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Neuroscience of Change: 6 Core Principles

30 Nov

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Business Transformation initiatives are typically undertaken to solve a pressing issue, bring about improved performance, or to serve customers better.  A critical element of the success of such initiatives entails transforming the existing behaviors of the employees across the organization.  However, this isn’t a straightforward task.

Attitudes and practices get reinforced in people by following established routines day in and day out.  Such practices become a part of an Organizational Culture over time.  These ingrained behaviors and practices aren’t considered burdening until the organization’s performance keeps declining considerably over time.  That’s when the leaders think about changing these beliefs and habitual actions.

Psychology and Neuroscience can help enterprises change the deeply embedded attitudes and practices of people and replace those with new beliefs and practices.  Leading organizations are using psychology and brain research to induce successful Organizational Transformation.

The practices that these organizations employ to engender Transformation are based on the following 6 core Principles of Neuroscience:

  1. The brain is hardwired to hold on to habits, making it difficult to change them.
  2. Connections in the brain—even deeply embedded thoughts—are quite flexible to transform.
  3. Concentrating on new ways of thinking can overhaul individuals thinking habits.
  4. Don’t tell people what is wrong, just focus on drawing their attention to the positives.
  5. Encourage the ability to reject negative cerebral impulses.
  6. The competence to focus attention has to be created bit by bit.

Let’s dive deeper into these first 3 principles of Neuroscience.

Principle 1 – The brain is hardwired to hold on to habits, making it difficult to change them.

Our thinking patterns are stored in circuits by brain parts—including the habit center (basal ganglia), amygdala (emotion center), and hypothalamus (which manages hunger, thirst etc.).  These brain parts, especially the basal ganglia, process info unconsciously and the activity feels rewarding to the individual.  This activity makes stronger neuronal connections with other areas and gets the activity reinforced.

For the desired behaviors and practices to get embedded, the organization need to make stronger connections with the entire workforce’s’ basal ganglia to enable deep rooted neuronal circuits.  The practices ingrained this way are difficult to remove.

Principle 2 – Connections in the brain—even deeply embedded thoughts—are quite flexible to transform.

People with obsessive compulsive disorder keep deliberating on their impulse to wash hands to ensure cleanliness.  This fortifies brain circuits in the basal ganglia, which takes over their behaviors.  However, Neuroscience reveals that even the most well-established notions can be altered.  This can be done by making the individuals aware of what they are thinking and where their focus is in a given moment.

Training and directing people to think about their thoughts can make them conscious of their undesired behaviors, disengages brain areas notable for causing distraction, and adopt new behaviors.

Principle 3 – Concentrating on new ways of thinking can overhaul individuals thinking habits.

The 3rd principle highlights that persistent focus on unfamiliar, desired thoughts and objectives activates the habit center of the brain, which turns these desired thoughts into habits.  The mechanism according to Neuroscience is such that basal ganglia’s caudate nucleus region processes…

Interested in learning more about the other principles of Behavioral Transformation?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on 6 Core Principles of Neuroscience here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

7 Principles of Culture Change

25 Nov

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Employee behaviors are critical for the success of Business Transformation endeavors.  However, transforming the ingrained behaviors and mindsets of the workforce isn’t straightforward, and when tackled cause the enterprise’s emotional state to go down.

Leaders need to identify the components of Culture that are in line with their Corporate Strategy.  They have to ascertain and harness the positive elements of culture that can drive the desired Transformation and suppress those that obstruct it.

For the desired Organizational Culture to sustain, leaders should work on gaining acceptance of the transformed behaviors.  Leaders who do not give culture its due importance risk ruining their strategic endeavors, as they lack the commitment required from the employees to achieve success.

The real question is why senior leaders fail to use the positive elements of Organizational Culture constructively in the first place.  The answer is simple; there are 4 common yet wrong assumptions—or myths—regarding culture change that are deeply established in most businesses that are anything but facts.  Paying heed to—and acting on—these 4 myths results in grave consequences:

  1. Culture is the root cause of all our failures
  2. Changing our Organizational Culture is beyond us, forget about it
  3. Let Human Resources deal with Organizational Culture
  4. Culture is the responsibility of top management

When senior executives devise a strategy to transform the deeply entrenched organizational culture—by putting in place new policies, practices, reward structures, and performance management systems—there is strong resistance that outplays the strategy.

