Posts Tagged ‘Change’

I’ve seen the light!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Clock The shortest day is behind us, but many of us are still going to work in the dark, driving home in the dark and spending the days indoors, not even breaking for lunch. If you’re lucky enough, you may have a lovely view of the daylight out of your window!

Interestingly scientists at the Lighting Research Center have reported that daylit environments increase occupant productivity and comfort, and provide the mental and visual stimulation necessary to regulate human circadian rhythms (sleep/wake cycle)!

In a 1999 study “Daylighting in Schools: An Investigation into the Relationship between Daylighting and Human Performance,” found a high correlation between schools that reported improvements in student test scores upwards of 10 percent and those that reported increased daylight in the classroom.

So why, if natural daylight is so good for us, do we not get more of it? This year we want to challenge you to do at least one of the following:

• Look at your working environment and make the most of your well-lit areas, make plans to share the space with other team members.

• Make sure files and other bulky items are away from the windows letting the light flood in.

• To enhance the benefits of daylight further, find time in your working day to get outside, hear the birds tweet and feel the wind in your hair!

• Design an outdoor space for you and your team to enjoy. Maybe buy a picnic table or some garden furniture. What about developing an edible garden in plant pots for people to pick lettuce leaves in the summer?

Overall, research suggests that daylight and daylit areas are likely to improve worker satisfaction, mood, and productivity, so come on, let’s SPRING into action!

If you want to know more about creating an environment that can positively impact on profit and productivity, why not join us on one of our employee engagement workshops where you can find out some handy hints and tips to put into action.

Dealing with Change

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

The Four Stages of Change

Here we describe the four stages most people go through as they adjust to change.

Stage 1 – Shock or Denial

When first faced with the change, people’s initial reaction may be shock or denial, even if the change has been planned in advance and is known about, people still need to take time to adjust. An example may be when someone is faced with redundancy, at first they might go into denial thinking it may never happen to them, it will be ‘someone else’. road to change

This is a critical stage for communication. Communicate often and make sure that people know where to go for more information if they need it, and ensure that you answer any questions that come up.

Stage 2 – Anger, Fear

Once the reality of the change starts to hit, the negatively may creep in. Using our example of redundancy again, you may then become angry … you’ve worked there 20 years of your life, how could they do this to you? How DARE they do this to you! How will you pay you mortgage – they don’t care! This is a stressful and unpleasant stage.

For the organisation, this stage is dangerous. If this stage is badly managed, it can be damaging to everyone and needs careful planning and preparation. If you are responsible for change, you should prepare for this stage by carefully considering the impacts and objections that people may have. As the reaction to change can be personal and emotional, it is often impossible to pre-empt everything, so make sure that you listen and watch carefully during this stage.

building the new

Stage 3 – Acceptance

Once you realise the change is happening to you, eventually you move into acceptance and start to process what this means. At this stage people stop focusing on what they have lost, they start to let go, and accept the changes. They begin exploring what the changes mean, of what’s good and not so good, and start looking at how they should adapt.

As the person managing the changes, you can lay good foundations for this stage by making sure that people are well trained, and have an understanding of what benefits the changes will bring. Be aware that this stage is vital for learning and acceptance, and that it takes time. Don’t expect people to be 100% productive during this time, try to build in the contingency time so that people can learn and explore without too much pressure.

Stage 4 – Future Plans

Finally, having accepted the change, you start thinking about all the new possibilities and become excited about the future and what lays ahead. If the change is an organisational one and you are the one managing the change, this is where you’ll finally start to see the benefits, when your team becomes more productive and efficient because of the change.

Don’t forget to celebrate the success with everyone who has contributed, if its appropriate. By celebrating the achievement, you can establish a track record of success, which will make things easier the next time a change is needed in your organisation.

Management Development – Managing others through change

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries


This month the Management Development programme took us to HowStean Gorge where our fearless delegates embarked on a journey in an ever changing environment and led a team powerfully to success.

During the day the team conquered orienteering, caving, abseiling and gorge walking and in doing so experienced denial, resistance, anger and fear. They learnt on the way the importance of creating a vision, sharing that vision and to keep communicating the vision so its fresh in everyone’s mind. They recognised the importance of listening and to keep listening all throughout the change.

The team needed to enable actions to remove obstacles in their way. Obstacles could be a number of things but presented itself to us as resistance, fear, and not listening to your own state. However the obstacles were overcome through authentic leadership, revealing vulnerabilities, being brave, trusting those around them and supporting other through the change.

The results…the team achieved things they hadn’t even thought of, and took the time to celebrate their success and to recognise everybody’s contribution. What a day! What a team.

Feedback, a gift to us!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

vase of sunflowers

We were blown away with our feedback from Lou Mooney, Director of Escalla. It absolutely made our day. Feedback is such a gift. Here’s what Lou had to say…

“Michelle and Sue at Pro-Development worked in partnership with Escalla on a recent high profile government training programme. From the outset, their approach and diligence in making this project work was incredible. In 20 years of training, I’ve never worked with two more committed training professionals who provided me and our client with a truly “game changing” learning experience. They are THE experts in ensuring their learners feel enthused, motivated and prepared for change. Their engagement with stakeholders was first class and they fully understand how to manage expectations of both learners’ and organisations. The feedback from both learners and client was exceptional and I hope we continue to work together to provide first class learning for many years”.