Communicate Communicate Communicate

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said. Peter Drucker 1. The supervisory level in your business is like a Sergeant Major. An Army depends on its Sergeant Majors and they determine its success in battle.  Similarly, your business depends on your “Sergeant Majors”, your supervisors.  They “run” your business and determine its success. 2. Do your change programs treat Supervisors with the respect they deserve? Do you bypass them and interact directly with “their troops”.  Or do you first win them over to supporting the change initiative and then let them win over and prepare their teams?  Using the way they always manage their teams: mutual trust.  Who do their troops trust more: Senior Executives or their Sergeant Major during times of uncertainty? 3. Do You communicate directly with your Supervisors? Or do the change messages get filtered by middle management?  How many layers do the change messages need to pass through before they reach the critical front line workers? Activation 1. Assess each change initiative.  Do your supervisors have a central role in the shaping of the change  solution and in the preparation of the workforce for the change? 2. Sketch out the channel Do you and the change team deal directly with your supervisors?  Line managers should support the communications but not own it. 3. Review the communications messages sent to date.  Are the messages about the change relevant to each worker at a personal, micro level?  Do they answer the critical WIIFM – what’s in it for me? Or are they generic, corporate gibberish that alienate your work force? Resources “Communicating Change”...

Five Reasons Why 80% of Business Transformation Efforts Fail

Those that implement the plans must make the plans. Patrick Hagerty, Founder, Texas Instruments CEOs initiate Business Transformation projects with all the right intentions.  Perhaps the cost structure is too high, the customer finds it difficult to deal with us or we need to standardise our operations for upcoming mergers.  Whatever the reason, business transformation is now acknowledged to be a strategic tool within the CEO’s arsenal. So why does study after study show that between 60% and 80% of transformations either fail to deliver their objectives or simply fail outright and are cancelled?  Why do extremely complex projects, such as landing a man on the moon or building the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, succeed while the transformation of a company of 500, 1,000 or 2,000 employs fails?  Reasons can include: Culture. The transformation is at odds with the organisation’s values, norms and behaviours and threatens the status quo.  Resistance to change may be overt or covert. Lack of Process-Centric Approach. An organisation’s business processes define what it does and delivers.  The McDonaldisation of the enterprise gives certainty that the customer is receiving the right product or service. Lack of Buy-In From Key Stakeholders. WIIFM – What’s In It For Me?  The needs of the stakeholders must be addressed.  The critical, supervisor level is often insufficiently engaged. Technology-Led. Technology is a tool, as are a hammer and a forklift.  Tools alone do not improve the bottom line or customer service.  They enable business processes that do. Insufficient Funding. A lack of rigour in the business case may underestimate the true cost of the transformation.  Underfunded transformations usually cut critical, people...