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Review the A-B-C-D-E Enterprise-Wide Assessment framework that follows. Then review its eight internal modules on the next few pages to see if you can use this Mental Map in your change efforts. Focusing on the first seven modules as the internal workings of an Enterprise as a System is a way to become a better diagnostician and organizational doctor. They are the vital signs of a living effective organization to achieve Module #8—Customer Value and Superior Results.
Figure 6.2. The Enterprise-Wide Assessment
The Systems Thinking ApproachSM to Creating Your Competitive Business Advantage
Assessing the Enterprise as a Living System
The key to an Enterprise-Wide Assessment is the fit and linkage among the inner workings of each module, not the "best answer/technique" per department. Techniques are not new; fit is the innovation.
Excellence is a matter of doing 10,000 little things right—and linking them together.
Module #1: Building a Culture of Performance Excellence
The foundation of this mental map includes Systems Thinking, innovation and creativity, fact-based decision making, and the organization's core values.
A culture of performance excellence is a crucial pillar of business excellence. Culture is defined as the collective behavior in the organization and is one of the four missing links described in Chapter Five.
Note: For further reading on core values, we recommend Hultman (2001). For further reading on culture change, we recommend Bellingham (2001).
Module #2: Reinventing Strategic Planning Based on Positioning
The essence of effective strategic thinking is resolving the issue of positioning and building measurable goals/key success measures. The resulting clarity of purpose must then become the core focus of the day-to-day EWC process: vision and positioning, metrics and strategies, business and annual plans, budgets, finance, and legal support, and a yearly strategic management cycle that includes all the above.
Note: For further reading on this subject, see Haines (2000).
Module #3: Leading Enterprise-Wide Change
Overall leadership and management of an Enterprise-Wide Change to create a more customer-focused organization is the essence of this module—and this book. The module includes a menu of change structures and infrastructure; the Rollercoaster of Change; staffing, budgeting, and resourcing change; communications, involvement, and teamwork; and change processes and projects.
A few years ago a large Midwest automotive company division started an Enterprise-Wide Change project to build self-directed work teams as the basic building blocks of the organization, patterned after the then radical Saturn automotive plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
However, even after putting all of the new union employees through a two-week-long training program, there was no follow-up program after the first year (after the CEO was promoted and transferred).
Two years later, the organization called a consultant back in to “fix” the problems that continued to crop up. The cost to the company to get the project back on track was enormous—over $80,000 in one consulting check alone.
Holding regular reviews and keeping up with the ongoing hard work of implementation would have been a lot less costly in money, emotions, and problems than hiring the consultants and paying their fees . . . again.
Note: For further reading on this change and innovation module alone, we recommend Dean Anderson and Linda Ackerman Anderson (2001) and Byrd and Brown (2002).
Module #4: Creating the People Edge
A key component of EWC is having people and support elements strategically in tune with each other, geared to achieving desired positioning. Strategic people plans are, unfortunately, missing from most organizations. We strongly believe that this is a corporate-wide issue for senior management (people stewardship is their responsibility), not just an HR functional issue. Organizations need a strategic people plan as much as they need a strategic marketing or financing plan.
Key components of this module include strategic people/HR plans, recruitment and retention, training and development, performance and rewards, and best people practices (detailed at the end of Chapter Nine).
We call this overall, strategic appreciation for human assets The People Plan. It typically includes attracting, hiring, motivating, developing, empowering, rewarding, and retaining all crucial staff.
Assessing the Enterprise as a Living System
Note: For further reading on this topic, see Bandt and Haines (2001).
Module #5: Achieving Leadership Excellence
Leadership is the foundation for everything else and is the number-one organization-wide core competency of successful organizations. Leadership development must be an initial and ongoing priority for the collective management team. This is especially true for the middle and senior executives of organizations, who would most directly need skills for success in EWC.