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Enterprise wide change superiror results through systems thinking - William J.

William J. Enterprise wide change superiror results through systems thinking - Wiley publishing , 2005. - 353 p.
ISBN: 0-7879-7146-4
Download (direct link): enterprisewidechangesuperi2005.pdf
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Conventional wisdom states that a shared vision is crucial to the success of any Enterprise-Wide Change effort. While we agree, our practical, ground-level work has found that shared core strategies are key to developing and cascading both alignment and attunement strategies (the Yin and Yang of Strategies).
Cascade #1: Shared Core EWC Strategies (Total-Organization Ring)
Shared core strategies as the business glue for the EWC serve as a primary means to the desired ends—unique positioning.
Core strategies are the primary ways in which an organization closes the gap between today (Phase C in the EWC Model) and its ultimate desired positioning (Phase A).
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What is an EWC strategy?
• It is the foundation or basic approach to guide individual and EWC efforts toward the achievement of your organization's vision and positioning.
• It is also seen as the methods and groups of activities that can guide you in bridging the gap over the life of the EWC—from your current-state assessment to your ideal future vision.
• It defines the how-to's or major ways to reach the attainment of your positioning. Strategies are the primary means to the ends.
Strategies should also be few in number, generally two to seven (maximum). Fewer strategies allow for a more focused direction by the enterprise.
The criteria for EWC strategy selection requires that they
• Be integrated with each other—not separate silos
• Support the EWC vision and positioning
• Be linked to customers and product satisfaction (alignment of delivery)
• Be linked to people and culture (attunement with people's hearts and minds)
• Be expressed by a focused list—core strategies that are not comprehensive but few in number (less is more)
• Be clear, specific, and expressed by a one-to-three-word phrase for simplicity
One problem that must be rectified at the outset of this cascade is that, in many planned Enterprise-Wide Change efforts, core strategies are mostly the responsibility and purview of the CEO. The strategies are supposed to cross departmental boundaries in a horizontal, integrated fashion, but once they reach the departments, people and groups (subsystems) go about their business without internalizing the core strategies. The result is not unusual—the typical enterprise with functional silos, each with unique departmental goals that are somewhat unrelated to the true aims of the EWC.
The CEO wants enterprise-wide and integrated change, while departments continue to focus on more traditional functional operations.
When strategy and culture collide, which wins out? Culture, of course!
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Enterprise-Wide Change
A colleague was asked to help rectify and reenergize a TQM Enterprise-Wide Change with a technology manufacturer in the Western United States.
The project seemed to be the responsibility of a core group of committed people. The rest of the organization, however, continued to go about its daily business, uninvolved with the quality project. Naturally, this project was rejected by the existing culture and uninvolved participants, especially the uninvolved executives and department heads. They had other priorities and goals.
Complex systems are changed by small interventions—like shared strategies as department goals.
The butterfly effect is the theory that complex systems can be changed by small, sometimes unnoticed interventions. A butterfly flapping its wings in Nebraska, so the theory goes, sets in motion minute air waves that interact with other air waves, eventually colliding with millions of others in a complex cascade of cause and effect, until (it is speculated) a typhoon halfway around the globe can be traced directly back to that one little monarch.
While this may seem far-fetched, let's put it another way. Minuscule events at the beginning of a chain of events can lead to massive effects at the end. This is the point of finding leverage points in change.
Systems Thinking helps you see patterns in the world and spot the leverage points that, when acted on, can lead to lasting, beneficial changes. EWC requires a set of strategies that addresses the whole enterprise as a living system.
The purpose of having a set of focused change strategies is to keep you from being seduced by something that would be “nice to do.”
The initial set of core strategies is usually chosen by the CEO and the executives. Once these have been identified, it becomes the change consultant's obligation to look at them from a higher view and challenge the executives to think harder about whether they may be missing some other core strategies that seem insignificant now, but could have major impact down the road.
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In the authors' experience, usually one issue—economic alignment (Failure #2) or cultural attunement (Failure #3)—receives inadequate attention at the outset, due to ingrained patterns of analytic thinking and a flawed model of an organization as a system.
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