Overcoming defensive behaviours
We all have defences – as individuals, as groups and, consequently, as organisations.
Managers in the public sector often encounter them when driving through changes:
Managing demand with less resource.
Improving customer service with fewer staff.
Moving to new delivery models, sometimes outside the council itself.
When the stakes are high, these interactions can easily create unproductive and defensive behaviour. The change then becomes more difficult and more expensive to achieve.
Defensive mechanisms develop unconsciously, and are often employed destructively when we are confronted with challenge or change. Looking, in more detail, at eight common defence mechanisms and associated concepts, this course stimulates thinking on how to manage such defences in order to achieve transformational change.
You’ll learn powerful practical skills based on Chris Argyris’ method of ‘productive reasoning’ – proven successful by large organisations from Shell to Microsoft, and refined by us in our work across the public sector.
We’ll explain our own primary research in navigating complex change, and the ‘breaking the shell' exercise led by Lorna Smalley and Dennis Vergne.
You’ll leave this training seeing your next critical change interactions in a completely new light.
'The productive reasoning was both stretching and enjoyable. It will be very useful in general management, in addition to using in change management situations.'
'Productive reasoning was a new subject to me and was delivered in a challenging way that made me analyse my thinking and how I deal with situations.'
‘It gave me a lot of think about how I came across. It really expands your way of thinking and it challenged me about what I already knew’
‘Gives me more confidence now in doing my job + dealing with curveballs.’
‘Enjoyed the course; find it very engaging and insightful’
‘Those presenting the course are practitioners and have a wealth of experience to share with the trainees - have recommended course to colleagues’
Lorna started work developing and implementing technology solutions for private sector organisations in the retail, motor, and airline industries, before moving to local government in the early 1990s. She noticed that, however good the technology solutions were from a technical point of view, people didn’t necessarily want to use them. Usually, this was because people were not prepared to change the way they worked. Since then, Lorna has been working in change management and coaching within local government. Lorna is an accredited change practitioner and coach.
Based on his experience, research, programme design and delivery, he is a recognised organisational change expert. Dennis has a passion for enabling transformational change that sticks, turning ideas into effective practice and behaviours. He holds an MSc in this field (Oxford – distinction) and belongs to an international network of reflective change practitioners – www.thechangeleaders.com. Although he is originally from Holland, since 2004, most of his work has been within the British public sector. His experience also includes (before 2002) strategy and change work for a rather diverse (read: odd) variety of clients such as Belgium Government, Norsk Hydro, Motorola, Novartis and Lloyds TSB. His very first (proper job) was with The Hague council as a youth worker.