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Simplicity of Execution: Working In the Enterprise Figure 7.2. The Seven Levels of Reality
From The 12 Natural Laws Of Living Systems
Enterprise-Wide Change The Seven Natural Levels of Reality
Work IN the Enterprise
Later, in Chapter Eight, we will use the third simple framework, the Rollercoaster of Change.
On the Path to Clarity and Simplicity
We have been on the path to simplicity from the beginning of this book.
We dealt with the foundations of Systems Thinking and Smart Start as the prework to Enterprise-Wide Change. We dealt with working on the enterprise to develop clarity of purpose (Goal #1) rather than prematurely setting in motion a
reactionary, analytic, and simplistic set of change actions that achieve little but keep everyone busy.
Some readers may have been waiting all this time for THE chapters on change. In one sense, Chapters Seven, Eight, and Nine are those chapters. In another sense, such anticipation is a low-level remnant of analytic thinking in action—the tendency to think in parts (chapters), rather than in wholes (a book on Enterprise-Wide Change in its totality). Goal #2 is just the formal part of change.
This entire book is about change—and Enterprise-Wide Change began the moment that someone, usually the CEO, started thinking and talking about making some major changes throughout the organization.
Simplicity is the key to happiness in the modern world.
As we have said, execution of Enterprise-Wide Change must be simple by design, or it will not succeed. In complex organizations, simplicity wins the game every time. A critical key to simplicity includes having glue to hold the entire enterprise together. We have all heard about having a shared vision as the overall glue of the enterprise. We believe there are two other glues that give us a simple way to focus our attention in EWC:
• Shared core values are the social and cultural glue
• Shared strategies are the business excellence glue
Other keys to simplicity within enterprises include
• The 80/20 Rule—spend 20 percent of your time planning to leverage, 80 percent executing
• The Rule of Three—people are able to best remember things that are broken into sets of three
• The Three Times Rule—tell people something three times, before, during, and after you make a point
• Elevator Speeches—don't use anything you can't explain in thirty seconds
• Focus, Focus, Focus
Simplicity of Execution: Working In the Enterprise
• One-Sheet Documents—build short documents to simplify the communication of your clarity of purpose, Enterprise-Wide Change Game Plan, and yearly map of implementation/execution
Finally, continually ask throughout the change process these questions: If you could change anything about your Enterprise-Wide Change process and efforts, what would you do to make it
• More meaningful?
• More flexible?
• More focused?
• Have a better overall approach?
For every complex problem there is a simplistic (quick fix) answer and . . . it is always wrong.
H. L. Mencken
Simplistic Knee-Jerk Implementation Techniques (Quick Fixes That Fail)
To solve a problem in an enterprise, have you ever tried any of these quick fixes?
• Formed a team or committee and held lots of meetings?
• Set up training programs?
• Improved communications through videos, intranet, memos?
• Improved the performance appraisal process?
• Empowered people?
• Relegated an important issue to a staff expert?
• Held a yearly retreat?
• Solved one issue at a time and ignored related problems?
• Cut costs across the board?
• Called a hiring freeze?
If these things happened in isolation, disconnected from any larger change effort, you had what Senge (1990) would call Quick Fixes That Fail.
^ THINK DI FFERENTLY
(Thanks to Admiral Dennis Blair, USN Retired): In the 1990s, when the Department of Defense was reduced in size after the Cold War, a civilian hiring freeze was instituted. The result was the average pay grades of civil servants increased by one full grade as they were “required” to do more with less. The payroll remained constant—a quick fix that failed.
Cascading the Changes: Strategies— Initiatives—Tasks—Accountability—Rewards
Most change consultants and executives already understand the importance of core values, which create the culture, the social glue and fabric of the organization, and the work environment for employees. Core values, whether spoken or unspoken, may leave the people in enterprises either satisfied, highly motivated, and committed to the desired changes or dissatisfied, unhappy, and disengaged mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and even physically.
Core values are the organization's social glue.
In this section we focus not on core values, but on core strategies as the business glue to cascade the EWC journey to all employees in all locations.