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The following is a high level fly over intended to give you a sense of why our approach to organization change is both different and why it works. Our intention is to educate, not market. Our experience has been that if you educate, people and organizations can make their own decisions as to the purchase of your service. So, please enjoy as you learn a bit about how we produce results.

We grow and change by doing

BalancePoint delivers important organizational results through the creation of structured methodologies, environments and processes that radically reduce the time, cost and risk of achieving a mission critical objective.  We work with our clients to accomplish something of value to them and, in the process, fundamentally change the team’s behaviors.  These changes result in higher, sustainable performance levels that do not need our recurring presence (suspend your disbelief for a few minutes until you have waded through the materials below).

We help individuals and groups discover activities that produce disproportionately positive outcomes.  We help you move from planning and talking to acting and learning.

Over the thousands of hours that we have worked with top leaders, we have developed a proven approach to improve organization performance.  Our approach combines a structured methodology, environment and process into a program that radically reduces the time, cost and risk of achieving mission-critical objectives, while increasing the performance of key teams.

Here is a glimpse into what we do and why it works. Take a pause, grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy a quick peek into our world.

In the beginning ...

Roughly six million years ago, what we think of as the predecessors of humans started walking on two legs and started thinking and acting differently.  Over those six million years, we have adapted to a huge variety of environments and these adaptations are incorporated into our genetic code.

The adaptations allowed us to survive, have been hard-wired into us and have served us pretty darn well.  But here is the rub: these survival adaptations are largely applicable to environments and lifestyles in which we no longer live or engage (hunting, running around trying to find food or building communities). 

Over the previous 300 years, starting with the Industrial Revolution, and particularly, the previous 75 years of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, we created work environments that don't resemble the types of environments that we are programmed to survive and thrive in.  So what does this have to do with the work that we do with our clients?

Work Place bias  

Along with the big cheques you write to pay rent or build an office space to contain working communities, good value for money could be realized in recognizing our genetic history.  As leaders and managers, you ask people to manage with hard-wired behaviors in environments for which they are poorly adapted.  Work in these strange places requires a tremendous amount of energy just to survive emotionally and at least in part, physically, as evidenced by the impact of stress on health.

The last six million years of fun and games hard-wired into us a series of biases.  These biases are the result of high levels of interaction with our environments and high levels of physical activity that are many times greater than what we get in the average work place.

And it gets worse … you know those cheques that you write for off-site team building, strategy sessions, conflict resolution courses and improving communications?  How often does  your staff returns from those events but rarely incorporates the learning into new and sustainable behaviors: more money and time wasted.

The problem is that the majority of our behaviors, beliefs and habits are deeply rooted in our evolutionary past.  To make the hill even steeper, most of the mental processing that we do takes place at a subconscious level.  We rarely have the foggiest clue about what is causing us to act in the ways that we do. 

The crazy part is that, in general, we continue to lead and manage in these environments using approaches that simply don’t work as well as they should.  We wonder why our employees roll their eyes behind our backs, become demotivated, perform well beneath their capacities and eventually disengage. Hmmmm … time for a team building event … not!

Enough of the bad news

Here is the good news.  Over the last 20 years, there have been astonishing advancements in fields such as evolutionary biology and cognitive sciences that contribute to a more complete understanding about how we think and act.  For instance, while we are still in the very early days, breakthroughs in fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) have demonstrated that we can construct evidence-based models that help us understand how to work with our evolutionary assets to get important work done without using people up.

BalancePoint delivers organizational change programs, based upon the latest evidence-based research, to help our clients deliver critical organizational objectives while adapting sustainable collective and individual behaviors so that those teams thrive.

Five core truths that guide change

At a very high level, there are five core truths that guide our work at BalancePoint

1. Individuals and organizations change by doing: new behaviors stick through repitition.

2. Addressing beliefs and biases facilitates behavioral changes.

3. Rapid, iterative experimentation quickens successful organizational changes.

4. Awareness of cognitive and biological processes of human interactions enables organizational change.

5. Organizations have behaviors and individual change is necessary but not sufficient to produce change within an organization.   

We are constantly updating our understanding of what creates successful change and love it when new research surfaces that we can use to enhance our practice and delivery models.

What we do: our delivery model

OK, thanks for wading through all of the background stuff to get to this point.  Now we’ll tell you what we do and give you a picture of what it looks like so that all these words make sense.

We drive organizational change through two programs:

1.     Coaching and Facilitation

2.     WarRoom

In both programs, we work with your organization to deliver solutions for critical issues for either a senior leader or a senior team while we address individual and group behaviors that get in the way.

Both of our organizational programs are based upon the practice model detailed below.

The model has two core components:

Creation of an environment that is designed to generate:

Clarity around what needs to be changed with evidence that it is indeed the right thing to change,

Perspective that guides decision-making based on understanding how we think and make decisions, and

Points of Leverage on tactics and strategies that have very high potential benefit with minimum cost

The iterative development cycle which includes

  • Making a decision (Decide)
  • Delivering a high leverage promise (Act)
  • Incorporating a key learning in the next cycle of learning (Learn

In summary, you will recognize what we have done is create a practice model that is designed specifically to acknowledge the evolutionary realities about how we think and act.  There is a mountain of evidence that supports this model.  We know that some of you would love to take a deeper dive into the strange world of human change so we will be publishing a detailed white paper that will be ready for release July 2013.  If you want to contribute materials and thoughts, please connect to our blog and become part of our collective wisdom project