Strategies to Accelerate Learning

Adult learning is best when it’s self-directed, flexible, shared, experiential and when it involves ‘learning by doing’. The ways that individuals and organisations responded to the impacts of COVID demonstrated the power of adult learning.

Calculating the Value of Change Management

Calculating the value of change management is a challenge for executives and leaders who need to quantify their investments in this area. How do they know they are getting a true return on investment? Even some of the largest change teams, where there are high levels of change maturity and awareness, are constantly scrutinised to provide tangible visibility and metrics.

The greatest fear is to invest in key initiatives that do not provide the expected benefits. This could be a $1B enterprise-wide Transformation program where the new structure and processes are not understood or adopted, or could be a $1M Technology project where staff then do not use the newly implemented system.

What is the ‘opportunity cost’ of not getting it right, and not getting it right the very first time? There is obviously a huge financial saving to an organisation when they do get it right, and that financial number will depend on the scale of the initiative.

Success over Failure

In my last article titled Strategy Execution Trends for 2017, I summarised the current top trends that executives are driving to improve organisational performance and execute strategy ‘better’. A key trend was the investment in change management:

‘Taking a proactive and integrated change management approach to business transformation and project delivery is providing savings and an increased return on investment (ROI). Change management effort and output is being quantified by measurement of these savings, and also the ‘opportunity cost’ of failed delivery directly resulting from a lack of change management investment.’

Change management expertise is critical to the success of organisational programs, projects, and initiatives. Investment in change management has increased as a direct result of executive acceptance that this is now proven and can be evidenced. Change management expertise provides a higher likelihood of change adoption and benefits realisation.

Measuring Change Management

Change management has in the past been measured through soft or qualifiable methods and key indicators rather than quantifiable methods and hard numbers. Change management is not a one-size-fits-all approach and can be scaled to fit different organisations. There is also not one standard benchmark formula that provides a hard value measurement on Change Management.

Typically the measurement has been linked to key outcomes. For example: a project was delivered on time and within budget, 10 key strategic benefits were realised, productivity increased by 20%, there was an 85% employee uptake, project waste or re-work was reduced by $500,000.

Some industry approaches to measuring change management include:

  • Measuring the productivity of the workforce before and after a change was implemented.
  • Measuring progress and adoption rates.
  • Surveying engagement levels.
  • Developing tools that assess the effectiveness of specific change management activities and measure the outcome of a change initiative.
  • Building scorecards for change and creating a set of metrics to gauge effectiveness.
  • Quantitative measurement linked to reaching key goals.

According to Prosci – the world’s leading change management research company:

‘The top trend identified in our global benchmarking studies was a greater recognition of the value of change management.’ 

‘A discipline focused on enabling and encouraging employees to embrace, adopt and utilise change required by a project or initiative will directly contribute to higher return on organisational investment through faster adoption, greater utilisation and higher proficiency. Change management directly contributes to ROI.

For more information on Transformation and Change Management please visit:

The Value of Strategic Alignment Reviews

Billions of dollars are invested in programs and projects daily. The financial and opportunity cost of investment in programs that fail to deliver on strategic outcomes continues to be a significant challenge for organisations.

Undertaking a Program Strategic Alignment Review ensures that strategic benefits and outcomes agreed by executives and key sponsors will be met; facilitates effective and successful program delivery; saves substantial amounts of investment in program re-work; and helps organisations to realise their Return on Investment (ROI).

Case Example

A Janellis client recently had a high-profile enterprise program in-flight that was composed of a portfolio of multiple technology projects. The program, at the outset, was thought to have had clear and well-defined strategic benefits and outcomes agreed with the Executive.

During a critical stage of the program, concerns were raised and specific questions posed:

  • “Are the strategic outcomes going to be met?”
  • “Are we doing the projects in the right order?”
  • “Are the projects going to meet Executive expectations?”
  • “Is the program set up for success?”

An urgent and independent Program Strategic Alignment Review was conducted by Janellis with the goal to answer the above listed questions and provide evidence and recommendations to support the findings.

The assignment was sponsored at the Executive level with a clear mandate but also coincided with an organisational restructure that was in progress. The uncertainty and lack of clarity around ownership made the approach to effective stakeholder engagement critical in ensuring the assignment was completed successfully.

