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Appreciative Inquiry atU. S. Cellular

The Next Generation

The Next Generation

The Next Generation

The Next Generation

The Next Generation

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History of AI at U S Cellular

  • Start

  • “Exponential Growth”

  • Generative Learning

  • Current State

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History of AI at U S Cellular

Criteria for Success

  • Leadership Presence – must drive it

  • Cascaded leadership ownership for the process

  • Robust planning team process – leveraging unique individual strengths

  • Generative learning – from summit to summit

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Regional Summit Approach

Central Region

  • May 7-9, 2003

    • Voices included 1800 (interviews)

    • AI Summit 225

    • Theme: Living the Dynamic Organization

      OD Network Award Winning Project

  • April 4-5, 2006

    • Voices included 150

  • April 4-5, 2007

    • AI Summit 250

    • AI Voices 1000

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Regional Summit Approach

West Region

  • November 7-9, 2006

    • Voices included 1500 (interviews)

    • AI Summit – 240 participants

    • Theme: Success to Significance

  • October 29-30, 2007

    • AI Summit – 230 participants

    • Theme: Communications

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Regional Summit Approach

East Region

  • Market level: July, 2002- May, 2003

    -3 A.I. Summits (Day1- interviews- Day2)

    - # interviewed: 117; 63; 301

  • Regional level: June 19-21, 2006

    • Voices included: 1,400 (interviews)

    • AI Planning Summit: 29

    • Interviewers trained: 208

    • Data miners trained: 74

    • AI Summiteers: 240


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Functional Summit Approach

Engineering & IS

  • July 17-18, 2006

    • AI Summit 600 (Entire Organization)

      Marketing & Sales Operations

  • May 3 & 22, 2006

    • AI Summit 125 (Entire Organization)

      Business Support Services

  • January 19, 2006

    • AI Summit 125 (Entire Organization)

      Operations Integration

  • February 15-16, 2007

    • AI Summit 50 (Entire Organization)

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Innovations Before the Summit

  • East Region Planning Summit-

    • “Summiteer” Selection Criteria

    • Strengths-based Placement on teams

    • “Barrier Busters” alignment w/teams

    • “Imbedded Planners” (West region)

    • Interactive Intranet site launched

      with teaser awareness campaign

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Innovations Before the Summit

  • Interview Data Collection

    - Generative data base evolution

    - Virtually every person interviewed

    - Data Miners trained to qualitatively analyze data

    - Interviewer training utilized actual data entry template

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Innovations Before the Summit

  • East Region DVD collaboration

    • Pre thru post production vision painting

    • Outcomes alignment= mutual freedom

    • Freedom = joint ownership energy

    • Partners, not providers

    • Result: 2007 TELLY Award winning DVD

      for Bluegill Creative

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Innovations During the Summit

  • Data Mining

    • Participants Mining Raw Data

  • Storytelling

    • Alyce Smith-Cooper

    • During the Day, End of Day

  • Artwork

    • Associate Artists

  • DVD

    • Re-ignite Excitement

    • Share with those who were not there

    • Use for Follow-Up Activities

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  • Data Miners

    • Loved to read!

    • Forever changed by what they saw.

  • System & Controls

    • Web driven; multiple people inputting; administrator only access to main database

    • Matched interview questions; consistent input

    • Exported to Excel; set up categories based on word count

    • Sorted by High-Med-Low impact of comment

    • Pushed back into database; export raw data by category

  • Themes in PG

    • 10 themes; high-impact stories, quotes

  • Raw Data Mining DURING Summit

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Innovations in Follow-Up

  • East Region

    • Leadership Tool Kit – 3 meeting process guide

  • West Region

    • 2-Hour Mini-Summit Modules

    • KFA Team Alignment with Summit Action Plans

    • Ongoing AI Communications Committee of Associates

  • Central Region

    • One-Day Mini-Summits in Iowa Market

  • Engineering and IS

    • Summit Tool Kit

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Innovations in Follow-Up

  • Iowa Market:One-Day Mini-Summits

    Iowa One Day Mini-Session Agenda

    • A.M.