This is primarily due to employees’ reservations and uncertainties regarding the impact of these changes on their work, colleagues, atmosphere, routines, family, and their enterprise’s reputation.  Transforming the Organizational Culture using the individual’s actions and conduct necessitates seeking assistance from 7 guiding principles:

  1. Be Practical
  2. Reinforce New Behaviors
  3. Seek Out Role Models
  4. Identify Cultural Carriers
  5. Leverage Existing Culture
  6. Be a Role Model
  7. Explain Impact of New Behavior

Application of these guiding principles facilitates in transpiring successful culture change.  Let’s dive deeper into a few of these guiding principles.

Be Practical

The first guiding principle to changing the culture involves starting rationally and pragmatically.  It is not feasible to strive to change every behavior at once.  Leaders need to concentrate on the behaviors most critical for the organization.   The ones that reverberate with the existing company culture and have a key role in improving the organizational performance.  This entails ascertaining groups of employees whose behaviors should be transformed immediately.  A clear demonstration of the requisite changes goes a long way in reinforcing the desired behaviors and culture in the organization.

Reinforce New Behaviors

The 2nd principle to changing culture involves emphasizing new behaviors.  The desired behaviors should be reinforced using formal and informal mechanisms.  Formal reinforcement mechanisms include metrics, processes, appraisals, salary reviews, training, and incentives to reward new behaviors.  These formal mechanisms allow people to practice new behaviors repetitively, until they begin to realize their value.  Informal reinforcement mechanisms include support networks and associations to nurture sensitivity and devotion needed to cope with uncertainties.

Seek out Role Models

Organizational Culture Transformation necessitates distinguishing role models to demonstrate the desired behaviors.  Culture change begins when change practitioners act by modeling the new behaviors.  These change practitioners are pride builders for an organization.  The examples set by these practitioners assist in inculcating pride in others about embracing the desired behaviors.  This action is referred to as “positive deviance” or constructive non-conformity.  These pride builders in turn identify and develop more exemplars.

Interested in learning more about the other guiding principles of culture change?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on 7 Guiding Principles of Culture Change here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

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– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

Site Selection — 5Cs of Site Selection

22 Nov

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Site Selection is the practice of choosing a new facility location. It involves measuring the needs of a new project against the merits of potential locations. The practice became popular during the 20th century, as operations of many organizations expanded to new geographies on a national and international scale.

Selection of sites has been known to have taken place due to factors such as:

  • Best required skills being available in a particular city.
  • Setting up in an off-the-trail location because all operations will be managed remotely.
  • Following the trend to set up offices and facilities in a particular city because every company is doing so.
  • Factory facilities of the company being close-by.
  • Top boss living in the vicinity.
  • Person tasked with choosing the site liking the area for a particular feature such as restaurants and the like.

Making such significant long-term choices based on haphazard and indifferent reasons is a blunder.  The consequences of the mistake are exacerbated when such sites are being selected in emerging markets.

Site selection, in particular, for R&D, Design, and Engineering, warrants a more serious approach than is given to it.  Employing a formalized selection method aids in eliminating sentiment in the concluding decision.  The orderly selection procedure is also valuable in conveying the ultimate decision to all involved.  Selection criteria and their priority should be agreed to in advance for removal of any partiality from the Site Selection process.

Site Selection, especially when being done in emerging markets, has to be conducted while considering at least 5 factors—or the 5 Cs of Site Selection.  Companies ought to identify which among the 5 factors they deem significant and prioritize the factors accordingly:

  1. Cost
  2. Capacity
  3. Capability
  4. Communications
  5. Culture

Selecting a site in light of the set priority order, the company has to take into consideration the characteristics of the site in the present time as well as in 3 to 5 years.

Let us delve a little deeper into some of the factors.

Cost

Ideally, Cost Reduction should not be the only factor influencing site selection decisions.  If Cost factor is predominant in the decision, then the local standard of living and the changes there to, have to be taken into consideration.  Costs in setting up a site include items such as:

  • Buying or leasing land.
  • Office equipment costs.
  • Communication infrastructure and operations costs.
  • IT infrastructure costs.
  • Employee Training costs.

Companies basing their decisions exclusively on Cost factor rather than what suits their requirements end up paying more than estimated.

