What is confrontation meeting?
(This concept was introduced by Richard Beckhard. Ref http://kgsepg.com/projects/confrontation-meeting# )
Confrontation meeting is an activity which allows entire management group, composed of individual from all levels of the organization to take a quick reading on its own health and within matter of hours to set action plan for improving it.
This activity is based on
a) Experience with an action oriented method of planned change.
b) It involves the entire in a joint action-planning programme.
c) The meeting can be conducted several times with one morning and one evening session involving only two or more hours out of usual working days.
Where it is effective?
a) Where there is a genuine commitment to solving the problems on the part of top management.
b) Top management intends to improve the conditions rapidly.
c) There is adequate cohesiveness in the top management team to ensure follow-up.
Benefits of confrontation meeting.
a) Direct communication is improved
b) Morale of employees increased.
c) Better work culture.
d) Improve inter department human relationship
e) Get solutions on day-to-day problems.
Elements of confrontation meeting
a) Climate setting
b) Information collection
c) Information sharing
d) Priority setting & grouping planning.
e) Organization action plan
f) Immediate follow-up by top team
g) Progress review.
A) Climate setting
It requires one hour.
In the very beginning, the top executive communicates to the entire management group his objectives for the meeting and his concern for and interest in open discussion and problem facing.
B) Information collection
It requires one hour.
The entire group of employees is divided into small heterogeneous units consisting of seven to eight participants.
If there is top management group it meets as a separate unit.
No boss and subordinates are placed together.
Each unit consists of participants from each functional area.
The assignments to these units like:
1) Yourselves as an individual with needs and goals.
2) As a person concerned about total organization.
3) What are the obstacles?
b) Poor policies & procedures
c) Unclear goals
d) Poor attitude, which exists today.
4) What different conditions if any would make the organization more effective and make life in the organization better?
Each unit is advised to choose to reporter to present its finding at a general information sharing to be conducted an hour later.
C) Information Sharing
Each unit's representative writes his unit's entire results on a sheet paper, which is displayed at a meeting hall.
Meeting leader provides some major categories in which all the data from all the sheets can be classified.
E.g. If there are 100 items, the possibility is that these can be classified into 8-9 groups involving heading such as communication difficulties, problem with top management etc.
The data sheet is duplicated for the purpose of circulation.
D) Priority setting and group action planning
It involves one hour or more.
The entire group engages itself in a 15 min general session.
With the meeting leader the participants go through the raw data on the duplicated sheets and assign a category number to each element of data.
People assemble in their functional natural work units in for one or more hours.
Thus HR members drawn from all level assemble in one unit, in technical another and so on.
DH presides over the unit.
Each unit is assigned three specific tasks.
•It is required to discuss the problems and issues, which influence its areas of work, and to ascertain the priorities and early actions to which the group is willing to commit itself.
•It is required to identify the issues and problems to which the management team should give maximum priority.
•It is required to ascertain as how to communicate the findings of the session to their subordinates.
E) Organizational Action Plan
It requires two hours.
Total group is assembled in a general session.
Each functional unit reports its commitments and plans to the total group.
Reports and enlists the items which its members believe the management team should deal with first.
Top management is required to react to this list and make commitments for action where needed.
Each unit is required to share briefly its plan for communicating the results of confrontation meeting to all subordinates.
F) Immediate follow-up
Requires 1-3 hours.
Top management team is required to meet immediately after the completion of the confrontation meeting to plan first a set of follow up action which is to be reported ultimately back to the total management group within a few days.
G) Progress Review
After specific intervals progress review of confrontation meeting is to be taken by top management team.
Confrontation Meeting Provides
1) The top management with accurate information regarding an organisation health and the opportunity to make suitable action decision based upon proper information from the organisation.
2) The units with the opportunity to establish priorities for improvement, an increased involvement in the organisation objectives as well as a real commitment to action.
3) A basis for ascertaining other mechanisms for communication between levels and group, proper direction of decision, problem solving within sub-units as well as the tool for upward influence.