EPISODE #071: CREATING SUSTAINABLE CHANGE IN TEAMS: INSIGHTS FROM INTENTIONAL CHANGE THEORY

PODCAST SHOW NOTES - RICHARD BOYATZIS

Episode #071: Dr. Richard Boyatzis: Creating Sustainable Change in Teams: Insights from Intentional Change Theory

Why do some team coaching engagements seem to get traction and create magic while others peter out and fail to produce results? Tune in to this week’s episode of The Team Coaching Zone Podcast with Host Dr. Krister Lowe and special guest Dr. Richard Boyatzis to discover the answer to this important question.

Dr. Richard Boyatzis is the H.R. Horvitz Professor of Family Business, a Professor of Organizational Behavior and a Distinguished University University Professor at Case Western Reserve University. Using his well-established Intentional Change Theory (ICT) and complexity theory, Richard Boyatzis, PhD, has continued to research how people and organizations engage in sustainable, desired change. The theory predicts how changes occur in different groups of human organizations, including team, community, country and global change. Ongoing research supporting this theory includes developing new and better measures of an individual’s emotional, social and cognitive intelligence as well as studies that demonstrate the relationship between these abilities and performance. His latest research includes fMRI studies to establish neuro-endocrine arousal of coaching to the Positive Emotional Attractor and resonant leadership.

In this episode, laden with “value bombs,” Dr. Boyatzis outlines his more than 50 year journey in the area of coaching and how this led to his seminal work on Intentional Change Theory. Some of the themes covered in the episode include: why training fails to create change; what is required for coaching to be effective at create sustainable change in individuals, teams and systems; the role of purpose, learning, emotion, strengths and relationships in the change process; why team coaching engagements get or don’t get traction; what coaches should focus on in a coaching session; the 5 discoveries of ICT; the positive and negative emotional attractor and how the balance drives or inhibits change; peer coaching as the main form of learning and team coaching in the future and more.

Dr. Boyatzis also shares a rich list of resources where listeners can further their learning on his important work. This is truly an episode that team coaches will listen to repeatedly and is chock full of wisdom and insights that will take your team coaching practice to the next level.

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Resources Mentioned

  1. https://weatherhead.case.edu/faculty/richard-boyatzis
  2. Learning Resources:

Listen to the Episode:

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SHOW NOTES

Part 1 – Getting to Know the Show Guest: Dr. Richard Boyatzis

  • Dr. Boyatzis’ Background:
    • H.R. Horvitz Professor of Family Business; Professor, Organizational Behavior ; Distinguished University Professor, Case Western Reserve University
    • Using his well-established Intentional Change Theory (ICT) and complexity theory, Richard Boyatzis, PhD, has continued to research how people and organizations engage in sustainable, desired change. The theory predicts how changes occur in different groups of human organizations, including team, community, country and global change. Ongoing research supporting this theory includes developing new and better measures of an individual’s emotional, social and cognitive intelligence as well as studies that demonstrate the relationship between these abilities and performance. His latest research includes fMRI studies to establish neuro-endocrine arousal of coaching to the Positive Emotional Attractor and resonant leadership.
    • Boyatzis is professor in the departments of organizational behavior; psychology; and cognitive science at Case Western Reserve University, as well as the H.R. Horvitz Chair in Family Business. He is also an adjunct professor at the international ESADE Business School. Boyatzis has won special awards at Case Western Reserve for research, two awards for teaching, and two awards for service. He is a Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve.
    • Boyatzis is the author of more than 175 articles and seven books that include
    • Boyatzis is a frequent speaker on the international circuit, having delivered speeches and seminars on all seven continents and 65 countries. He has consulted to many Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and organizations in the Americas, Europe and Asia on various topics including executive and management development, organization structure, culture change, R&D productivity, economic development, selection, promotion, performance appraisal and career planning. His Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Inspiring Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence, has over 510,000 students enrolled through Coursera from over 215 countries. Boyatzis has a PhD and MA in Social Psychology from Harvard University and a BS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT.
    • PhD, Harvard University, 1973, MA, Harvard University, 1970, BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1968
  • Began looking at how people help each other in teams in 1967 – that got him out of the aerospace field
  • Started using 1-to-1 coaching in 1969
  • Has logged more than 5500 hours as a coach
  • Most proud of the coaching research lab at Case Western University – actively working on 4 to 6 research projects on coaching at any given time
  • Formal label of coaching came out in 2002
  • Is team coaching something new and different? No.  Has been going on for 45+ years (T groups, sensitivity training, facilitation, process consultation, etc…)
  • A lot of people going into Team Coaching now don’t have the backgrounds to do it
  • Reflections on Team Coaching:
    • There is a thirst for coaching and team coaching because a lot of management training programs, MBA programs don’t work very well – they don’t make you a good manager
    • There are a lot of people doing coaching that aren’t effective either
    • Hunger out there: there is a desire for real change
    • Need for meaning and purpose, to contribute
    • Research on impact of training: last about 3 weeks, embarrassing
    • Desire for evidenced-based coaching: how do we know it is working
    • Why are helping professionals having a hard time help people engage in a process of learning and change that actually works?
    • 1-to-1 coaching has an advantage over training
    • Team coaching: has a huge advantage over 1-to-1 coaching (more affordable and scalable)
    • Coaching will become the modal for how people develop
    • You don’t get very far in a change effort unless you have a group of people to support: resonant relationships
    • “We need groups of people devoted to helping each other develop”
    • That is where a variation of team coaching comes in: peer coaching
    • Peer coaching helps institutionalize a coaching culture
    • Team coaching is enduring because it helps with the establishment of norms
    • Work of Vanessa Druskat and Steven Wolff on team emotional intelligence
    • With preoccupation on performance we lose the focus on development
    • We have to build up everyone’s skills in how to be a team coach: we need everyone skilled in process
    • The team coaching model won’t be so much the sports metaphor but more of a servant leadership
  • On Learning & Performance
    • Learning and performance interweaving
    • Shorter term performance targets (task objectives) and longer term performance targets (innovation, adaptation – how do we prepare for the next thing that is out there and coming)
    • Learning and Performance Goal Orientations: Carol Dweck, when you focus on performance you actually get lower performance than if you focus on learning
    • Neuroscience aspects of what you focus on
    • It’s about interspersing the moments
    • All the focus on metrics, dashboard, etc…we are encumbered with that…crowds out the space for exploring “what if?”

