In order to combine different feelings of urgency into a whole that is synchronized around the required improvement initiative you need to describe a vision for the implementation, a vision that connects what the company does (and why people want to work there) with the benefits they should expect from the implementation.
For example, a simple vision for a widget developer might be: “We will improve our customers’ lives and our ability to compete for their business by giving them the new widget technologies they need when they need them”.
This vision should be described to the different people in the organization in their terms, in order both to set Expectations for the implementation and to tie the expectations to people’s individual sense of urgency.
- Senior leadership will need to understand the strategic and bottom-line implications.
- Project managers will need to understand how the change will positively impact project work.
- Financial people will need to understand the financial ramifications.
- Individual contributors will need to understand how their work will improve.
- And so on.
Sometimes it seems that senior people set up initiatives and make promises without providing the wherewithal to actually make things happen. To avoid that, I recommend a significant planning effort, beyond any generic plans that may already exist.
This has two benefits:
1. It ensures that the specifics of the environment are taken into account so that they do not cause problems later. For example, the organization’s structure will likely have a significant impact on the sequence of implementation activities.
2. People are much more likely to take ownership over things that they have had influence over. That is true whether you are creating gardens, businesses, or implementation plans. When it comes to organizational change, people in the organization are either part of the problem or part of the solution.
Learn more about CORE in my next blog.
CORE: developed by ProChain Solutions
This Article is based on Rob Newbold, Making Change Stick, from the book Cox III, James F.,
and Schleier Jr., John G.,eds. Theory of constraints handbook. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., 2010. p. 108-112