Capability

Capability is the ability of the site under consideration to provide the necessary infrastructure, resources, and the work/ operational environment required by the company.  Capability includes existence of exclusive skills and expertise that a company explicitly needs.

Also advantageous to capability are nearby R&D, design, testing, and prototyping centers setup by foreign and local companies.

Capacity

Capacity refers to the abundance of qualified skill available on the site under consideration.  Capacity comes into play when the company needs rapid scaling up of its operations.

Although the 5 Cs are of extreme significance, there is an additional factor that cannot be ignored—the Customer.  Recent advances in technology and communication have further empowered the Customer.  The result is that more organizations are seeking to focus on Customer-centric Design.

Interested in learning more about 5 Cs of Site Selection?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on 5 Cs of Site Selection here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

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“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

Green Tourism Strategy: 3 Key Phases

15 Nov

Tourism Strategy2

Tourism is a key element in creating an impetus for financial growth across the globe.  The sector was providing jobs to around 260 million people and contributing to over 10% in global GDP, based on 2010 numbers.  These numbers will grow in future.

However, these financial benefits do not occur without costs that have the potential to destroy popular destinations and disrupt tourism.  Costs—or adverse effects—of travel involve:

  • Massive carbon footprints produced by air travel
  • Changes in the clean environments due to human footprint
  • Degradation—or obliteration—of ecology because of travel
  • Climate change happening across the world—e.g., unpredictable weather, mounting sea levels, or land turning into deserts.

Tourism Research by UK’s Devon County Council reveals that tourists were considerate of environment when booking their travel, and were willing to pay more for green tourist destinations.  Tour operators, in turn, now regularly rank destinations based on their green services and products, and demand higher green standards from tourist resorts.

However, still a large majority of resorts, hotels, and tourist destinations fall behind in terms of environmental sustainability, green standards, and services.  Some are only hinging on marketing tactics, glossy brochures, and eco-friendly language.  These destinations are only eyeing near-term gains, and are at a high risk for draining their resources, environmental degradation costing fortunes to repair, and losing a sizable potential customer base.

Tourist destinations are facing critical environmental issues—e.g. clean water, carbon emission, protection of biodiversity, and waste reduction / disposal.  These issues necessitate commitment from all stakeholders and having proper structures and systems—i.e. regulations, stakeholders’ education, funding, marketing, and public relations—to regulate and promote Sustainable Tourism.

Above all, confronting these issues demand a coherent, carefully-crafted Green Tourism Strategy.  The challenge to devising a Green Tourism strategy is the uniqueness of each destination—in terms of culture, ecology, resources.  Thus, each destination warrants a bespoke strategy encompassing 3 key phases:

  • Appraising Environmental Health
  • Plotting the Green Journey
  • Implementing the Green Strategy

Let’s take a closer look at the first 2 phases.

1. Appraising Environmental Health

The first step to devising a Green Tourism Strategy entails carrying out a thorough baseline analysis of the existing environmental health status of the tourist location, to outline its strengths and weaknesses.  This should encompass Benchmarking the site’s performance in comparison to global environmental best practices and defining what needs to be done in the near as well as long term (key initiatives), in the order of their importance for the destination.

2. Plotting the Green Journey

This phase entails defining the vision for Green Tourism and taking into account the objectives to realize that vision.  The vision enables the policymakers to plan and choose the measures to be taken to maintain the sustainability of the destination.  These measures fall into 2 categories:

  • Preventive measures—meant to inhibit or avert any damage to the surrounding ecosystem of the destination. These initiatives are aimed at finding and employing cost-effective solutions and technologies rather than using modern technologies.  These initiatives suit locations with limited funds.
  • Radical measures—meant for those destinations that are financially sound and want to maintain their status of being leaders in green tourism. These sites are always ready to adopt cutting-edge technologies to safeguard their eco-friendly status.

Interested in learning more about the key phases of Green Tourism Strategy?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Green Tourism Strategy here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

7 Tactics to Upskill Your Workforce

13 Nov

Editor’s Note:  If you are interested in becoming an expert on Human Resource Management (HRM), take a look at Flevy’s Human Resource Management (HRM) Frameworks offering here.  This is a curated collection of best practice frameworks based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts.  By learning and applying these concepts, you can stay ahead of the curve.  Full details here. 

