Is there an ultimate guideline for running an organization?
There are many for every single activity and none is correct. Or, none is entirely correct no matter how hard authors try to prove it. Life with guidelines is much easier, but their application must be based on common sense, not on blind tracking by the user.
The article is about the ultimate solutions and tools you expect consultancy firms to sell you. I intend to provoke you to question the process of looking for a solution next time your organization is in need of advancement.
Certainly, I indicate two viewpoints, which I would like you to think about. Firstly, the context in which the organization operates (external and internal); secondly, systems mindset in terms of synthesizing interconnections, and giving priority to the organization as a system, or its subsystems, over the parts.
Magic for Ineffectiveness
Organizations of all sorts use nowadays terms that end with “tion” on daily basis. Regardless of their proper or misinterpreted usage, organizations target changes. They are eager to bring a sharp new, state-of-the-art, medicine or magic. In other words, organizations are aiming at a solution of all, or most, of their previous inefectiveness. The ineffectiveness is related to mistakes made, poor performance, dissatisfied clients, unmotivated employees, and a broad spectrum of other issues.
Organizations, understandably, often expect to implement an easy-going solution in a short period, but without a clear vision and appropriate preparatory actions. Accordingly, the solutions usually come in a form of “one size fits all” software, tool, or methodology, proposed and implemented by a consultancy firm. Above all, the same firm is very often the vendor of the proposed solution.
Let’s wait for few minutes and think whether it should be done that way?
The authorized employee, the C-level/Board/Owner/others, makes decisions whether the “tion” shall be implemented in an organization. Triggers for initiation might be diverse, and the initiator could be any employee, at least theoretically. Another issue is whether the decision process satisfies the main prerequisites and fulfills the required steps.
Regardless of whether you are a decision-maker or the proposer, an expert, or an associate who participates in the process, you should take into account a few important questions in different stages of making and implementing the decision.
For the brief analysis of questions decision-maker, proposer, expert should ask him/herself before the introduction of “tion” I use transformation as a container for several other “tions“.
Questions to keep in mind
Vision and Justification
- Why do we think our organization should implement transformation?
- Consequently, do we really need to implement transformation?
- What do we want to change by having it implemented?
- Which problems did we identify?
- What are the causes of the problem?
Elements and Interrelations
- How did we treat the problems/causes previously?
- Did we analyze the context, participants, processes, current technology, organizational setup, workplace, lessons learned, and so on?
- Did we analyze interrelations between the problem/ causes and other elements?
Coverage and Interoperability
- Is the transformation only option, i.e. did we compare other potential solutions?
- Is solution A, proposed by the consultant, an adequate tool, the right one?
- Did we assess and compare other tools that target the same or related issues/areas?
- Did we identify all issues/areas we have to change now and to improve in the future?
- Does solution A cover current and future needs that we intend to target?
- Finally, how did we treat the interoperability of solution A with the existing and intended future solutions, technologies, equipment?
KNOWLEDGE AND CULTURE
Capacity, Interest and Attitude
- Did we assess our staff concerning the transformation/solution A?
- Do we have adequate (experienced and knowledgeable) staff to deal with transformation/solution A?
- How did we analyze the corporate culture beforehand?
- Did we assess staff profiles that will work on the implementation of the transformation?
- Did we assess the interest and attitude of staff towards transformation/solution A?
Planning and Executing
- Do we have set KPIs, consequently phase by phase?
- Did we determine the corporate culture redefinition path, consequently phase by phase?
- Did we make a proper estimation of the costs of the implementation and benefits of exploitation the transformation brings in short/medium/long-range?
- To sum up, what is added value we expect the transformation to bring to the organization?
In conclusion, in case you are a decision-maker or an influencer, do not exclusively or dominantly fall under the impact of any trends, fancy words, or authorities, until you confront the solution with the needs of your organization, now or in the future. The success comes from the way you question an organization’s processes and decisions on one side, but also from the way you question the consultancy firm the organization partners with on the other side. You are obliged to question the consultancy firm’s approach, proposals, and implementation sharply and professionally, not being burdened by its size or reputation.
For a more comprehensive clarification of issues that must be covered, and steps that should be taken before the introduction of transformation, but equally important during and after the implementation, you can check and download our Eye-Opener that shall be published in the following days: