Lessons From The Road

Yeah, everyone wants complete and utter success in everything. Right.

Well what gets in the way? – Us!

The observations we have made over the years fall into some interesting areas – they make for interesting reading. At the highest level they fall under 4 areas – What stops progress or value in these types of challenges? What are the classic myths?

What capabilities are required to succeed and what has been proven to work?

What Stops Progress?

  • An inability to get at the real root cause
  • Denial of the facts – mindsets stuck – fixed paradigms
  • Poor leadership styles – leadership maturity and lack of expertise
  • Lack of an inspiring Vision, Roadmap and/or Strategy
  • Inappropriate data and a lack of understanding of how to get at the right data
  • Lack of impartial advice leading to fixing inappropriate issues
  • Lack of an appropriate/mature enough change management approach
  • Lack of common definitions and principles for managing complex enterprises
  • Silo’s and the fixed dimensions of inappropriate organisation
  • Lack of the correct decision criteria for decision making and governance
  • Lack of the appropriate motivational KPI’s
  • Lack of belief in past program’s of work
  • Concern that there will be blame (or persecution) – the reaction to speaking out
  • Lack of objective monitoring of the progress and performance of things (moving parts) in the program
  • Inability to measure the progress.
  • Reluctance to make the hard decisions or remove the offending people
  • Lack of meaningful consequences within the enterprise
  • Inability to get the leaders to change – (Not on my watch) Leaders are in their last few years of their role and don’t want change
  • Lack of interest in the new technologies and platforms
  • Not enough attention paid to culture and the environment for motivating people

What Are The Myths?

  • That leadership will fix everything
  • That technology will solve everything
  • That it’s not ‘our’ responsibility but ‘theirs’
  • That strategy is set and business plans are written (and will survive) for 3 years
  • That it will somehow just get better over time
  • That the ‘Brand’ will simply emerge or sustain itself without work
  • That strategy is somehow going to find its way out there naturally
  • That all people in the enterprise care as much as everybody else does about the success of the firm
  • That spending money and effort on creating strategy is enough
  • That execution is simple and just happens
  • That meetings are how work gets done.
  • That complexity is a bad thing and everything has to be simplified
  • That the meaning of things is automatically understood and shared by people
  • That it’s just financial investment that’s required and not exchanges of value and knowledge
  • That we make all the decisions and Partners/Stakeholders will simply follow whatever we say
  • That strategy needs to be developed in isolation from the enterprise and simply communicated out
  • That change fatigue cannot be overcome
  • That people can’t change
  • We are too big to be affected

What Capabilities Are Required?

  • Open and non-judgemental thinking approach to the current world and its dynamics
  • An ability to spot the real patterns in the data and the dynamics associated with change
  • Paying attention – the ability to focus on the change and the meaning behind strategy and all its moving parts.
  • Eloquence and fluency in explaining an inspiring the workforce around the change and the vision
  • A passionate interest in the marketplace and other marketplaces – one that liberates insights and stories that can motivate others
  • Whole systems thinkers who can understand the complexity but can engineer advantages from the networks and eco-systems associated with the social business.
  • Creativity within the planning process and rich and quality thinking around scenarios
  • Customer Experience expertise, understanding the cross channel opportunities – mobile and UI/UX skills
  • Team building skills that can engage and inspire and give confidence to the enterprise
  • Powerful communications skills – internally and externally. Leading to ‘Story Telling’ skills that can turn difficult or intangible ideas into meaningful realities for others.
  • Innovation as a capability and environment and an entrepreneurial attitude to work
  • Knowledge transfer and access

What Is Proven To Work?

  • Engagement at all levels in the enterprise
  • Change that is owned through the firm
  • An agreed framework within which to work ad that everyone aligns around
  • Sustained energy for the single minded program
  • A consequences and governance program that is understood and socialised and enforced
  • Sustained energy and disciplined approach to regular check ins and x-functional interlocks
  • Open and transparent communication
  • Clear and consistent messages
  • Feedback and active celebration of what is and isn’t working
  • Good leadership – open, trustworthy and experienced

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johncaswell @johncaswell
John Caswell  @johncaswell
Over 2000 insights, axioms and nuggets from around the world. Visually of course. http://t.co/TSdItGr0KM 

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