Part 2 – Intentional Change Theory and Application to Coaching and Team Coaching

  • Why some team coaching engagements get traction while other’s don’t
    • Research supports the importance of shared vision and purpose (not role clarity or goal specificity)
    • Story of a leadership team in Fortune 500 company – Dr. Boyatzis tried to coach the team who didn’t want or need to be a team; team coaching just wasn’t happening; CEO wanted the team to be a team vs. a federation but the team didn’t have a shared purpose that required being a team
    • Organization requires a team or the team wants to be a team and finds a reason to do so
    • What’s predicting engagement in the workplace? It’s effected by the quality of the relationships
    • Emotional and social intelligence: really does drive effectiveness in leadership, managerial and professional roles – why? all work requires relationships, we don’t work alone in isolation
    • Interpersonal skills are essential: in a study of branch chiefs at NASA showed that the effective ones all started developing interpersonal skills in high school, refined them in college (even when doing individual bench work) and continued to enhance their team and interpersonal skills
    • Importance of early experiences in life working in teams, collaboration
    • Montessori back in the day was only for kids with behavior problems: now it is the preferred mode of learning; play, being open and free
    • Importance of openness and play for adults
  • Intentional Change Theory (for teams add the word “shared” in front of each of the 5 discoveries)
    • Discovery 1: Ideal Self (what you would like to be, some aspirational values or goals, the more it is a dream the powerful it is neuro-wise; need resonant relationship to feel safe enough to dream); for teams an explicit and shared purpose – goals, roles (responsibility charting) and norms (Hackman, Wageman, Druskat & Wolff)
    • Discovery 2: Real Self (how am I acting on the ideal dimensions now?) – balance sheet; strengths and gaps; strengths-bases approach is necessary but insufficient – if you only have 1 one our to coach a person Boyatzis would recommend (30 minutes on vision, 20 minutes on strengths, 5 minutes on weaknesses, 5 minutes on the learning plan).  Some things you will never change on, there are a few that you could change on (not the ones that are too big but something that get’s in the way but with a minimal amount of effort you can shift). Weaknesses do move us ahead. We seek novelty in our lives which implies some adaptation.
    • Discovery 3: Learning Agenda: building on strengths while reducing gaps
    • Discovery 4: Experimentation & Practice: building new neural pathways
    • Discovery 5: Resonant Relationship (sustaining / maintenance)
    • Positive and Negative Emotional Attractors (in individuals as well as dyads, teams, companies, nations, etc…)
      • Need both but you want roughly 3:1 ratio
      • Oversample the positive; don’t exclude the negative
      • Negative emotions are stronger than the positive so that is why we have to overcompensate
      • Not only about hope and inspiration but also about playfulness
      • When people are getting too intense we are making it hard to be resilient, adapt and change

Part 3 – Parting Advice / Words of Wisdom / Resources

  • richard.boyatzis@case.edu
  • Coursera: MOOC on leadership through emotional intelligence and one on coaching
  • Buy one of the books on Amazon: Primal Leadership, Resonant Leadership
  • Training: executive programs in coaching and teambuilding and intentional change at the Weatherhead School at Case Western University
  • Master’s Degree in Organizational Development (requires coming to campus 5 times over 2 years including once in Europe)
  • Executive Doctorate in Executive Management
  • Articles: email Dr. Boyatzis
  • Recent Articles: HBR article on social intelligence by Boyatzis and Goleman, APA article on ICT in Consulting Psychology Journal, articles on teams are in book chapters
  • Parting advice: relationships matter – they really matter; we get so preoccupied with tasks and goals that we sometimes forget that relationships are the real thing of life; how do we build and maintain them: hope, passion, having a sense of shared purpose and vision, caring for each other

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