Findings

One-on-one interviews were conducted with a diverse range of stakeholders and the findings were that the program had been under-resourced and under-funded due to competing economic demands, and there was a lack of clarity and ownership in key areas.

It was found that the program had not been structured as well as it should have and key decisions at a project level had been made based on spend rather than the combination of ‘best solution’ and ‘cost’. Importantly it was also found that the strategic objectives, benefits and outcomes had not been defined well enough.

Outcome

The Program Strategic Alignment Review Report was provided to the Chief Executive as an independent assessment with an agreed revised plan and strategy, including the case for new funding commitment to invest in fixing the program. The program was re-defined with clearer and more detailed outcomes and expectations, and more strategic consideration for stakeholder engagement and alignment.

Post-engagement the client assigned a new senior program manager to lead the high-profile program. The contents of the review and report were critical in helping the program manager to make the right decisions in re-setting the program and re-affirming the strategic benefits and desired outcomes. The program has now been successfully delivered.

Janellis Strategic Alignment Reviews can be done at any stage during a project or program using our consultative discovery process. A Program Alignment Report is created with findings and recommendations delivered in a succinct and visual way and typically includes an Executive Summary, Program Overview, Key Insights, Concerns, Recommendations, and an Action Plan.

Building an Agile Culture

In today’s highly competitive marketplace, business leaders are looking to strip back traditional and cumbersome business process, and create new work cultures and mechanisms that enable faster execution and faster delivery – many are turning Agile.

Agile is hardly a new term. Agile has become a proven approach to nimble execution for executives and senior managers, and is also one of the most popular and effective project and change management methodologies. It may be one of the most over-used terms in business today – along with Transformation – and gets a mention in every executive strategy, and forms prominently in the internal vocabulary across almost every organisation.

Leaders and executives want their organisations to ‘be Agile’ and to ‘work Agile’.

For organisations to ‘be Agile’ and to work in an agile way, they require a culture of agility. 

Creating a culture of agility requires the changing of attitudes, behaviours, and habits of those within an organisation. These changes need to be underpinned by the improvement or re-engineering of business process across the entire organisation, creating a quicker and more responsive way of working and an environment that enables the acceleration of strategy.

Keys to building an Agile culture:

  • Shifting the focus onto measuring ‘leading’ rather than ‘lagging’ indicators of success – Determining what the leading indicators of success are and reporting on those in a pro-active and visible way allows the organisation to be adaptive, to adjust and change outcomes.
  • Framework that provides visibility, transparency and accountability across the enterprise – Having a framework is necessary to provide visibility, drive accountability and track results. For example; formalising the structure into an Enterprise Program Management Office or Transformation Office creates transparency and enables the organisation to prioritise investments and resources as well as facilitate fact-based decision making faster and with more accuracy.
  • Ideas generation – Implement a pipeline of business improvement ideas, and ensure this pipeline is always building and being maintained and that a robust process is in place to prioritise and select the ideas for execution depending on the organisation’s environment and market position at that time.
  • Speed to value – All the effort must translate into improved business performance. This can be dependent on the system of measurement that has been agreed and implemented top-down. For example; organisational financial performance, operational performance, customer satisfaction, etc.  This also must work both ways in that if initiatives are not providing value (not working) then the concept of agility becomes important in shutting down these initiatives and starting new ones based on the ideas pipeline above.
  • Visual and interactive tools to engage teams, facilitate decision making and maintain momentum – The use of visual tools as well as personal and verbal interaction allows for rapid decision making and sharing of information. There are different ways that visual tools can be integrated into the framework above.
  • Strategic approach to change management – A more strategic approach to change management looks at change across the enterprise and clarifies specific desired behaviours and provides ‘enablers’ to support these to occur. For example; success can be attributed to communicating the ‘why’ very clearly and with a strong support system in place everyone is more likely to commit to the change journey.

Stakeholder Accelerator Workshops

In a recent article we addressed the ‘4 Simple Steps to Engage Key Stakeholders’.

Effective stakeholder engagement is at the heart of executing strategy well and one of the most effective ways to engage a diverse group of stakeholders quickly is through Accelerator Workshops.

These workshops are designed as targeted, interactive and engaging activities that will rapidly align a diverse group or multi-level stakeholders.  They can be used to facilitate alignment, creativity and decision making and; to generate key outputs.

