Ken Bratz Consulting at Heart of Leadership Development in Plano
“There was a lot of anxiety and debating,” .........“We were in a very forming, storming period. But it was OK because we realized that we had to go through those stages before we could start getting consistent base hits and performing at the level we wanted to get to."
Fort Worth City & Parks Director
FORT WORTH, TX, — When Richard Zavala learned a year ago that a new city manager had been hired by the City of Fort Worth, among his first thoughts regarding the change was four seemingly non-related words: forming, storming, norming and performing. And while those words may not have meant anything to some people he worked with, they spoke volumes to Zavala and what he saw as the future for some of the city’s leadership force.
“All of a sudden we were going through another cultural change,” says Zavala, the city’s parks and services director. “We found ourselves in what could be called Phase 2 of a project that began in the mid-90s when we were first introduced to Commitment To Quality (CTQ). The difference is, this time we had the advantage of drawing from what we learned through CTQ. Ken Bratz Consulting provided us with the tools to be in a better position to implement this new change.”
The four words Zavala alluded to, forming, storming, norming and performing, describe a process of team improvement that employees of the City of Fort Worth learned during a series of training sessions provided by Ken Bratz Consulting, a Palestine, TX-based training and management consulting group that specializes in employee-management relationships. The process is taught through a program called The IMPACT Process, formerly known as Commitment To Quality.
Shortened versions for the actions of “forming,” “storming,” “norming” and “performing,” outline steps that take place when management is attempting such things as projects, planning, or problem-solving on the way toward reaching a specific goal.
Forming, which is the first stage, is the process of getting to know each other before tackling the situation, explained Zavala. Storming takes place when there is the presence of conflict or disagreement. Norming comes about when all the players or participants have reached a point of understanding one another and are in agreement.
Finally, there is the act of performing what everyone has agreed on.
“There was a lot of anxiety and debating,” Zavala recalls of the days and weeks immediately following the change in leadership. “We were in a very forming, storming period. But it was OK because we realized that we had to go through those stages before we could start getting consistent base hits and performing at the level we wanted to get to."
“If I didn’t understand that as a result of what was learned in CTQ, I probably wouldn’t have been able to deal with it very well,” Zavala said.
“Ken Bratz Consulting gave us the tools back then. When we needed them this time, we just went back and pulled them out.”
Zavala acknowledges that adapting to cultural changes takes time.
“New leadership often has a different approach to how they want to manage,” he said. “But programs like CTQ (The IMPACT Process) make it easier for people to adapt. The elements of the process provide that all areas are dealt with to identify and solve whatever problems may exist.
The focus of The IMPACT Process is three-fold.
First, it provides an infrastructure that manages, measures and encourages whatever changes take place within the company to make sure the new process becomes the “new way of doing things”. Next, it serves to create goals, direction, language and trust so communication between both parties is clear and everyone understands the goal or mission. And finally, it teaches the organizational and individual skills needed to get the best out of the process.
Points of IMPACT Process Have Lasting Effects
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