ThreeJoy℠ Associates, Inc. is a leadership coaching firm and change consultancy established to serve individual and organizational clients in higher education to help them grow and develop to better align with the creativity imperative of the 21st century.
Coaching is one of the most effective ways for leaders to grow and develop, and the use of coaching in higher ed is on the rise. Coaching is different than consulting, mentoring, or advice giving in that it proceeds from a number of assumptions:
Client is creative, resourceful, and whole. Coaching starts from the premise that the client is a unique individual, facing unique challenges and opportunities. It further assumes that the client is resourceful, creative, and whole in facing those challenges and opportunities in a way that creates the client’s own meaning.
Agenda is the client’s. Coaching proceeds from the assumption that the coaching agenda is owned by the client, that the coach serves the client, and that leadership is most effective when it is authentic and aligned with the values and aspirations of the client. Coaching is, in part, a process of inquiry and reflection that continually searches for that alignment. Coaching is not a makeover, set of tips, quick fix, or fixed, prescribed program to achieve some academic ideal of leadership.
Coach provides challenge & support through listening & powerful questions, not advice. Coaches know that change is an inside job, and, as such, effective coaches rarely give advice. Instead, they listen, ask questions, support and challenge the client by helping to raise the client’s awareness of his or her own thoughts and feelings and those of others. In this way, the client owns the results of the coaching process in a way that is deeper and substantially different from training, mentoring, or accepting advice.
Organizational change in the context of higher education is both urgent and extremely difficult. Three factors undergird ThreeJoy’s approach:
We live in a profoundly creative era. After World War II, large, hierarchical domestic firms enhancing extant categories of product or service were the norm, but today flatter, more agile, globally connected firms envisioning integrate the product and plans across many disciplinary boundaries. Category enhancers, in other words, have given way to category creators, and higher education has continued to use institutional forms, leadership and organizational practices, and processes and methods aligned with a more pastoral time.
Change is systemically hard. Many educators and practitioners recognize this shift, but higher education has steadfastly resisted these trends. The problem is not a lack of understanding of the need for change or a lack of knowledge about what must change—many lists and plans calling for change in higher education substantially agree on the urgency for and the list of things that must change. The problem is that higher education is embedded in a system designed for a slower-paced era, and that a systems approach must be taken to effect sustainable change.
SmoothChange℠ process respects faculty governance and permits innovation, both. ThreeJoy℠ Associates, Inc. helps clients implement change smoothly, overcoming resistance by applying the transformative SmoothChange℠ process. Pioneered at the University of Illinois from 2006-2010 , SmoothChange℠combines organizational, conceptual, and motivational elements that maximize the probability of change success. SmoothChange℠ is not some one-size-fits-all cureall or cookbook. It is an approach that permits change to be piloted, faculty governance and other organizational constraints to be respected, and for change to take place at cadences that approach those in the private sector.
Contact ThreeJoy Associates, Inc. to learn additional details about the organizational, conceptual, and motivation of the SmoothChange℠ process.
Why ThreeJoy℠? The name ThreeJoy℠ is taken from the three joys of the iFoundry initiative at the University of Illinois (www.ifoundry.illinois.edu): the joy of engineering, the joy of learning, and the joy of community. The number three also refers to the three modes necessary for effective change in the 21st century: organizational, conceptual, and motivational change.