Sessions can be held with smaller semi-aligned teams or larger groups that include stakeholders from across or outside of the organisation.  Accelerator Workshops are very effective at the start of a major project or as a tool to engage stakeholders at any stage of a key initiative or strategy.

Levels of engagement are fluid and maintaining appropriate levels of engagement requires creativity and effort.

Our Four Step Process includes: analysis; design; facilitation and the development of visual tools to capture and embed the shared thinking that takes place during steps one to three. The analysis and design stages are used to carefully craft activities for specific engagement outcomes and can be run in a variety of different ways.

Analysis

During the analysis stage the main focus is on the stakeholder’s current levels of engagement, awareness and alignment. Tools at this stage of the process will delve into the current behaviours, issues or concerns and in establishing the desired outcomes.  Questions we ask during this phase are:

  1. Who are the key stakeholders and how engaged are they?
  2. What are they currently saying, thinking, feeling or doing?
  3. What do we want them to be feeling, thinking, saying or doing?
  4. What strategies have already been used to engage them?

This stage highlights the tension areas, acceleration opportunities and creative gaps.  The more traditional considerations are also documented such as the drivers for this initiative, challenges, outcomes, what needs to be agreed upon and what needs to be validated or created.

Design

At the design stage there are a range of potential approaches that can be taken, recognising that interactive and challenging activities that connect emotionally are the most powerful ways to engage.

The design phase usually includes the development of multi-media and other visually appealing tools. We use a combination of technology and the more tactile ways to engage using traditional approaches.

Facilitation

Our facilitators are experienced at creating a trust environment within which the teams can find ways to connect and to establish shared areas of interest, expertise or concerns.

Effective facilitation pivots off a high-trust and safe environment and our facilitators are able to maintain rapport with a range of stakeholders, whilst managing the pace of the activity and achieving the outcomes set.

Strong participation and effective listening fosters critical thinking, removes blockages and stimulates creative thinking, to create solutions and to consider possible futures.

Visual tools

The use of visual tools during the facilitated session is one of the critical success factors in achieving alignment and engagement.

Having highly skilled individuals come together in this format creates unique opportunities to develop new ideas through shared thinking. Providing the visual tools to the teams after the facilitated event is essential to maintaining alignment and clarity on issues, objectives and outcomes.

Effective stakeholder engagement is an on-going challenge and opportunity for all organisations and doing it well ensures teams perform well.  

New ways to do this quickly and effectively can help organisations accelerate their strategic objectives.

If you would like more information on our Accelerator Workshops, Click Here.

4 Simple Steps to Engage Key Stakeholders

A guide to leader-led behaviour change

Janellis has run a series of transformation related events attended by a cross-section of organisations.

Most organisations have cited that the ‘change management aspects’ of strategic execution are one of the most difficult and unresolved areas. This area appears to be the ‘least understood and invested in’ part of transformation initiatives – but recognised as being critical to success.

Traditional change management approaches are occurring at tactical levels across business units, and some EPMO’s have this oversight and responsibility.

A more sophisticated, effective and enterprise-wide approach to change management now includes: strategic change management oversight; leader-led change; clearer links between financial benefits and the behaviours required to achieve them; tools to enable the behaviour changes to occur and tracking of the behaviour change success indicators.

A guide to leader-led behaviour change

1. CLARIFY STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

Ensure the strategic objectives are measurable and that there is Executive and Board level support and the scale of the change required is understood.

2. IDENTIFY STAKEHOLDERS AND DEFINE CAPABILITY

Behaviours should be a visible manifestation of strategy, so it is important that the strategic objectives are aligned strongly with capabilities and behaviours. Identify all the key stakeholders to be impacted by the change and the critical capabilities required.

3. DETERMINE BEHAVIOURS THAT BUILD CAPABILITY

The process of behaviour-led transformation is driven by clear definitions and metrics. Once the behavioural definitions are made measurable, the organisation can set about the process of influencing and driving them.

Select a group of people who are already exhibiting some of the key desirable behaviours. Develop the explicit behaviour’s required and keep the number of behaviours to a limited and achievable number to track. Use examples and stories to illustrate the behaviours and to help reach consensus. Ensure that there are clear links from the desired behaviours to the capabilities required to achieve the strategic and financial objectives.

