NLP In Management

By Bryan Royds, NLP Trainer

An Organisational Development Case Study: Turning Stress into Personal Power

To give you an idea of how our typical organisational development intervention might take place, consider the following real example. Some detail has been omitted to protect client confidentiality.

The Context

In 1995 the Christchurch City Council (CCC) had around 2000 staff serving a population of over 300 000, administering revenue of around $250 million. Following the 1989 Local Government Amendment Act there had been almagamation of 8 separate authorities and five years of extensive restructuring, involving 30% of the original staff being laid off along the way. The impressive result earned the 1994 New Zealand Local Authority of the Year Award, but unsurprisingly it seemed to have taken its toll on staff morale and stress levels.

The Problem

Noticing an increase in health problems and sick-leave, the Council's Occupational Health Nurse approached the Training Officer who after some initial investigation contacted Transformations. Starting from their identification of "excess stress", we worked with them to analyse the priority performance problems, desired competencies, and suitable output measures. As is usual the problems were being caused by a combination of organisational and individual factors, all of which had to be addressed for a satisfactory result. Any solution would also have to be accessible to, yet subtly transforming of, certain aspects of the existing culture.

The Solution

A number of interventions were planned to address the problem systemically, dovetailing with company-wide initiatives for service excellence, leadership development and performance management. As part of this, we designed a one-day seminar to give staff who felt under pressure the ability to Turn Stress into Personal Power. Far more than conventional stress management, this taught participants specific NLP techniques to switch on immediate calmness, confidence and motivation whenever they needed it, and to reprogram their particular stressors to automatically trigger these feelings. Combined with problem-solving and communication skills, this empowered participants to more easily handle and contribute to the ongoing changes.

The Results

The programme outcomes were measured at the levels of participant reaction, classroom learning, on-the-job application and organisational results. In surveys at the course and at quarterly followup sessions, over 95% of seminar participants reported the training to be highly accessible, relevant, and useful on the job. Supervisors comments reflected this and so did the organisational results. The programme is ongoing and since 1995 over 250 staff and managers have attended the seminar, which is repeated every few months for those in need. Transformations consultants continue to work with the HR Directorate and Personnel Unit as the organisation further develops its human resources in alignment with organisational goals. To their credit, it's going well!

Does training add value? US corporate Motorola takes training seriously and in a recent report estimated that for every dollar they spend on staff development they reap a 30 dollar return!