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The Man Who Sold the Web Blog | Tag Archive | Organizational Culture


Tag Archives: Organizational Culture

11 Pillars: Quality 4.0 Framework

17 Feb

Stock image 2 - Quality 4.0

The introduction of emerging, digital technologies has ushered in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  To keep the competitive advantage in this era of Digital Transformation, leveraging contemporary technology is an absolute necessity.  Using cutting-edge technology means not just augmenting, but in fact, revamping the whole Quality outlook.

Quality 4.0 is the complimentary Quality approach to the Industry 4.0 era. Quality 4.0 is about transforming and improving Organizational Culture, collaboration, competency, and Leadership Development among other things through the application of technology.

Quality 4.0 is characterized by:

  • Transforming and improving culture, collaboration, competency, and leadership through the application of technology.
  • Digital Transformation of Management Systems and compliance.
  • Enabling technology and processes necessary to maximize value, resolve customary Quality impediments, and provide innovative solutions.

Quality 4.0 is not just about Digitalization, but more importantly about the impact of that Digitalization on Quality technology, processes, and people.

Companies can use the 11 pillars of Quality 4.0 Framework to identify how the existing capabilities and initiatives can be transformed and then educate, plan, and act accordingly.  The framework uses the traditional Quality methods to build upon and improve them.  The 11 pillars of Quality 4.0 include:

  1. Data
  2. Analytics
  3. Connectivity
  4. Collaboration
  5. App Development
  6. Scalability
  7. Management Systems
  8. Compliance
  9. Culture
  10. Leadership
  11. Competency

The majority of the companies are still not in a position to take leverage of Quality 4.0.  This warrants making investments in improving traditional Quality and bringing themselves in a position where they can spring up to use Quality 4.0 to prepare for the future.

There are strong interrelationships between the pillars of Quality 4.0, and adding new capabilities to certain pillars facilitates new applications on other pillars.  Let us delve a little deeper into a few of these pillars.

1. Data and 2. Analytics

Data and Analytics form the first 2 pillars.  Data is key to informed decision making.  Most companies are still using fragmented data while the innovating market leaders have progressed to taking leverage of Big Data.  Data can be better understood by understanding its 5 components:  Volume, Variety, Velocity, Veracity, and Transparency.

Analytics help reveal the insights contained within raw data.  Correct metrics are key to uncovering correlations and patterns—meaningful information.  Big Data Analytics using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence is beneficial if the Analytics Framework—comprising Descriptive, Diagnostic, Predictive, and Prescriptive Analytics—is understood clearly.

3. Connectivity

Connectivity encompasses the link between Business Information Technology—e.g., Enterprise Quality Management Systems (EQMS), Product Life-cycle Management (PLM), Enterprise Resource Planning—and Operational Technology that is used in Manufacturing, Labs, and Services.  Connectivity is achieved through abundant and inexpensive sensors providing real-time feedback from Connected People, products, edge devices, and processes.

4. Scalability

Scalability creates uniformity in Quality.  It is the ability to harmonize processes, best practices, competencies, and lessons learnt across the organization, be it global.  Cloud Computing has played a pivotal role in harnessing scalability by providing Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Solution (PaaS), and connection of databases.

The reality of the future is Quality 4.0.  It is being adopted very swiftly.  Those who remain unfamiliar with it or are slow to adopt run the risk of being marginalized very quickly.

Interested in learning more about Quality 4.0? You can download an editable PowerPoint on Quality 4.0 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

12 Guiding Principles Necessary to Encourage a Robust Virtual Workplace Culture

19 Jan

Just as in a co-located setting, a remote work environment warrants a defined culture.  Culture in a co-located setting is distinctly evident.  It is imparted and communicated through collaboration between colleagues, their behaviors, and the actions that are incentivized—or those that are considered inappropriate—at the organization.

However, defining, creating, and sustaining an Organizational Culture in a virtual environment is a bit complicated.  It needs careful deliberation.  Leadership can make good use of the 12 guiding principles to inspire a robust Virtual Workplace Culture.  These guiding principles can be segregated into 2 categories:

General Culture Principles

There are 7 principles under this category:

  1. There are no unwritten rules
  2. Reinforce values
  3. Don’t take Culture for granted
  4. Embrace gratitude and transparency
  5. Institute structure around Culture
  6. Welcome changes to Culture
  7. Leverage disruption to improve Culture

Mental Health Related Principles

Virtual Work can lead to various ailments, including burnout, if it is accomplished without abiding by healthy lifestyle, best practices, and guidelines.  The mental health category entails 5 guiding principles:

  1. Don’t encourage long work hours
  2. Document processes around mental health
  3. Recognize mental health struggles
  4. Prevent burnout, isolation, and anxiety
  5. Encourage a healthy virtual lifestyle

Let’s dive deeper into 4 of these guiding principles.