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Disruptive technology is re-shaping the present-day work environment.  Technological advances are making long-standing job roles superfluous.

Digital Disruption being faced by many companies is exacerbating the gap between what employers want their employees to be able to do and what they can actually do.  This skills gap needs to be bridged rapidly but with due consideration to the course taken to fill it.

A change in job roles with the help of Upskilling has become necessary in light of the evolving Disruption.  Upskilling comprises of acquisition of new and pertinent competencies, made necessary because of the current or emerging work environment.  Upskilling adds to the skills the employee already possesses.  It is a key component to robust Talent Management and can be a source of Competitive Advantage.

Having a robust Upskilling Strategy in place is the first step towards a successful Upskilling effort.  Upskilling Strategy can create new roles for existing employees leveraging their experience.

However, the brass tacks of an effective program to bridge the talent gap are the following 7 tactics to Upskilling which can help employers Upskill their workforce:

  1. Learning and Development
  2. Job Rotation
  3. Job Enlargement
  4. Job Enrichment
  5. Peer Coaching
  6. Peer Mentoring
  7. Hire External Experts/Specialists

Contingent on the organization’s requirements, based on a skills gap analysis, one or more tactics in combination may be needed to fill the skills gap.

Let us look at some of the tactics in a little more detail.

Learning and Development (L&D)

L&D programs are a common approach to Upskilling and foundational to becoming a true Learning Organization.  These programs are dependent on a number of factors.  One of the key factors is L&D Strategy, which can be developed based on a number of models.  Depending on the model chosen, L&D Strategy development will generally go through the following 4 phases:

  • Training Needs Analysis
  • Learning objective stipulation
  • Training material and approach design
  • Monitoring and Evaluation

Methods chosen for Upskilling will naturally vary for every organization due to the variation in L&D strategy and program, for e.g., online courses, online courses along with live lectures, peer coaching with an Upskill track on Learning Management System.

Job Rotation

Job Rotation is another first-rate technique to Upskill.  New skills, knowledge, and competencies can be learnt by moving employees between jobs.  Employees learn skills, knowledge, competencies of a specific job other than their own.

Purpose of Job Rotation can be preparing backups for a job, exposing future managers to all types of jobs, exposing HR employees to other jobs for better understanding.  Job Rotations are generally at the same level and are temporary in nature.

Job Enlargement

Job Enlargement comprises of adding more activities within the same level to a current role.  It expands the ambit of a job by spreading the breadth of duties and responsibilities usually within the same level.

Purpose of Job Enlargement is to encourage employees to expand their skill set by intensifying their performances and exposure.  Job Enlargement imparts diverse skills to employees and aids their career growth.  Added job responsibilities necessitate training and assist in gaining further experience.

Interested in learning more about the 7 Tactics to Upskilling?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on 7 Tactics to Upskilling here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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The purpose of Human Resources (HR) is to ensure our organization achieves success through our people.  Without the right people in place—at all levels of the organization—we will never be able to execute our Strategy effectively. 

This begs the question: Does your organization view HR as a support function or a strategic one?  Research shows leading organizations leverage HR as a strategic function, one that both supports and drives the organization’s Strategy.  In fact, having strong HRM capabilities is a source of Competitive Advantage. 

This has never been more true than right now in the Digital Age, as organizations must compete for specialized talent to drive forward their Digital Transformation Strategies.  Beyond just hiring and selection, HR also plays the critical role in retaining talent—by keeping people engaged, motivated, and happy.

Learn about our Human Resource Management (HRM) Best Practice Frameworks here.

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You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

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“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

7 Steps to Focus-Driven Growth

9 Nov

Editor’s Note: If you are interested in becoming an expert on Strategy Development, take a look at Flevy’s Strategy Development Frameworks offering here. This is a curated collection of best practice frameworks based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. By learning and applying these concepts, you can stay ahead of the curve.  Full details here.

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What makes companies great in their industries is sustained above-average Growth.

Conventional approach to Organic Growth has business leaders extending their existing product lines and brands, as well as entering new geographic regions.  This conventional Growth Strategy at some point in time starts failing to provide the results required to hold market leadership positions.

