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Chuck Isen

(July 25, 2002) -  We're increasingly concerned about the learning curves and organizational challenges associated with the recovery in HR.

While the industry has been thinning its ranks, the predictable post layoff behaviors have infected the remaining ranks. 

There are several dimensions to consider when bringing your department or business out of the slump:

  • Revitalization of the survivors 

  • Technical training for the newcomers

  • Cultural improvements over the survival culture

  • Technical Infrastructure improvements for speed and efficiency

  • Reorientation to more proactive performance

Although we prefer intense, performance oriented work environments over the feel-good stuff HR is prone to produce, this is a moment in which the two can be combined effectively. The challenge of delivering world-class performance in a post-recession environment will require both a grasp of the technical and measurable and the softer side of the cultural equation.

We spent a day with Chuck Isen, a legendary Organizational Development consultant. With 25 years of "transformational consulting" under his belt, Chuck is an expert in the optimization of individual and organizational communications systems. From his perspective, a culture is the cumulative effect of all of the conversations in the organization. In times of post-catastrophe growth, according to Isen, the most important thing is to clear the "junk" out of the communications system.

The entire arena of "communications improvement" is painfully difficult to quantify. Chuck represents the extreme end of OD and believes that communications and business processes can be decoupled while improving them. He says "The process doesn't matter if the communications are squirrely and works far more effectively when the communications are clean." After some soul searching, we're willing to agree. You simply can not build a powerful culture without clear effective communication patterns at the core.

If you are thinking about how to move your organization forward into the post-recession playing field, you might want to send Chuck an email to talk it over.

-John Sumser

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Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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