We use result-oriented approaches with compact methodology aligned with the goals of the task.
Focus-teams realize breakthrough success while innovating processes and ways of working to meet new levels of demands for results.
To meet higher demands for results, a cluster of breakthrough teams develop and realize new solutions for products, processes and ways of working. The teams advise each other and encourage productive, replicable change. Tangible and visible success for each team is the main motivator.
A larger team attacks a problem that needs trans-unit solutions and change to be solved. In workshops one to four days in length, the teams work out solutions and organize themselves to attain results within a matter of months. This approach combines the use of leadership for framing the problem and sponsoring realization, as well as large group techniques, problem solving methodology as well as the development self-organized team responsibility for results and change.
The basic idea of a strategy concept should be simple. The way to prove a strategy is by practicing it. In an intensely creative process the basic concept idea can be harnessed. Then the idea can be refined with iterating loops of results. The FastWorks model recommends starting with a minimum viable product. It is important not to just test an idea but to develop and tune it, learning constantly.
A strategy concept describes a basic idea that materializes in clear goals of product- and process advantage. These can form the nucleus of advantage with immediate impact if focused clearly on a market segment, meeting the urgent needs of customers. Product- and process advantage must be specifically aligned with the basic idea of how customers relate to the product. The Delta Model (A. Hax) offers a practical taxonomy for designing advantage. The later model of strategy canvas is a way to illustrate the connection of elements of strategy.
Managing a strategy means to track its success, to re-understand its mechanisms, to tune it, and to develop it. This can be done in a management process that sets result goals for the strategy with every meeting, such as a 10% increase in the value of the business. Thus, ideas and suggestions have to be worked out before the meeting and can then be discussed and validated. A tool like Balanced Scorecard may help, if it is used in a lean, result focused manner. Often times, management procedures do not allow for time and space on the agenda, or tools are overused, losing the connection to the reality of the business.
A strategy meeting is decisive for forming a unifying view of values, success factors, and achievements on the path to results. A strategy meeting should be centered on two poles: one is the understanding, observing and tracking of existing strategy. It should continuously be validated based through the lens of future customer needs, products, processes and capabilities. Pole two is the alternative of a radically improved strategic advantage. This can be developed by means of Design Thinking and strategy scenarios. A strategy meeting needs debate, which has to be made productive, not detrimental. The major traps of a strategy meeting are a mechanical processing of tools, discussion-preventing applause for shallow break-out team results and flat SWOT-analysis. The mortal sin is to directly leap from analysis to action plans, shunning consensus on a strategic concept.
Strategies don´t fail, realization does. Value creating strategies demand change in several, business processes and practices that are interlinked. This kind of change can be projected only within limits. Plans often underestimate the change each action requires and eventually get stuck. Result focused strategic initiatives, by contrast, focus the realization activities on specific outcomes of the business that are attained within a matter of months. Strategic initiatives integrate the necessary change activity into the goal. This business result functions as a proof of concept of the strategy. A customer orientation strategy for instance confirmed that when new offerings or key delivery processes deliver results. If a strategy does not allow for framing as a strategic initiative, then this is an indication that the strategy may lack substance.
Widely autonomized teams work in high frequency result loops. Participants support each other through action reviews and feedforward communication. They address tensions on the spot, and stipulate agreements on responsibility to create solutions.
Teams with result responsibility systematically tune the outcome and impact of business processes. The teams are authorized to determine and apply the methodology they want use – how to discover potential, how to invent and appraise solutions and how to iterate success. This principle has also has been declared one of the fundaments of Radical Management (Stephen Denning).
Big projects tend to fail. New insights and discoveries emerging with implementation are too manifold to be integrated into the master-plan. So the plan gradually becomes unrealistic and detached from reality. We recommend having all sub-projects focus on narrow, short-term, scalable steps of prototype end results – such as processes or products that deliver. These holistic “minimal viable solutions” can be reached and replicated in higher frequency than big total solutions. With such a focus, the work packages become integrated into short cycles. This procedure allows for updating the original concept of the project and adapts solutions when they are still malleable.
Teams develop processes in cycles of rapid prototyping, focused on delivering results in early stages. These are subject to iterative steps of further development. Process responsibility and leadership can be formed and corroborated with practice. That avoids the friction of over structuring the process or freezing it too early, losing the plasticity needed for implementation success.
The common understanding of the business, the priorities of the work style and the perception of the future are the elements that make the culture of an organization, the way it behaves. Culture does not develop by declaration. Culture evolves in a more or less structured process of learning along with emerging practices. Only after having reached a common ground of perceiving and valuing experiences, can any principle of the corporate culture became real. This process is critical to may prevent written values from degenerating into empty formulas that eventually breeding cynicism.
It is critical for the survival of an organization to adapt to the change of success factors and to evolve new competencies and behavioral patterns with that. This needs practice, exercise and learning which, if organized, works best in the course of a day-to-day business pursuing new and ambitious goals. Resistance and anxiety wane where people sense the opportunity for meaningful success. “Change Management” often is oriented on applying certain methodologies. But it is business success that will guide change, while methods alone will distract commitment and thus blockade necessary change.
When the difference of perspectives cease to propel productively, conflicts emerge over perceived win-lose situations. When this happens, the call for collaboration and loyalty has little effect. Now the parties involved must, in separation, profoundly reflect their respective goals, and then assess them in different perspectives of a common whole. Based on this self-assurance of the parties involved, a dialogue on common ground may be approached. To proceed in this sequence is critical to having new perspectives emerge.