ABIDE model, an exercise: Environment








An excerpt from Joseph Pelrine training material about Environment: 
The fifth letter in ABIDE stands for Environment, starting with the purely physical environment but also the workplace culture. If you change your workplace structure, if you move people to different offices for example, you will change the dynamics of the team.



Environment is also a prerequisite for a self-organising group. Another excerpt from Joseph Pelrine training material about Environment: 
The emergent process of self-organisation requires a space to occur. Not too much space – that would allow the agents to avoid each other, and not interact – but not too little space, as that would limit the options for manouvering. 



And also
Kurt Lewin theorised that the external circumstances to which a person is subjected will also influence their behaviour. Lewin expressed this interesting idea so: B = f (P, E) i.e. behaviour is a function of a person and their  environment.

In this context, environment implies everything that isn't the person, including the features and structure of a group, the interactions of group members, and the situation. If you change the environment you’ll change the way the person acts, the way they’ll have to react to the environment. We can therefore change the way people work by changing things around them. Levin's field theory was later adapted for groups (Shepherd 1964), with the key concept being that the members of a group are interdependent, i.e., they share some of their environment with each other. In this case, if you change the circumstances, you change the way the team works and reacts.
 


Dave Snowden also says leaders need to focus on creating an environment from which good things can emerge, rather than trying to bring about predetermined results and possibly missing opportunities that arise unexpectedly.






And as far as I understand the environment has a broad definition that can overlap with some of the others knobs of the ABIDE model. Here I try to focus on the actions that have the immediate goal of tweaking the environment to support the positive behaviour of the team in particular the size, the space, the (social) objects and tools, the habits and the practices, and the culture .




Here follows the list of patterns (from the Fearless Change book of Linda Rising) as I've classified them as Diversity/Dissent doing the exercise, do you agree, do you have comments, would you classify them differently ?





Time to time was not easy to me to choose between the environment and diversity/dissent or barrier or attractor. I.e. moving barrier or adding dissent or an attractor can have effects on the environment. So what to chose in that case?   Anyway I tried to choose the principal factor.





Location, Location, Location
To avoid interruptions that disrupt the flow of an event, try to hold significant events off site.
When you hold an event onsite at the organization, attendees can be easily distracted with their nearby work obligations.
Hold significant events of a half-day or longer offsite but nearby.
The system is the attenders to an internal organization event. The tweaked environment here is the place were the event will be held.




In Your Space
Keep the new idea visible by placing reminders throughout your organization.
Unless people are reminded, they may forget about the new idea.
Post information about the new idea around your organization – wherever people are likely to see it and discuss it.
The system is the group of people you are proposing the new idea. The tweaked environment here is the organization spaces where reminders are placed.




Token
To keep a new idea alive in a person’s memory, hand out tokens that can be identified with the topic being introduced.
People may be enthusiastic about a topic when they first hear about it, but the enthusiasm quickly wanes as they forget tomorrow what excited them today.
Hand out small tokens that will remind people of the new idea.
The system is the group of people you are practicing the new idea. The tweaked environment here is the organization spaces where tokens are given as reminders.
 




Just Say Thanks
To show your appreciation, say “Thanks” in the most sincere way you can to everyone who helps you.
People feel unappreciated when they work hard and no one notices or cares.
Find everyone who has helped you and say thanks in the most sincere way you can.
The system is people in your team, department, organization. The tweaked environment here is the relationship with co-workers itself and the atmosphere this create.




Next Steps
Take time near the end of an event about the new idea to identify what participants can do next.
A presentation in a training class or another event can leave attendees uncertain about what to do with what they have learned.
Take time near the end of a presentation to brainstorm and discuss how the participants can apply the new information.
The system is the attenders to an event. The tweaked environment here is the path that is shaped about what to do next.


 
Piggyback
When faced with several obstacles in your strategy to introduce something new, look for a way to piggyback on a practice in your organization.
Several procedures or hurdles are required for the introduction of your new idea but you’re looking for an easier way.
Piggyback the new idea on a well-accepted practice in the organization.
The system is the group of people you are proposing the new practice. The tweaked environment here the changes required to attach a new habit to an existing one. 


Brown Bag 
Use the time when people normally eat lunch to provide a convenient and relaxed setting for hearing about the new idea.
People can be too busy to attend optional meetings held during work hours.
Hold the meeting in the middle of the day and invite attendees to bring their own lunches.
The system is the group of people you are proposing the new idea. The tweaked environment here is the meeting environment. 

 


e-Forum
Set up an electronic bulletin board, distribution list, listserve, or writeable Web site for those who want to hear more.
You need to initiate and maintain regular contact with people who might be interested in your new idea.
Create a publicly accessible electronic, interactive forum. Advertise its existence. Keep it alive, active, and growing.
The system is the group of people you are proposing the new idea. The tweaked environment here is a new virtual meeting place. 
 



Hometown Story

To help people see the usefulness of the new idea, encourage those who have had success with it to share their stories.
People who haven’t used the new idea may not be aware that other people have used it successfully.
Encourage individuals to share their experiences with the new idea in an informal, highly interactive session.
The system is the group of people you are proposing the new idea. The tweaked environment here is the shared knowledge of success stories about the new idea. 

 


Just Enough
To ease learners into the more difficult concepts of a new idea, give a brief introduction and then make more information available when they are ready.
Difficult, complex concepts can overwhelm novices.
When introducing the new idea, concentrate on the fundamentals and give learners a brief description of the more difficult concepts. Provide more information when they are ready.
The system is the learners of the new idea. The tweaked environment here is the information available that is tailored to the readiness level of the learners. 





Small Successes
To avoid becoming overwhelmed by the challenges and all the things you have to do when you’re involved in an organizational change effort, celebrate even small successes.
Every organizational change effort has its ups and downs. It’s a difficult process.
As you carry on Step by Step, take the time to recognize and celebrate successes, especially the small ones.
The system is people in your team, department, organization facing the challenge. The tweaked environment here is the habit to celebrate progress.






See all the other parts of this exercise:  ABIDE model, an exercise  





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Print | posted @ Monday, August 1, 2011 7:30 PM

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