that seems out of control.

Thursday, August 8, 2013.  Collaboration at the New Speed of Change.

It’s hard enough to build collaboration in broad daylight and with everyone concerned face-to-face in the room.  It’s always been a challenge to pull together a group with different work styles, different ways of handling conflict, different agendas.

These days your work continues to unfold in the middle of the night—somewhere.  Perhaps it’s because of the team member (maybe it’s you) who has flashes of brilliance at 2:30 am.  Or perhaps it’s because you’re in Rome, Georgia, and another team member is in Rome, Italy.  Or perhaps it’s because you need people from around the globe working around the clock to meet aggressive deadlinesThings are happening all hours of the day; they are happening all over the globe and they are happening very, very fast.

How can you even keep track of all this?  How can you possibly manage it or at least influence it?  The Middleton-House & Company Working Breakfast Collaboration at the New Speed of Change can help.



Copyright 2012.  Middleton-House & Company.