Focus-driven Growth is an approach that provides results regardless of the economic environment.  The approach demands that the leadership team keep a methodical approach that covers the entirety of the business cycle i.e., from Strategic Planning and Strategic Vision to Strategy Execution and Performance Management.

Outwardly mature businesses can be reinvigorated by making a small number of—but larger—bets and by concentrating unremittingly on implementing a straightforward but forceful vision.

This approach has been successfully tested and has proven its mettle in at least 3 well-known companies, on 3 continents, over a span of 10 years.

Focus-driven Growth demands that the organization progress sequentially through a set of 7 steps.

  1. Discovery—Through a Discovery process, determine what works and what does not for the organization.
  2. Strategy—Through the Strategy step, group and prioritize what works for the organization.
  3. Vision—By outlining a Vision statement, line up organizational efforts behind an unmistakably comprehended goal.
  4. People—Through this step, place the right people in all functions and give them their required resources.
  5. Execution—Through Execution, elucidate who does what and transfer decision making closer to customers and consumers.
  6. Organization—Through the Organization process, manage the Growth initiative by establishing communities and networks throughout the organization.
  7. Metrics—Through this step, keep a track of Growth with objective yet uncomplicated scorecards.

When taken collectively in the right order, these steps embody a formidable prescription for generating profitable Growth.

Let us delve a little deeper into some of the steps.

Discovery

Every organization has segments of Growth areas.  This step entails discovering those areas for further processing.  Leadership of the organization should gather in a series of workshops and identify which areas of the business are performing far better than the others.  Identified segments become the focus areas of Growth because it is easier to refine and enlarge the successful areas rather than remedy what is not working.

Strategy

Focus areas discovered in the 1st step need to be grouped and prioritized in order to delineate the focused bets that the company ought to make.  Focus areas may be categories, brands, geographies, platforms, that are doing well.

A single page preliminary strategy roadmap giving priority for each area results from the above process.

Vision

Outcomes of Step 2 have to be summarized into a forceful yet uncomplicated Vision which serves to align efforts behind a clearly grasped goal.

Interested in learning more about Focus-driven Growth?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Focus-driven Growth here on the Flevy documents marketplace

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“Strategy without Tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without Strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu 

For effective Strategy Development and Strategic Planning, we must master both Strategy and Tactics. Our frameworks cover all phases of Strategy, from Strategy Design and Formulation to Strategy Deployment and Execution; as well as all levels of Strategy, from Corporate Strategy to Business Strategy to “Tactical” Strategy. Many of these methodologies are authored by global strategy consulting firms and have been successfully implemented at their Fortune 100 client organizations. 

These frameworks include Porter’s Five Forces, BCG Growth-Share Matrix, Greiner’s Growth Model, Capabilities-driven Strategy (CDS), Business Model Innovation (BMI), Value Chain Analysis (VCA), Endgame Niche Strategies, Value Patterns, Integrated Strategy Model for Value Creation, Scenario Planning, to name a few.

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You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

10 Principles to Develop an Effective Organizational Design

27 Oct

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Research by PwC indicates that leading companies are in a near perpetual state of Reorganization.  This upsurge in Organizational Design initiatives is owing to the accelerating pace of strategic change caused by disruption of industries, changing competitor landscape, customer behaviors, and distribution channels.

Companies opt to commence efforts to restructure their organization in the hopes of enhancing efficiency, perpetuating growth, and surviving in future.  Some shift their Business Models, few alter their focus from products to customer-centric; whereas others adopt new behaviors, systems, or IT architecture.  However, merely a quarter of the Organizational Design initiatives succeed in achieving their anticipated objectives.

The reason for this high failure rate is simple.  Reorganization is not about changing a company’s organogram.  It’s a methodical processes that necessitates transforming / streamlining the decision-making process, mindsets, talent pipeline, reward structures, reporting lines, and the way responsibilities are assigned.

There is no cookie-cutter approach to Reorganization that can work across all organizations.  However, research and management best practices reveal 10 principles that are critical for developing an effective Organizational Design, applicable to any enterprise:

  1. Don’t get caught in past Reorganization initiatives
  2. Consider Organizational Design elements
  3. Transform Organization Chart in the end
  4. Don’t overlook top talent
  5. Converge attention towards controllable factors
  6. Encourage responsibility
  7. Use best practices with care
  8. Harmonize organizational hierarchy with Strategic Objectives
  9. Give due emphasis to intangible elements of organization
  10. Make efficient use of company culture and practices

Let’s dive deeper into these guiding principles.

