Tag Archive | Organizational Change

1-Minute Assessment: Organizational Process Focus

Take today’s 1-minute assessment:

  1. Do you regularly appraise your organization’s processes?
  2. Do you identify process improvements?
  3. Do you author and carry out process action plans?

Did you answer NO to any of these questions?  If so, you might be missing an opportunity to bring better practices to bear on your operations.

Regular appraisal will give you a timely and recurring view of your process strengths and weaknesses.  Consider all sorts of process: financial, technological, quality, talent management, marketing, and others.  You can benchmark against your previous performances, and to the industry. Seek to improve in those areas where you do not meet your own expectations.

Name your process goals: reduced cycle times, greater quality, higher productivity, increased market, improved brand, whatever your aspiration.

Process action plans will list the improvement activities, and will help you to communicate strategy and tactic.  Manage these action plans as you would a project or a program.  Be certain to take the necessary steps to motivate people and to gain their agreement, along the journey’s way.

© Michael C. Simonelli, onthegocio.com, 2013

1-Minute Assessment: Organizational Learning

Take today’s 1-minute assessment:

  1. Do you identify your organization’s strategic learning needs?
  2. Do you tie your learning strategy to resource planning and to talent management?
  3. Do you have a tactical plan for organizational learning?
  4. Do you consider the needs of your 3rd parties in your learning strategy and plans?
  5. Do you indeed deliver the required learning?
  6. Do you assess the learning’s effectiveness?
  7. Do you consider your Learning Organization a chief lever to pull for managing effective change?

Did you answer NO to any of these questions?  If so, you probably should consider if you are succeeding in developing the skills and knowledge of your people, so that they can do their roles effectively and efficiently, in support of the book of work you have signed up for.

© Michael C. Simonelli, onthegocio.com, 2013

The Soundtrack

Wake up, sing in the shower, exit your flat, whistle a tune, commute,  i-Play a favorite ditty, Zumba to beats, 150+ per minute, dine to ballads, promenade to hip-hop, talk over soft jazz, shop to Pop, fall asleep to pink noise.  Music and sound everywhere.

Now consider your workplace and its soundtrack, the themes motivating the dancers on your projects, programs, and change initiatives.  A lonesome horn, over some bass and swirling brushwork?  A blend of finely tuned multi-part harmonies?  12-tone and dissonant or easy to hum?  The usual verse-chorus-verse-chorus-fade, or something more?

Satie’s Trois Gymnopédies.  Miles’s Blue in Green.  SOS Band’s Take Your Time.  Sinatra’s Come Fly With Me.  Segovia’s Bach Prelude.  St. Vincents Party.  Your favorite?

They’re all playing out there, in your head, in the office next-door, on the floor below, down the boulevard, across the country, after the sun, the different tunes, the backbones laid down by the different drummers.

To each their own.  Include your favorites and then play them all.  Not one at a time, but all at once.  You will potentially need to, dear Maestro, to bring order to what would otherwise be cacophony.

© Michael C. Simonelli, onthegocio.com, 2013

Tickets Please

Is every employee entitled to a seat on the moving vehicle of an organization undergoing change?  Who goes, who endures, and who thrives?  Ducks, swans, and eagles, quacking, singing, and soaring.  There are some moving on, others rehearsing the next meaningful soliloquy, and those who for the first time will show ’em what they’ve got.

As you contemplate the challenge, do you see yourself still standing when all that’s ahead is behind?  Are you outside looking in, or are you center, in the mix?  Are you motivated and are you able?  Do you still have a chisel to whet?  Dust, talc, or bedrock?

Consider your tolerance for challenge and for change.  How long does it take to get to a new you?

© Michael C. Simonelli, onthegocio.com, 2013

Thoughts On Boiling the Ocean

Don’t boil the ocean – a clichéd caution against over-ambition and a lack of focus.  We imagine steam rising from waters, salty spray, a scene almost primeval. But is this good advice for organizations seeking meaningful and lasting change?  Putting a kettle up might be okay for tweaking things as they are, but sometimes we need to act in a way more disruptive and reaching.  Should we be willing to throw caution to the wind, just a bit, when faced with such a challenge?

A vision for organizational change imagines a rejuvenated and improved state of affairs, across a broad seascape.  Otherwise it’s a vision for something less, a point initiative, a narrow improvement.  IT practice is systemic, a cultural phenomenon based on hand-offs, stand-offs, and interlocking pieces.  Wiggle a wrist, and the hand flexes, the elbow braces, while the shoulder, back, and neck, resonate in support.  Wiggle enough parts and soon the joint’s jumping’!  Likewise with organizational change.  An ocean wave begets another, and so on ….

Consider the potential benefit of spreading our lessons learned across a wide span of initiatives that evolve together, each nudging the other to a success greater than the parts.  Is boiling maybe synonymous with executing a well-orchestrated and calculated program for change?

Consider the standard frameworks out there like COBIT, ITIL, CMMI,  and other favorites, whatever might be right for what’s at hand.  These are templates to frame change, end-states of the ocean successfully boiled, manuals of how to agitate the molecules of various process and service areas, to heat things up, to get us to where we’re heading.

Be cautious of under-ambition.  It is difficult to effect meaningful and sustained change in just one or two service or process areas.  It’s all interrelated, and the idea that the organization can neatly isolate these practices is not always an effective one.  Look to advance meaningful combinations – like Change, Release, Software Configuration, Test Data, Environments, and Quality Assurance – as a package of ability which over time evolves to higher levels of maturity.

© Michael C. Simonelli, onthegocio.com, 2013