Focusing on the Wrong Bottom Line

Tom GibbonsOrganization DevelopmentLeave a Comment

The title of this e-newsletter comes from a set of self management skills developed by Dr. Ed Freedberg as part of his Self Management System 1.  This particular skill deals with how people tend to focus on problems rather than solutions to those problems and how this can be looked at by simply changing the way we construct certain parts of our language.  The simple example used by Dr. Freedberg is the sentence, “I want to go for a walk, but it’s raining.”  With this sentence we tend to focus on the rain, the last part of the sentence.  However, if we change the sentence to read “It’s raining, but I want to go for a walk”, we tend to focus on the walk and there is much greater chance of us getting an umbrella or boots or whatever and actually going for that walk.  A quick and powerful way to focus on the goal, rather than the problem.

Right now those of us focused on organizational development are probably hearing a lot of “We’d like to do development work, but we have budget constraints” and that tends to be the end of the conversation.  So if we change that sentence to “We have budget constraints, but I want to do development work”, it allows us to become part of the solution and we stand a much better chance of not having our work being dismissed. 

So … here at TMS, we have changed that sentence around and, in the spirit of ‘doing development work for clients with budget constraints’, we  have created two development designs that address the reality of present financial constraints while still enabling good development work to happen.  And we would like to make these designs available to you. 

1 Activation: The Core Competency  Freedberg, Edmund J. Harper Collins 1997

ISBN – 0-00-255748-7.

Web site – 

Both designs focus on using the TMS assessments within a coaching context:

  • Design 1 – Group Coaching
  • Design 2 – One-to-One coaching to include a team component

We have successfully worked with these designs and they typically cost considerably less than doing similar development by traditional means.  As a real added bonus, both approaches build on and develop self management skills (actually these skills are critical to the design) as well as the specifics of development needed by the client.  It is also important to note that our one to one coaching design called InterAction Coaching is a concise model of coaching that has a team development component added near the end of the initiative.  Both approaches have been very effective and are based on different thinking than traditional coaching initiatives.

TMS is proposing to provide virtual learning sessions for a group of interested people in how to make these designs work, how to market and deliver them.  We would need a group of at least 5 people (preferably more) for each session and there would be a reasonable charge per person.  The next step is for you to contact us and express your interest.  We will then send you information about each design and the process and if you are interested we will sign you up and then schedule the web meetings. 

To move forward please email either Tom Gibbons or Bonnie Cooper 

We hope you’ll join us!

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