1. Don’t Get Caught in Past Reorganization Initiatives

Leaders at most organizations tend to keep discussing and focusing on the old reorganization initiatives.  This takes away much of their time and energy which should rather be spent on making the current Organizational Design a success.

Organization Design should be created on the basis of an enterprise’s sense of purposestrategycore competenciesproductscompetitive advantage, and experience offered to customers and employees.  Senior leaders need to be able to see the broader perspective, set clear organizational objectives, and steer the workforce to achieve their personal as well as organizational objectives.

2. Consider Organizational Design Elements

Reorganization is a complex undertaking, but a structured approach to Organizational Design assists in identifying and prioritizing key priorities.  Organizational Design has 8 fundamental elements that are important for all organizations, Business Models, sectors, or regions.  These elements can be categorized into 4 pairs.  Each of these 4 pairs constitute a formal (tangible) and an informal (intangible) element:

  • Decisions team up with Norms (the way people act).
  • Motivators (the way people are influenced to work) pair with Commitments (what affects people’s thoughts about work).
  • Information (the way data is processed) pairs with Mindsets (how people process knowledge and meaning).
  • Structure (reporting lines) pairs off with Networks (how people collaborate).

Leaders should select fewer, prioritized Organizational Design elements to work on that have the most impact on their organizations.

3. Transform Organization Chart in the End

Most leaders consider Organization Structure to be the most critical element to Business Transformation.  In reality, there are other key organizational elements that need to be tackled first to improve effectiveness.  Revisiting the organogram does not have much effect on the way business is done—or to improve it.  Structure depicts reporting lines and changing it can reduce costs temporary.  Changing structure alone—without transforming other organizational elements—allows the redundant reporting lines to reappear and put the organization back to its earlier state of affairs.  Instead of changing the organogram, core organizational issues should be prioritized and confronted first.  Structure will adjust accordingly once the issues resolve.

4. Don’t Overlook Top Talent

Top talent often go unnoticed when it comes to Reorganization.  The skills and traits of the senior leadership has a profound impact on Organizational Design.  Mapping of technical capabilities and leadership abilities of top leadership is an important step to Reorganization.

Interested in learning more about the guiding principles critical for Organizational Design?”  “You can download an editable PowerPoint on 10 Principles of Organizational Design here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

Upskilling Strategy in 6 Phases

26 Oct

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Employees with the right skills make or break an enterprise, create brand impression, represent the company’s culture and values.

Disruptive technology is changing the contemporary work environment.  Employees in traditional roles are now feeling insecure and disengaged.  This dissonance threatens to take away the Competitive Advantage of companies.

Employee Engagement has emerged as one of the significant pillars on which the Competitive Advantage, Productivity, and Growth of an organization rests.

Disruptive technology and the resulting Digital Economy have uprooted many of the so-called traditional jobs.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) making diagnosis on medical tests is an example.  Does this mean that the doctors will lose their jobs?  The answer is no.  Doctors will have to train to gain new skills to work with AI.

Many other fields are, likewise, seeing work of employees being taken over by machines.  Does that mean employees will lose jobs?  Yes and no.  There is an urgent need for managements to upgrade employee roles and skills as well as take other steps that make an AI-enabled Workforce.

Upskilling Strategy can create new roles for existing employees leveraging their experience and help engage employees in an otherwise adverse work environment.

Upskilling comprises of acquisition of new and pertinent competencies, made necessary because of the current or emerging work environment.  Upskilling adds to the skills the employee already possesses.  Contemporary examples of Upskilling may be provision of Digital skills, Analytical skills, or Organizational Transformation skills to the employees.

Contrastingly, Reskilling means teaching totally new skills to employees.  Reskilling often mandates sending employees back to college or trade school to obtain a degree or certificate in a new field.

Expanding comprehension regarding how to effectively design and implement Upskilling projects may possibly determine society’s Knowledge Assets.  The following 6-phase approach to Upskilling Strategy summarizes the key actions required to ensure effective design and implementation of Upskilling initiatives:

  1. Determine the circumstances and define the project.
  2. Create a skills plan.
  3. Evaluate and guide each employee.
  4. Pair jobs and skills and involve workers.
  5. Pick out trainings and trainers.
  6. Manage the project and examine output.

