This is the content of my session that I presented at LAST Melbourne on 29th June 2017.
Make it Real to Make it Right – how to think about creating a meaningful and sustained transformation within an organisation. The talk covers 10 key areas for consideration when aiming to transform.
The focus is on building teams of high performing teams and how, at Enterprise level, we can deliver a transformation that not only results in greater productivity, but also empowered and engaged teams. Transformation is about moving from one state to another – it’s about change and growth
This is not a theory, not a textbook and is not a trademarked framework. Its my thoughts on what is important when thinking about Transformations.
A Transformation is:
- A marked change in form, nature, or appearance. – https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/transformation
- In an organizational context, a process of profound and radical change that orients an organization in a new direction and takes it to an entirely different level of effectiveness.- http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/transformation.html
A transformation agent need to make sure that they are aware of the tools of transformation and how to apply them, so that the transformation is both effective and efficient, safe for the teams and heading in the right direction.
- a person or thing that precipitates an event or change: – http://www.dictionary.com/browse/catalyst
Transformation is hard, complicated work and needs to be done well to be robust and resilient. Transformations need to be planned, well structured and managed. They are rarely organic, and they need to be carefully curated to ensure the complete transformation occurs.
A transformation needs to consider these areas:
- Clarity; Clarity of vision and purpose that is well understood and known by all. Roadmaps and public planning are used to set the standards of achievement/acceptance criteria then set the tools that will allow the teams to achieve them. This clarity allows for forecasting of changes to the teams, showing them the journey that they will be going on. It also allows the sharing of ideas, approaches and visions. It’s impossible to pre-define all the elements of the transformation so showing people what is coming and then working with them to define the methods is great! Together the transformation teams can build that unity of mindset into the approach. Its important to have collaborative and involved approaches to the changes to be made. If people define their own changes, then they also commit to them. Additionally the clarity is reinforced by clear metrics and measures to allow people to track and understand the progress, and next steps.
- Principles; Principles give meaning to the transformation, and they supply the decision making framework. Our principles guide the decisions we make, which then drives our behaviours. Principles can be the equivalent of the guard rails, road marking and guidelines. These provide safety nets and indicators for the teams to navigate within. They are like the road rules – how to engage with each other during the delivery of a solution or outcome. These need to be “Tool sets – not rule sets” which are about setting teams up to apply the principles themselves. True empowerment is about making the thinking/decision making processes public and accessible by everyone.
- Belief; as a transformation agent you need to be sincere in your own personal belief that the change can occur, be unwavering in your commitment, attitude and mindset. You also need to ask people to “suspend their dis-belief”. This can be done by changing language from “can’t” to “can”. Ideally you need to clearly identify the core beliefs…these are the levers to use in the change growth of momentum. Ideally
people need to explore the ideas but not dismiss them out of hand, allow challenges, but also allow debate. Encourage early converts to own the conversations and the debates. For the transformation create conversations and awareness of the elements of the change. Tells stories and share examples of success from outside. Additionally establish new norms and expectations. Work hard to understand the difference between a Fixed and a Growth mindset and use the right language to cultivate the growth mindsets.
- People; Transformations require a lot of modification in the people “space”, mainly around the behaviours or people. Only the owner of the mind can change the mind so don’t try and change people, but transformations of the people “structures” are important! Keys for transformation in people areas are:
- Changes to the leadership structures – moving away from command/control structures to decentralised decision making, self supporting teams.
- Empowerment, engagement, and ownership Establish team level ownership and responsibility where accountability is taken but blame is removed.
- Decision making at the right level, with the right skills = empowerment
- Building cross functional teams that have the skills required to do the delivery they are tasked with, leaders are their to provide answers to questions, filling the role of “Trusted Advisor” rather than “director”
- Establishing collaboration skills
- Creating communication frameworks and guidelines
- Fostering the growth of the EQ/Interpersonal skills
- Process; Process is the way that teams can gain understanding “why” something has to happen and understand what has to happen “next”. This allows definition of the steps to be completed via inputs, processing and outputs – what they mean and who they impact. Provide teams with the holistic view – end to end of the value stream.Process management needs to involve building in feedback loops. Its vital to optimise the whole, but also to create knowledge.