Organizational Assessment and Development
The leadership of the Division of Rehabilitative Programs at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was seeking to improve the performance and outcomes of the organization. They contracted with Continuity Consulting to assess the current state of the organization, to develop strategies to build upon their strengths, and to create a plan to address needed development.
The primary goal of this organizational development initiative was to build and sustain a high-performing team of staff, supervisors, managers, and executives who can:
- Develop and embrace a new, clear, articulated vision and culture within the DRP;
- Adopt clear priorities and processes necessary to deliver results;
- Understand and accept the dynamics associated with personal and team-based accountability;
- Use newly acquired techniques and tools to increase better decision making;
- Develop into a strong workforce that is engaged and aligned with the DRP’s future vision and goals.
Continuity Consulting provided an array of organizational development services including assessments, strategic planning, organizational change, executive coaching, and training for the managers and staff.
Phase One: Assess
Objective of Phase One: To assess, clarify and articulate (1) the present state of the organization and why it is not okay to stick with the status quo, and (2) clarify and articulate a vision of the preferred future state and why it is important and urgent to embrace change.
- Interviews: The Continuity team conducted more than 30 one-on-one interviews with senior executives, middle managers, and staff to gain clarity about current issues and the desired future state. The interview process also served to build relational trust, assess engagement with present roles and responsibilities, observe present levels of chemistry, competence, and culture, and to establish baseline data to assess and measure progress.
- Assessments: Continuity Consulting utilized appropriate assessments and surveys to gather information to help quantify areas in need of attention. This allowed us (1) to set a baseline for measuring progress and (2) to make well-informed recommendations and prescribe solutions that are focused on the most relevant problems. Surveys and assessments include the MERIT ProfileÔ and the Organizational Health and Effectiveness Survey.
- Findings and Recommendations Report: Continuity Consulting compiled the information gathered from document reviews, interviews, and survey results to present findings and recommendations to the CDCR executive staff.
Phase Two: Plan
Objective of Phase Two: To create a tailored roadmap to get the organization from HERE to THERE, to include milestones, re-assessment points, necessary organizational change activities and strategic direction toward operational excellence in purpose and priorities, people and processes.
- The Continuity team created a strategy and roadmap to bring people-leaders into complete alignment with DRP goals and objectives.
- Developed a communication strategy based on organizational change best practices to communicate, reinforce, and socialize the preferred state (the newly clarified vision, mission, and values) throughout the organization.
- Developed a DRP Playbook.
- Crafted strategy to develop high-performing people-leaders, including individual and 360° assessments, individualized and group coaching, and training.
Phase Three: Solutions
Objective of Phase Three: To implement solutions that move the organization toward the desired future state. Based on the outcomes of the assessment and the agreed upon strategy and roadmap, the solutions included the following:
- People Development: The Continuity team coached and trained individual contributors and people-leaders to maximize their effectiveness. Continuity Consulting delivered a 90-day Challenge in Personal Leadership to increase self-awareness, grow in accountability, personal discipline, and collaboration with others, while creating greater clarity and dialogue regarding implementation of the DRP Playbook.
- Team Development: Assisted team with the ability to work more effectively together, through greater self-awareness, others awareness, managing conflict, developing trust, clarifying roles, and being mutually accountable for outcomes.
- Organizational Change: Supported DRP in various tasks associated with communication, culture change and transformation.
- Strategic Planning: Assisted with additional planning activities that supported the long-term objectives of DRP.
- Coaching: Delivered individual and group coaching to support the implementation of the communication strategy, provide support and encouragement to the leadership team, and to provide insights and suggested adjustments to achieve the desired outcomes.
- Assess Progress: Re-issued the Organizational Health Assessment at the end of the engagement to measure and display progress and identify areas that still required improvement. Provided senior leadership with recommendations intended to sustain momentum toward the desired future state.
- The Continuity team clarified the mission and core values for the division, as well as a roadmap and playbook in order to socialize the newly defined preferred future.
- The levels of employee frustration and extreme negativity dropped significantly.
- Increased clarity regarding strategic priorities and goals (up 40%).
- Measurable improvement in cultural health and employee engagement.
- Increased focus on getting the right people, with the right skills, in the right seats.
- Increased trust among teammates (up 25%).
- In our initial assessment, only 7% of the organization believed that a healthy level of conflict was encouraged in strategic discussions to arrive at the best solutions. One year later, 57% affirmed that a healthy level of conflict is encouraged.
Quotes from the Client
“Continuity made our organization feel that we were the top priority. They provided specific, measurable data and had a thorough understanding of our people, causing us to feel that they were fully invested in our progress and success.”
“The individual coaching sessions were invaluable to me and the members of my team. Continuity encouraged our team to have common nomenclature and shared experiences. Continuity’s involvement at all levels of the organization also opened the door for management to have difficult discussion with executives – no matter the outcome. This was positive and created momentum that continued after our time with Continuity was complete.”
“The Continuity team left behind valuable tools and techniques for managers to use to improve communication and working with staff. Their simple, basic approach to working with our team helped immeasurably as many of our team originally felt threatened by having an outside organization come in to assist with culture change. Keith and Chris’s approach to staff was well received and ultimately helped our team feel more comfortable with what they were trying to accomplish.”
“The biggest impact while Keith and Chris were on site was watching staff develop more efficient and appropriate ways of communicating with each other.”
“I believe it is the personal approach and manner in which Continuity does business that separates them from other similar firms. The work seemed personal to them, and it showed in their commitment to improve our internal culture. Keith and Chris are open minded, fair and caring individuals who really can help make a difference in an organization.”