Let us explore some of the phases of the Upskilling Strategy a bit more.

Determine the Circumstances and Define the Project

Each circumstance is exclusive.  For determining what is involved in making an Upskilling Strategy for that particular situation; coordination, decisions, and actions on a number of levels at the same time is essential.

All Upskilling initiatives, whether originated by the local government or a result of a situation faced by a single enterprise, have some shared elements.

Create a Skills Plan

The skills plan should center priorities on the categories of jobs being impacted by the disrupting technologies, personnel extremely at risk, companies that stand to gain the greatest.

Devising a skills plan helps determine jobs that will be affected by new technologies, savings realized because of automation, categories of new skills that will be required, time span for these changes to take place.

Determining above factors helps design the training initiative that focuses on specific strategic training goals.

Evaluate and Guide Each Employee

Change always conjures fears in employees and takes them out of their comfort zones.  A well-thought-out assessment program that incorporates individual counselling and guidance can go a long way towards pacifying employee fears and assisting them move to an improved situation.

Interested in learning more about pitfalls and benefits of Upskilling, costs and ROI of Upskilling initiatives, details of the 6 phases of Upskilling Strategy?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Upskilling Strategy here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

Small, Agile Teams: 10 Best Practices

13 Oct

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Profitability is at the core of successful businesses.  Many markets do not allow as much top-line revenue increase as the companies would like.  Therefore, organizations have to focus on improving the bottom-line.

Boosting the bottom-line entails raising Productivity.  Productivity enhancement can be achieved by eliminating redundancies and improving processes that change the company.  Process Improvement also means less people needed to accomplish the same tasks.

Change projects—as is the case with most other projects—almost always run over budget and over time, especially when new technology comes into the mix.  Causes for failures in Change Management are many and one of them is heavy and bureaucratic teams.

Raising Productivity in teams designated for change projects is well-nigh impossible.   A solution to this is Building Effective Teams by keeping teams small—a remedy that has shown its effectiveness time and again.

Smaller teams tend to communicate effectively, decide quickly, do course corrections more easily, work faster, and innovate more.

Large organizations have the tendency of deploying large teams because as the planning process goes on, the scope gets bigger and bigger.  This practice is defeating in itself because sight of the goal is lost in the bureaucratic rigmarole.

For projects to be executed swiftly and successfully the following 10 best practices for smaller, more Agile teams are very effective:

  1. Break Down Problems
  2. Eliminate Indispensable Roles
  3. Adopt One-step Decisions
  4. Foster Trust
  5. Share Information Freely & Informally
  6. Increase Visibility & Accountability
  7. Minimize Conference Calls
  8. Track Less
  9. Increase Cross-team Collaboration
  10. Adopt Technology Faster & Effectively

Let us delve a little deeper into some of the best practices.

Break Down Problems

Dividing the project into distinct problems or separating business capabilities into converged organizational units makes it easier for smaller teams to deliver.

Assorting sizable, complex problems into discrete, attainable pieces and teaching members to develop a Problem Solving Mindset enables small teams to take them on easily and over deliver on them.

An alternate to making teams smaller without compromising on the structure of the organization is to separate business capabilities into focused organizational units.

Eliminate Indispensable Roles

Making sure that individuals with a certain type of skill or key people are not scarce in the organization lest they get pulled by different teams at the same time.

Essential people are wanted by all teams, consequentially their time gets split into such small chunks that no task gets done properly.  Operational risk becomes prodigious when dependent on a single person.

It is vital to work away from such scenarios in a team.

Adopt One-step Decisions

Bureaucratic way of decision-making in large teams should be avoided by identifying types of decisions and the decision-making authorities, at the outset.

Foster Trust

Trust speeds up progress, augments quality, and diminishes execution risk.  Trust has to be built up by conscious effort.

Share Information Freely & Informally

One of the ways for effective Team Management is to keep communication swift and the only way of doing this is to keep it informal.

Interested in learning more about these best practices for Small, Agile Teams?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on 10 Best Practices for Small, Agile Teams here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

3-Phase Flywheel Strategy Approach

10 Oct

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Strategy Development has followed a set path since the last century where a predetermined, rectilinear, and inflexible approach defined the process.

