There are four cornerstones to our transformation approach:
1. Rally around a common purpose
The front end of an initiative is all about alignment. Before we even begin, we conduct what we call an Opportunity Analysis. This is a series of studies to quantify the performance gaps in the current operation. We gain agreement with senior executives on the specific objectives, benefits and costs of the initiative.
We then work with your management and employees to verify the performance gaps. We determine what portion of the gap is recoverable and the impact of those changes. We help management cascade objectives so that there is clarity of purpose, responsibilities and roles. People know why change is happening, what it means to them, and what they need to do to make it happen. We also develop a practical strategy to physically implement the changes and measure the improvement.
2. Make performance visible
Sustainable improvement only happens when people actually plan for higher performance, execute to that plan, and then physically act on the variances. These kinds of behavior changes are never easy. A key aspect is to make performance visible to all levels of management and employees. Better results reinforce the reasons for changing. The key performance indicators need to be straight forward, accurate, understood and believed in. Better results eventually drive changes in mindset.
3. Manage variances with humility
Change never works exactly as planned and to sustainably improve performance, managers need to act on variances. How they do this is critical to employee engagement. If managers genuinely see themselves as a problem-solving resource to support front-line employees, employees will be engaged and have confidence in the way forward. Many managers need training and coaching on how to support, rather than monitor, their employees.
4. Apply pressure for continuous improvement
The best managed organizations reach a performance objective and then re-set their sights on the next level. Continuous learning and improvement is part of their cultural DNA. This keeps managers thinking about the next frontier and keeps employees challenged and engaged. We help provide managers with the tools and coaching to foster this type of environment, and we reinforce the message when we do our follow up reviews after the on-site engagements are completed.