1. There are no unwritten rules

The first principle to foster a Remote Culture necessitates documented policies and systems.  Careful documentation assists in prohibiting decline of a remote enterprise and culture.  The first instance to document should be the company values including teamwork, productivity, clarity, diverseness, and inclusivity.

2. Reinforce values

The actions that are encouraged and rewarded by the company become organizational values.  For instance, in virtual settings, hiring, promoting, and developing people play a huge role in encouraging and underlining the importance of values.  The values dear to an organization are displayed through role modeling of required behaviors by the leadership.  They are manifested by the people the organization hires and let go off.  Organizational values are also evident by the yardsticks used to gauge qualification for increments, rewards, promotions, and performance management.

3. Embrace gratitude and transparency

Without clear-cut information sharing and appreciation, employees may begin to feel cynical and unenthusiastic.  This can eat away at the organization culture.  Leaders should be careful with 360 performance evaluation and feedback.  Negative feedback should be delivered in a positive manner to instill hope and determination to do better.  There is also a need to take drastic measures if there is a general sense of lack of appreciation and transparency prevalent among employees.

4. Don’t take Culture for granted

Culture is easily emphasized in a co-located setting, collaborating with colleagues day after day.  However, underscoring the significance of culture in a virtual environment demands cautious deliberation.  Various core elements of culture are often present, but are masked in our daily activities and habits.  These elements are manifested by “how we do things in our organization.”  These common habits are the hallmark of belonging to a culture.

In remote settings, leaders need to highlight the elements of culture that are evident in such settings and their importance, since these practices are a bit hard to observe in virtual teams.  Leadership should mark boundaries of culture clearly and define what is disrespectful or unacceptable in their organizational culture.

Interested in learning more about the other guiding principles of Virtual Work Culture?  You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on Virtual Work: Corporate Culture 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 LibraryFlevyPro 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

“As a small business owner, the resource material available from FlevyPro has proven to be invaluable. The ability to search for material on demand based our project events and client requirements was great for me and proved very beneficial to my clients. Importantly, being able to easily edit and tailor the material for specific purposes helped us to make presentations, knowledge sharing, and toolkit development, which formed part of the overall program collateral. While FlevyPro contains resource material that any consultancy, project or delivery firm must have, it is an essential part of a small firm or independent consultant’s toolbox.”

– Michael Duff, Managing Director at Change Strategy (UK)

The Employee Reaction Matrix

13 Jan

Stock image 2 - Reengagement after Restructuring

Restructuring is a turbulent process that shakes the foundations of the organization.  The goal of Operational Excellence cannot be realized merely by the surgical removal of human resource during Redeployment after Restructuring.

Keeping focus on moving the organization forward with vitality means boosting the sagging morale of the employees who survive this storm.  It is the attention to the surviving employees that is going to kick-start the Revitalization process and usher in a new Organizational Culture.

Employee Engagement is an absolutely vital aspect of the revitalized organization.  Re-engagement of the remaining employees after Redeployment is important because:

  • It is a given that engagement levels will be abysmally low.
  • Motivation to work is not the top priority for most after Restructuring chaos.
  • Insecurity is high and employees may be thinking about leaving the organizations on the first opportunity they get.
  • The Revitalization of the organization depends on how the survivors are handled.

To handle such state of affairs, management must do the following:

  • Develop a concrete plan for Re-engagement during the Organizational Design.
  • Allocate appropriate time, effort, and budget for boosting motivation levels.
  • Implement Re-engagement plans that address the diverse Motivational Drivers.
  • Communicate consistently on an organizational level as well as individual level to reassure employees regarding their future.
  • Train line managers on how to handle surviving team members.
  • Push line managers to spend time with individual employees to learn:
    • How team members have handled the Redeployment process.
    • How employees sense the challenges moving forward.
    • What primarily motivates them as individuals.
  • Use motivational assessment methods and integrate the survivors into existing development discussions to align them with organizational processes.

Poor management of the Employee Re-engagement process is bound to have repercussions, such as:

  • Absenteeism
  • Low productivity levels.
  • Substandard customer service quality levels resulting in tarnished image of the organization.
  • Dwindling employees’ commitment to the organizations.
  • Increased risk of switch overs.

Active Employee Re-engagement ensures that the employees are:

  • Clear on the next steps.
  • Clear about their new roles.
  • Can effectively deliver against the new roles.
  • Keen to work in the evolving scenario.

