Appreciating Change worked with HOS to upskill the Housing service community on working effectively with tenants to reduce and successfully resolve housing problems, challenges and complaints, and on how to use the HOS effectively.
Using an Appreciative Inquiry approach landlords were engaged to work together reviewing and learning from each other’s best practice. The events were a great success, consistently demonstrating a big leap in understanding and confidence around the issue.
Over several years Sarah presented cutting edge practice lecturers to students on undergraduate and post-graduate psychology courses introducing, or enlarging on, topics such as Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Psychology.
Sarah’s particular contribution were ‘stories from the field’, sometimes presented as case studies to be worked. Students particularly appreciated this down to earth approach as well as Sarah’s friendly and facilitative style of presentation.
The John Lewis organisational effectiveness team wanted to understand ‘emergent change’. Sarah ran an intensive ‘teach in’ for this specialist group explaining the concept and its relationship to our understanding of how organisations work, and to planned change.
The session covered how to use this knowledge in a practical way to help leaders with the challenge of initiating or implementing change. The session was very well received.
Sarah worked with AQA to introduce Appreciative Inquiry to the organisation through workshops and training. She also worked with them on improving their internal audit process by developing it to become a quality appraisal from a quality audit. The organisation was very receptive to the appreciative approach and is working to implement it in the organisation.
Sarah has worked with DCU for over twenty years on various change projects. These have ranged from effecting changes in team dynamics to helping teams adjust to wholesale organisational change. In addition, Sarah has worked to improve the human resource functioning and skills and assisted with quality assessment and strategy development work.
DCU’s repeated call on Sarah’s skills is testament to the enduring value she is seen to provide in the general area of organisational development.
Sarah worked closely with the Human Resources Director at Vector Aerospace over many years, assisting her with the organisational development aspects of her role.
She brought her expertise in Appreciative Inquiry and other dialogic events to the challenges of culture change, organisational change and internal organisational functioning. The evidence of Sarah’s effective is in the length and duration of this relationship, where she became a trusted outsider.
Sarah designed and delivered the annual Business School Community day for over 100 people for three consecutive years.
Working closely with the Dean, she revolutionised the nature of these events using World Café, Open Space and Appreciative Inquiry to ensure that the events were inclusive, participative, energising and valuable. In addition, she helped the School with other challenges such as team dynamics and a proposed merger with another unit. Her work was highly valued and appreciated by those involved.
Sarah was invited to run a team development event for the Nordic Sales team. Based on an Appreciative Inquiry design, the event successfully addressed relational and other challenges the team faced. The team manager commented on how impressed he was about how open the team was at the event.
The FSCS were embarking on a big change programme and the unintended effects of demotivation and demoralisation amongst staff were already evident. Sarah was called into run workshop for front line staff and the leadership community to help them become active contributors shaping the change.
Working with psychological processes such as hope, attention, and imagination, Sarah helped those affected by change become more resilient, optimistic and pro-active in making the changes a success.
IPF had spent some time planning a change to their delivery mechanism and were now ready to implement it. Being aware of Sarah and her expertise in working with change they invited her to come and explain what Appreciative Inquiry had to offer in these situations. Excited by its potential they invited Sarah to run a AI event for the Organisational Design Team, which successfully introduced the change team to the process. The learning and development team commissioned more detailed ‘skills transfer’ work to ensure they could actively implement and support the AI approach. The work was very well received.
Following a staff engagement survey PRS were keen to find a way to engage staff with follow up plans and actions. Working with Sarah they decided to run a series of events for up to 100 people based on the World Café process and an Appreciative Inquiry approach, to be followed by a session pulling ideas and volunteers together.
Although recruiting people to the events proved to be a challenge, the core team involved agreed that the process had been invaluable for all involved and that the ideas produced had great energy behind them meaning they were very likely to be implemented.
Sarah worked with Lewisham Homes over a number of years on a number of projects broadly concerned with organisational development and culture change.
She worked closely with the Executive Team and the HR Director to run specific events focused on organisational values, team functioning, accountability and delegation, and personal development aspirations. Sarah’s work was highly valued as facilitating the organisation to move towards its objectives.
Home Farm Trust faced a challenging environment of increasing demand and shrinking budgets for their services. They wanted to become pro-active in engaging and dealing with the challenges while maintaining high service standards.
Deciding that Appreciative Inquiry would meet their need they invited Sarah in to help them understand the process and its potential. Sarah ran development workshops for the Executive Directors and the Learning and Development team to help build the internal skill for delivery.
Following a recommendation from a previous client, the English Language Teaching Team from the University requested leadership development training from Appreciating Change. The interactive workshop introduced core positive and appreciative leadership elements such as strengths, leading through uncertainty and change, organisational and individual flourishing, motivation, resourcefulness and resilience. In addition, the group experienced an Appreciative Inquiry 5D process.
The workshop stimulated much discussion, leading to resolutions to implement changes within the department.