All too often, aggressive new plans for change fail to come to fruition because organizations do not adequately understand their current problems and capabilities. Because market demands pressure leaders to move quickly, some neglect the need for thorough diagnosis and understanding, which is critical for change to be deliberate and effective.
For instance, if you called the doctor because you were sick, he/she would not prescribe medication without first doing an examination to determine what was wrong. You must know how your organization is working before you can effectively develop a change of plans to address critical problems and the strategic demands of the future.
How clear is the direction of the company? How well do you understand the critical opportunities and steps needed to take the company to the next level? How well do team members understand the strengths and weaknesses of the organization? How effective are changes in only one part of the organization without understanding or considering changes to the whole?
These are the basic questions that need to be assessed before change can be implemented. Many business leaders are unable to answer these questions because they have not taken the time to slow down and find out.
A Tool for Assessments
To truly uncover what is working and what is not working inside your organization, you will need to perform an assessment using a tool known as the Transformation Model. This tool provides a framework for viewing the organization as a living system with a bunch of interrelated parts. Using this model, leaders and key team members will see how the pieces of the organization fit together, enabling them to make conscious choices about how to improve their effectiveness.
The Transformation Model reduces organization complexity to seven key elements: results, environment, strategy, core process, structure, systems, and culture. These seven elements form the big picture of the organization. The first step is to analyze and understand each of the elements to know what is wrong or not working in the organization, and how the elements are affecting each other. The next step is to adjust or redesign the elements so they are better aligned to the strategy and to each other. Using the Transformation Model to analyze and realign the organization will improve key results and lead to increased effectiveness.
Focusing on Key Elements
It has been said that self-knowledge is power, bringing focus and confidence to those who possess it. By assessing your organization using the Transformation Model as a framework, leaders and team members will be able to confirm their collective knowledge of how the organization works, while clarifying the most difficult and pressing issues to be addressed. The process focuses employees and brings a confidence, a commitment, and a sense of urgency that is difficult to achieve any other way. Many organizations, in an effort to be more efficient, merely redouble their efforts in the wrong direction. If you take time to slow down, analyze, and understand the key elements and include key members in the process, it will turn the entire organization loose, moving the team forward with focus and commitment along the journey to high performance.
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