In the 21st century, however, business leaders are devising Strategy by evolving it into a probabilistic, repeated, and multifaceted process.  An approach that can both endure and adapt to the growing pace of Change and Disruption that is manifesting itself in all industries.

Using gaming, AI, unremitting execution, and adjustment, with numerous scenarios to deliberate on, leaders create “Flywheels” that successfully tackle the not so deterministic world where the future is highly uncertain.

Flywheel is a concept originally used in the power industry to explain an origin of stabilization, energy storage, and momentum.  The concept was propagated in the Strategy context by author Jim Collins.  Employing the Flywheel concept, executives are able to validate assumptions through simulations as well as in the real-world scenarios.

Rather than using past assumptions and relying on instincts, using the Flywheel Strategy, decision makers exploit the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Advanced Analytics. They model the multitude of variables and produce a sizable number of simulations that propose many strategic bets, option-value bets, and no regret moves.

Instead of numbing decision-makers with a profusion of options they created, the simulations render elucidative insights.  Also, the AI system is made more capable through learning mechanisms called Reinforcement Learning by selecting from the above strategies.

The collection of strategic choices is increased exponentially and cost of experimentation is diminished by this approach.  Decision-makers are also empowered by this tool to make better decisions.  Likewise, organizations are able to select accurate market approaches, pricing, advertising, and customer strategies for several cities and communities, over a time span.

Strategy Flywheels can be used as a basis for developing Growth Flywheels by organizations.  The Flywheel Strategy approach consists of the following 3 phases: 

  1. Sense: Market Sensing
  2. Think: Strategy Formulation and Investment Planning
  3. Act: Performance Evaluation and Learning

The dynamic and resilient Flywheel Strategy of Sense, Think, Act has 3 parts, which are based on establishing policies, contending with dynamic models within the background of environmental assumptions, and handling randomness.

Let us delve a little deeper into the 3 phases.

Sense: Market Sensing

Environmental assumptions are formulated through this procedure of extraneous Market Sensing.

Uncertainties to which probability assignment is difficult are the target of Market Sensing activity.  Most urgent strategic matters can be detected and senior leaders consistently engaged in devising a response to them by recurrently sensing extraneous market changes.

Improvements in Machine Learning and cutting-edge AI can aid in not only expanding the quantity of information scanned but also enhancing the quality of content evaluated.

Think: Strategy Formulation and Investment Planning

Conventional strategic thinking can be aided in the new way of strategizing by the 3-phase process for Gamification—Design and Build, Simulate, and Evaluate.

A stable strategy consists of a portfolio of investments and projects with diverse risk profiles.  Diverse risk profile of performance is a mix of:

  1. No-regret moves
  2. Strategic bets
  3. Option-value bets

Act: Performance Evaluation and Learning

Performance Evaluation and Learning from the efforts has to be carried out so that improvement in proficiency to sense the market and experiment with new ideas occurs.

Interested in learning more about how Amazon and Uber used Flywheels, how the Gamification approach is used in Flywheel Strategy formulation, and what constitutes a diverse risk profile?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Flywheel Strategy here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Editor’s Note:

If you are interested in becoming an expert on Strategy Development, take a look at Flevy’s Strategy Development Frameworks offering here.  This is a curated collection of best practice frameworks based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts.  By learning and applying these concepts, you can you stay ahead of the curve.  Full details here.

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“Strategy without Tactics is the slowest route to victory.  Tactics without Strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu 

For effective Strategy Development and Strategic Planning, we must master both Strategy and Tactics.  Our frameworks cover all phases of Strategy, from Strategy Design and Formulation to Strategy Deployment and Execution; as well as all levels of Strategy, from Corporate Strategy to Business Strategy to “Tactical” Strategy.  Many of these methodologies are authored by global strategy consulting firms and have been successfully implemented at their Fortune 100 client organizations.  

These frameworks include Porter’s Five Forces, BCG Growth-Share Matrix, Greiner’s Growth Model, Capabilities-driven Strategy (CDS), Business Model Innovation (BMI), Value Chain Analysis (VCA), Endgame Niche Strategies, Value Patterns, Integrated Strategy Model for Value Creation, Scenario Planning, to name a few.

Learn about our Strategy Development Best Practice Frameworks here.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

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