    • Welcome, Opening Remarks

    • Overview of Session, Agenda

    • Understanding Appreciative Inquiry

    • Discovering the best of U. S. Cellular, Task Brief #1

    • Celebrate What’s Right with the World

    • P.M.

    • U. S. Cellular’s Positive Core, Task Brief #2

    • Reframing in the Positive

    • Envisioning the Future, Task Brief #3

    • Identifying Initiatives, Task Brief #4

    • Moving Forward: Next Steps


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IOWA MINI-AI SUMMITS: Train the Trainer

Day 1

Overview of purpose of Summit and role of facilitator

Deep dive into Appreciative Inquiry

  • Teach AI basics

  • Teach presentation skills

  • Teach AI reframing

  • Participants teach-back

    Deep dive into Dynamic Organization

  • Teach DO basics

  • Link DO to AI

  • Participants teach-back

    Day 2

    Facilitating the “Celebrate” Video

  • Show video

  • Design discussion points

  • Discuss techniques for soliciting/managing discussion

  • Participants practice leading discussions

    Basic facilitation skills/group dynamics

  • Facilitation handbook; review and discuss

  • Group dynamics; review and discuss

  • Skill practices to apply learning

    Preparation for Session

  • Checklist

  • Logistics

  • Materials

  • Support

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AI Mini-Summit Facilitator Job Description:

The purpose of this role is to co-facilitate a one-day Appreciative Inquiry Mini-Summit to associates in the Iowa market who have not yet attended an AI Summit. Facilitators will receive training in basic facilitation skills, group dynamics, the Dynamic Organization, and Appreciative Inquiry.

  • Requirements to fill this position include:

  • Previously attended an AI Summit

  • Basic understanding of appreciative inquiry

  • Basic understanding of the Dynamic Organization

  • Comfortable presenting to groups of 20-30 people

  • Willing to learn basic facilitation skills

  • Good listener

  • Desire and ability to be a leader

  • Recognized as a role model for AI and the DO

  • Trained 22 facilitators, who then went out into the Iowa market and co-facilitated the one-day sessions. Each facilitator conducted two sessions.

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    West Region2-Hour Mini-Summit Modules

    Five modules, 2 hours each:

    • Understanding AI

    • The AI Summit

    • Celebrate What’s Right with the World

    • Dream

    • Sharing Our History (Timelines)

  • Each module consists of a set of power point slides with facilitator notes, and a facilitator’s kit with instructions for how to teach the module, as well as instructions for set -up, handouts, and facilitator tips.

    Trained 15 facilitators in Tulsa and 20 facilitators in Missouri in how to conduct the mini-sessions. They in turn scheduled (through LMS) multiple sessions for people in the West Region who did not attend the Summit. Do not have a count of how many people participated in mini-sessions, but my guess is hundreds across the region. The Call Center also used the modules to teach AI there. Modules continue to be taught throughout the Region as we speak.

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    East Region Leadership Tool Kit

    • Purpose: extend the journey & experience with all Associates

    • Process: Summiteers & team leaders facilitated all follow-up sessions

      - 3 stand alone meeting process guides

      - Option: combine into a full day summit immersion

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    Engineering & ISSummit Tool Kit

    • Established AI Communications Office

    • Follow Up AI Activities

      • Commit to learning of the principles of Appreciative Inquiry.

      • Complete the recommended follow up activities by the end of 1Q07.

      • Share your learnings with each other and with your leaders – as a means of building cooperative capacity.

    • Development of an Dynamic (Appreciative) Leadership Workshop

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    Outcomes for U. S. Cellular

    • Strengths-factored team development

    • “Yes, and”… dialogue response patterns

    • “Can do” to “Will do” to “We’ll do”

    • Reinforced our Dynamic Culture

    • Appreciative lens perspective embedded organization-wide

    • We’ve been used by Jim Ludema as case study during his A.I. Summit workshops