Redeployment in the Restructuring process affects all employees regardless of whether they stay or leave.

Employees typically showcase 4 types of reactions during this transition:

  1. Departure Grief
  2. Survivor Relief
  3. Survivor Irritation
  4. Departure Happiness

Typically, the organizational focus is more on the employees who are leaving, assuming that those who get to stay are happy employees.  This may not be the case.  Care must be taken to address the motivational drivers of all employees in this transitory process.

Let us examine the Employee State, their Motivational Drivers, and appropriate Actions to take during Restructuring, a little more deeply.

Departure Grief

The motivational drivers that induce the state of “departure grief” in employees include:

  • Loss of earnings and benefits such as pension plan and health insurance can be stressful.
  • Loss of daily routine can be upsetting and takes some time to cope with.
  • Forced shift in lifestyle upsets not only the person but the family too which may take a psychological toll.
  • Feeling of rejection crops up as a result of being let go, lowering self-esteem.
  • Loss of financial empowerment puts the person, especially the head of the household, in a vulnerable position.

To help employees cope with Departure Grief, the organizational leadership should take some key actions, such as:

  • Help the ex-employees through counselling sessions.
  • Guide the employees in preparing job applications and CVs.
  • Assist the ex-employees get placed in alternative jobs.
  • Guide the ex-employees in putting the compensated amount to good use.

Interested in learning more about Re-engagement after Restructuring?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Re-engagement after Restructuring here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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“If you don’t transform your company, you’re stuck.” – Ursula Burns, Chairperson and CEO of VEON; former Chairperson and CEO of Xerox

Business Transformation is the process of fundamentally changing the systems, processes, people, and technology across an entire organization, business unit, or corporate function with the intention of achieving significant improvements in Revenue Growth, Cost Reduction, and/or Customer Satisfaction.

Transformation is pervasive across industries, particularly during times of disruption, as we are witnessing now as a result of COVID-19. However, despite how common these large scale efforts are, research shows that about 75% of these initiatives fail.

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Learn about our Business Transformation 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 LibraryFlevyPro 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

9 Communication Tactics Vital to Enable a Virtual Workplace Culture

5 Jan

Virtual Work has become a norm nowadays.  To enable Virtual Work, organizations should strive to develop an Organizational Culture of writing things down.  Documenting everything—from meeting notes to quarterly objectives—facilitates in developing stronger, informed, and more credible teams.

Organizations need to pay attention to and make good use of these 9 communication tactics to establish effective communication mechanisms among their remote teams:

  1. Daily Documentation
  2. Text-based Communication
  3. Low-context Communication
  4. Value-guided Communication
  5. Asynchronous Communication
  6. Good Habits
  7. Meetings
  8. Informal Communication
  9. Foster Relationships

Virtual communication tactics are essential for inspiring collaboration required for developing a more connected team.

Now, let’s talk about some of these tactics in Corporate Communications in further detail.

Daily Documentation

To have more collaborative work place and to have fruitful online meetings, virtual organizations need to follow these guidelines:

  • Share formal agenda and discussion items well in advance of the actual meetings.
  • Diligently document key ideas, points, and decisions for geographically dispersed team members to know their responsibilities, action items, and rationale for decisions.
  • Virtual teams should be encouraged and rewarded by the leadership on their thorough documentation, just as achievement of sales targets are rewarded.  This is particularly necessary since people tend to leave documentation when they have other urgent tasks at hand.
  • Encourage teams to document a solution as soon as it is discovered, since our ability to remember and recall is limited. Prompt documentation of solutions also ensures readiness of answers to other team members’ queries in future.

Text-based Communication

For most people from an in-office environment, text-based messages are pretty awkward and cumbersome.  They are used to one-to-one or in-person meetings and communication, instead of text-based communication.  Making these people adopt text-based communique and use it to their advantage demands quite an effort and behavioral change.  However, mastering the art of textual communication affords a number of benefits for teams, projects, and organizations alike, including:

  • Text-based communication is vital for Virtual Work where team members are dispersed in different geographies. It is a medium which is inclusive, respectful, and emphasizes a documentation Culture.
  • Documentation is a real competitive edge. A Culture without mandatory documentation gives rise to inefficiencies, knowledge leaks and repetition.
  • Text-based communication seems a liability but helps avoid unnecessary meetings with the sole purpose of “filling someone in.”
  • Cultivating a habit of communicating answers to problems through text makes documentation simpler, assists in asynchronous work, and provides information to all at the same time.
  • It frees up individual’s time for contemplation and idea generation.

