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Testimonial Story (from Patti Seymore)
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One of our goals is "to become a learning organization – where people learn to think differently, by thinking differently they act differently, it is only by acting differently we can truly change.”


Testimonial Story (from Patti Seymore)
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SC Telco Federal Credit Union was formed in 1935 to serve employees of the local phone company.  Through the years we expanded our base to include over 400 different companies in the state of South Carolina.  We now serve 45,000 members providing financial services for both their personal lives and their businesses. 

We have approximately 110 employees.  Of that total, about 30 are in leadership roles for the organization.  In the early 2000’s our company embraced the concepts found in the book, Good to Great by Jim Collins.  We developed a hedgehog that has allowed us to maintain our focus and have tried to stay disciplined with where we are wanting to go. 

Over the last 2-3 years we were aware that we needed to take ourselves to the next level but we were not sure what that was until we started reading The 5th Discipline by Peter Senge.  Of the 30 leaders in our company 10 have read or are re-reading this book and discussing its theories and concepts in small study groups.  In addition, a couple of us have attended SoL's Executive Champions' Workshop and the Foundation for Leadership Program.  We are trying to slowly introduce some of the concepts and ideas of systems thinking.  One of our goals is "to become a learning organization – where people learn to think differently, by thinking differently they act differently, it is only by acting differently we can truly change.”  

It is with this goal in mind that we conducted a meeting this past June with the 30 leaders of SC Telco.  Up until then our leadership meetings consisted of operational presentations and strategic presentations with some input from the leaders, but not enough.  The leaders would sit at tables set up in a "u” shape and be shown videos; power points, etc.  In June we turned things upside down.  We removed all the tables from the meeting.  We sat in a large circle in a room full of windows.  This alone caused some raised eyebrows.  We introduced the concepts from Theory U – open mind, open heart and open will – and that we would be in "safe circles” where we were all free to talk about what was important to us.

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