4. PROVIDE ENABLERS TO DRIVE THE BEHAVIOUR CHANGE

SKILLS: Are the behaviours aligned to the current skills of the leaders? Do they have the skills to demonstrate the new behaviours? Do they need further training? Do they have sufficient ‘softer skills’ or leadership skills for this type of change? Do they recognise the gap in their current skills and are they willing to develop further professionally?

ENVIRONMENT: Does the current environment enable and support the desired behaviours? Are there any cultural or power based factors that need to be addressed? Is there an effective support team dynamic with an appropriate recognition and reward program? Do they have the tools that they would need to be effective?

MOTIVATION: Are the behaviours aligned to individuals personal values? Is there a peer support group in place that supports the new behaviours? Are the desired behaviours aligned with their personal KPIs? Are the consequences of non-compliance clear? Are there (financial) rewards or recognition for changing these behaviours?

SYSTEMS: Do the business systems and work processes align with, and enable the desired behaviour? Is there a visible and approachable escalation point to get help when required or when further clarity is needed or issues can’t be resolved easily? Is there a process to manage individuals who are unwilling or unable to exhibit the desired behaviours? Is behaviour alignment being monitored and reported at an Executive level?

5. LEADING AND COACHING NEW BEHAVIOURS

Leaders need to exhibit the desired behaviours and the concept of ‘self-monitoring’ needs to be introduced and; it needs to be visible and transparent to all involved in the change. Individuals who are already exhibiting the desired behaviours need to be acknowledged as change leaders and involved as key influencers. Existing communications channels need to be used as well as facilitating highly targeted stakeholder engagement activities that focus on behaviours.

Change leaders need to provide on-going coaching on the new behaviours using stories and examples that are current and directly linked to those individuals involved. There needs to be an on-going peer review process that recognises rewards and celebrates the people who are demonstrating the desired behaviours. Leaders need to use the ‘do not promote’ strategy for individuals not willing to change.

6. EMBED AND SUSTAIN THE CHANGES

Link and include the desired behaviours within the individual KPIs. Monitor and review those unwilling or unable to change their behaviours and have a process to manage where necessary. Continue to promote and reward individuals and leaders exhibiting the desired behaviours. When hiring new team members ensure they already exhibit the desired behaviours.

Linking behaviours to results makes behaviour measurement a leading indicator of success.

Download full paper here.

 

Creating a Business Resilience Vision for Qantas

Qantas engaged Janellis to begin a Resilience Improvement Program in 2007. Qantas was one of the first companies to fully embrace the concept of Organisational Resilience and to make major investments into improving their resilience capability.

Qantas selected Janellis on the basis of our Enterprise Resilience Model that incorporated four key areas of Risk, Readiness, Response and Assurance. The program objectives included aligning and embedding key tools across the business.

Qantas now has a resilience capability that has been robustly tested and applied as part of their ongoing business operations.
Qantas have won the Australian ‘Risk Enterprise of the Year Award’ recognising the enterprise that has most successfully integrated risk management to business partner status within their organisation, making it an integral part of organisation-wide strategy and process. Significant disruptions to their business have resulted in Qantas as now being regarded as having a world class capability in crisis management.

The Janellis tools that Qantas have been using for the past ten years are also embedded in a number of other complex organisations in other industries.

Chief Risk Officer, Qantas:

“I would like to thank Janellis who started this journey with us. We may not have been the easiest Client to have worked with but you stuck with us and we appreciate that. We are grateful for the opportunities to continue to build our resilience by working with our critical suppliers and other leading Australian companies”

For more information, please contact us: info@janellis.com.au

Driving transformation and managing change

Janellis use the VisionScope process for business critical initiatives, major change or transformation.

It is a framework that gives rigour to the development of a clearly articulated strategic and tactical plan that links the short term activities to the longer term strategy.

Beyond strategic, financial or resource requirements, the VisionScope process is a powerful tool for initiating and fostering communication, collaboration, and consensus among key stakeholders within an organisation.

It is particularly powerful when the outcomes are dependent on input from a diverse group of people including representatives from vastly different parts of the organisation or external stakeholders who may not have worked together before.

Download the full paper here.