Hundreds of business transformation projects are launched worldwide daily. This includes website development and new assembly line launch, business process reengineering and aggressive marketing campaign aimed at a market share expansion.
Unfortunately, more than a half of these projects become a disaster and burn the budgets.
Plenty of failed projects are the victims of team members’ alienation.
When we get to know a new company, our first task is to figure out the state of communications in the collective, regardless of the topic of the request, even if it is focused on a specific business process or technology.
As the routine tasks become machines’ property worldwide, people search for self-actualization in creative jobs where they have a competitive advantage over machines.
The further it goes the stronger is people’s urge to leave the businesses where they fail to influence the processes.
So if you still need a team and are not ready to stay one-on-one with the dream team of robots, you have to ensure the opportunity to define some parameters of the work for each employee.
Accordingly, you should be ready for a business transformation driven not by the boss’ own plan, but by the team’s creative decisions. The leader’s choice is to become a good director for this orchestra or to fight this elemental storm.
We often meet businesses whose management is principally unaware of how internal communications define whether the desirable change in costs, sales, profitability and other figures.
The transformation of the managers’ attitude towards the communication between the employees is then the factor of success for the entire business transformation project. If nothing changes, the amount of undecidable contradictions by the end of the first stage of the project can easily reach the critical mass and lead to a catastrophe. This has happened enough times in practice before we learnt the following things.
Employee engagement in the business objectives & changes
"Business objectives & changes" are not higher authority strategic decisions that the rest of the team has to be "converted" to, though we do have techniques that allow to introduce decisions from above avoiding resistance. But this is never the first-best solution.
The sustainable change plans and business objectives emerge and evolve in the course of engagement. Beneficial business transformation that improves its competitive advantages taking into consideration all the nuances of the environment can only result from team work.
The first to be engaged is the top management, and then wider circles of employees can get involved. The engagement is carried out in several stages:
- Current state analysis in the form of surveys or Appreciative Inquiry;
- Strategy sessions engaging the top management and defining the general development course;
- Communicative trainings for the wider team, including (optionally) idea generation on the essence of the project;
- Gamification and current feedback processing in the intervals between active events (optionally).
All these measures involve the entire collective in developing the actual changes. People set complex creative tasks for themselves and eagerly exert to resolve them.
The employee engagement efforts are continued all along the course of the business transformation project.
Remote employees will become closer! Save on workstations, be free to employ freelancers from other regions! Your remote team will feel more connected than if they were sitting in one physical space!
Transformation trainings are normally required to support considerable organizational changes in the business, essential technological changes, new management system implementation, or new performance evaluation criteria. A classical example it mergers and acquisitions that mix previously competing teams into one and make them work together.
The main objective then is to figure out a new system of relationships and agree on the way the work will be done together in a participatory atmosphere of a single engaged team.
A transformational training is provided in three main stages:
- Consultation with the management: we figure out the objectives, clarify the transformation mechanism, and its success factors;
- Training for the top management: we come up with agreements on the new communication style and create a cohort of transformation leaders (change agents);
- Trainings for departments and / or project teams. This stage is optional as the change agents can perform it themselves in the course of daily work.
The term "transformational training" is opposite to the term "skill training". However its participants do learn new skills and information. We always provide some useful information to help participants achieve their goals, transformational and general.
Moreover, a transformational training can be combined with a new technology implementation training or a workshop dedicated to the work on a new market.
Every conflict contains growth potential. The objective of conflict management is not to eliminate the conflict and not to punish the aggressor, but to discover this potential and use it.
We utilize a specialized conflict management technique and train managers to use it too. This allows to decrease the personnel turnover, minimize project risks, and improve the employee satisfaction.
Conflict management can take the following forms:
- A single mediation session;
- A conflict management training for managers;
- Tough business games that provide emotional discharge and teach the correct behavior in the real life;
- Appreciative inquiry as applied to conflicts.
There are companies in the world where conflicts constitute the foundation of their management system and produce impressive outcomes.
Lies and trust management
Tool-free lie detection has made a hype in the past decades. Plentiful verification and fraud prevention methods have been developed. But those who order lie detection training for their collectives often neglect one important detail: the absence of positive operational performance effect.
Yes, storekeepers can no longer mislead shift supervisors. Sales managers will never again report negotiations they have not had. But the level of trust in the collective will decrease.
Our lie management program for teams has a completely different focus. It is aimed at improving trust and level effects from previous occasions when colleagues might have brought each other down with lies.
The two stages of the service are:
- Tool-free lie detection and truth investigation training based on Neuro Linguistic Programming approaches;
- Communicative training aimed at figuring out a sustainable attitude towards lies and improving trust in the collective.
Funny enough, truth is ethemeral, as each person lives her own reality. Figuring out who has lied to whom and how many times is like piling onions. You have to stop somewhere.
Much more important is to enrich the team’s shared reality with as many productive states and beliefs as possible. Then the question of truth and lies stops being a problem.
This program is meant for teams that plan for a long-term intensive collaboration and want to figure out the roles, set specific goals in accordance this their members’ aspirations, and raise each member’s motivation to invest in common progress.
A team coaching session may take one to three days and include:
- Goal setting and decomposition;
- Mutual feedback;
- Team games to figure out roles;
- Team anamnesis processing, closing the old energy wasting processes (gestalts) and deriving useful experience;
- Communication games;
- Management style specification for each participant and for the team;
- Agreeing on the communication processes;
- Responsibility zone and task distribution.
We use the term “reframing organization” in Bandler & Grinder sense, although we also take later developments into consideration.
The objective of the reframing is to discover the potential of each process, each structure, each person, and put together the interaction system that allows for their maximal mutual actualization.
Reframing is necessary when an organization suffers efficiency loss for unclear reasons. The processes are adjusted, people are on their places, the economics is counted, but the cash flow stays below the margin.
There are two formats of reframing:
- A single session for the management up to 10 people to figure out one specific problem;
- A series of sessions and individual consultations for a deep transformation.
Corporate culture transformation
Culture is composed of nuances. It is de-facto defined by the present complex of relationships between the team members.
However, there are principal foundations we work with:
- Decision making policies;
- Staff recruiting and onboarding principles;
- Internal regulations and unshakable values, kind of collective rectitude;
- Corporate rituals and regular activities;
- Management methodology implementation practices.
The practices to adopt and the way the outcomes will be evaluated are figured out at the junction of the two universes: the strategic business objectives and the collective sentiments that become clear in the course of structured discussions. The transformation is led and performed by the people, in a natural and desirable way, and we take care of the structure of this process, so that it goes smoothly.
Robotic process automation support
As the routine work in the world becomes the machine’s property, people seek self-actualization in unique and creative tasks where they have definite competitive advantage over the machines. The further it goes the more people want to influence the way business evolves. People’s urge to leave the businesses where they cannot influence the processes is growing.
So if you still need a team and are not ready to stay surrounded with robots, you have to provide each employee with oppotunities to define some parameters of the work he or she is involved in.