Al Comeaux offers coaching to leaders and leadership teams open to a fresh approach to change. His focus is on helping leaders shift their own mindsets, which will lead to new approaches, priorities, and orientations.
While Al customizes each coaching encounter, his most popular format is a two-day coaching workshop (outlined below) for executive teams, with the goal of increasing these teams’ effectiveness during change initiatives. He also offers one-on-one coaching to top executives before and during organizational transformations.
COURSE: WINNING THE CHANGE
If we’re going to improve how we execute change, we need to first re-think how we view change. Today we learn to think anew about change by looking at the common pitfalls of human nature as it relates to change leadership.
– Cognitive Dissonance. Everyone’s brain deals with psychological discomfort when faced with dissonant ideas. We encounter this feeling together through an exercise, and we learn how it affects us and our people, especially during change.
– Our People and Change. We focus on the various ways people react to change, what’s going on in their heads, and what we’ll do about each kind of reaction.
– Big Picture Change. In this exercise, we learn how to focus on leading change (our job) as opposed to managing change (others’ jobs), and we learn why this is critical.
– Modern Communications. This is not a discussion about the latest communications tools; it’s about our habits and how we think about communications…and how these things likely need some updates.
– Two-Way Change. We survey leadership styles to see how our current habits (often top-down oriented) need an overhaul and how to refresh them.
– Keeping Pace. We focus on our own ability to get in change’s way and what we need to do to keep the change (and ourselves) apace.
We talk about our core values to understand where our people stand on them, where we stand with them, and how/whether the change will be aligned with these values.
Finally, we ask the questions: So what? and Now what? to understand what it all means. How do we need to think about change in a different way and what does that mean for our everyday leadership and our leadership during change? And we preview Day Two by beginning to think anew how we will execute the change.
Today is centered on executing change using our refreshed change philosophy. We roll up our sleeves and start the work.
– Definition. What’s the problem? We all think we know what the problem driving the change is, but when there’s an inch between us, our people will be as confused as we deserve. So we focus together on exactly how we’ll define the root problem in synchrony, and how we’ll explain departmental angles in harmony.
– Tug of War. In this exercise, we learn together to pull our people through the change, rather than pushing it on them transactionally. We use our learnings from big picture change to pull together.
– All Ears. Now that we have the problem down pat, it’s time to listen to our people for solutions. This helps us assuage cognitive dissonance and apply two-way change rather than top-down change.
– Model Leading. We learn how to develop a change context…based on the change that will get decided (after we listen for ideas) and based on our core values. We’ll use this change context later to inform the best ways we will model the change, based on our specific values, culture and change.
Finally, we ask So what? and Now What? Where do we go from here? How do we take what we’ve learned and start the process of transformation?
– We’ll recognize that we’re most likely to win or lose the change in the preparation, not in the execution. So we’ll want to prepare for the change with our people.
– We’ll recognize that it takes action (listening, modeling) based on a new mindset (pulling, engaging in the change) to execute the change properly.
Al undertakes limited engagements, primarily with leaders he’s helped in training, but also with leaders who feel their organizations are somehow stuck in an ongoing change process. These one-on-one meetings are usually over a defined period of time and are specific to each leader’s needs. Offered to senior-most leaders (CEO, Division Head, Department Head where the change is centered).