When communication stakes are high in the game, there are some key considerations to follow in text-based communication:

  • Consider evaluating your conservation through an external party’s perspective before sharing.
  • Be mindful of the differences in various Cultures and communication styles.
  • There can be lags in obtaining input from the other team members due to difference in geographies and time zones.
  • Keep in mind that there can be minimum to none non-verbal communication.
  • There is emotional lag in communication.
  • Analyzing the mindset and frame of mind of the audience is a bit tough.
  • Management should assist team members in communicating effectively and getting the best out of Virtual Work.

Interested in learning more about the other communication tactics and guidelines for virtual work setting?  You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on Virtual Work: Communication Tactics 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 LibraryFlevyPro 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

“As a small business owner, the resource material available from FlevyPro has proven to be invaluable. The ability to search for material on demand based our project events and client requirements was great for me and proved very beneficial to my clients. Importantly, being able to easily edit and tailor the material for specific purposes helped us to make presentations, knowledge sharing, and toolkit development, which formed part of the overall program collateral. While FlevyPro contains resource material that any consultancy, project or delivery firm must have, it is an essential part of a small firm or independent consultant’s toolbox.”

– Michael Duff, Managing Director at Change Strategy (UK)

“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

“Several times a month, I browse FlevyPro for presentations relevant to the job challenge I have (I am a consultant). When the subject requires it, I explore further and buy from the Flevy Marketplace. On all occasions, I read them, analyze them. I take the most relevant and applicable ideas for my work; and, of course, all this translates to my and my clients’ benefits.”

– Omar Hernán Montes Parra, CEO at Quantum SFE

Redeployment – The Most Critical Phase of Restructuring

28 Dec

Stock Image 2 Redeployment after Restruc

Business Transformation is a given in the lifecycle of organizations.  If an organization or business desires to continue growing gainfully, it has to keep Restructuring and Innovating with time.  Successful Restructuring can be achieved by pursuing a robust 4-phase approach.  Each incremental phase paves the way for shaping the next phase:

  1. Strategic Analysis
  2. Structural Redesign
  3. Redeployment
  4. Renewal

Redeployment is the most critical phase in the Restructuring process.  It presents an opportunity to progress towards strategically directed performance goals and establish the foundation for a new Organizational Culture.

Carrying out an efficacious Redeployment, however, necessitates navigating around the pitfalls that threaten the process.  These snags include:

  • Lack of detailed planning on how Redeployment will be handled

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is an oft repeated adage that has wisdom based on experience of many failures throughout history.  The Redeployment plan should be thoroughly discussed and developed at the Redesign stage, giving out details of all aspects of Redeployment.

  • Restricted access to information approach

Organizational leadership often try to avoid sharing information due the fear of losing control.  During the tumultuous phase of Redeployment, leadership should be communicating with the employees quite frequently to alleviate any concerns and build their trust.

  • Failure in immediate and full disclosure of information

Timely and full disclosure of information is absolutely essential for the process to run smoothly.

A robust communications system has to be put in place for dissemination of timely information predominantly in the Redeployment phase as employee apprehensions are at the highest level in this stage.

You can learn more about the pitfalls during Redeployment here in the editable PowerPoint on Redeployment after Restructuring.

Redeployment, in order to be successful, has to go through 7 steps that need careful planning and execution with precise timing.  These 7 steps include:

  1. Continuously maintaining a robust Communications Plan.
  2. Developing an employee assessment system based on the newly-defined business needs and goals.
  3. Creating a system of reviews and appeals.
  4. Deploying an internal placement group.
  5. Launching a severance plan for those who decide to leave the organization.
  6. Providing training to employees at all levels for them to be able to develop competencies required to assume the responsibilities in a transformed organization.
  7. Planning for the renewal phase following redeployment.

Let us delve a little deeper into this second step:

2. Develop an Employee Assessment System based on the newly defined business needs and goals.

The system should assess potential employees against required competencies for the position.  A matrix should be created to serve as an assessment tool to structure the selectors’ thinking. Each competency should be assigned a weight and the cumulative score should be the sum of weighted scores of each competency.  Input should be based on interviews with candidates, feedback from managers and supervisors.  The matrix should be used as a tool only and selection decision should not be predetermined rather based on all aspects, i.e. qualitative as well as quantitative.

The selectors should be trained to ask targeted questions to assess competencies and document them properly.  Assessment should be divided into 3 sections:

  • Go/No-Go section to assess the candidates’ ability to meet the minimum requirements.
  • Evaluation of each candidate against the competencies mentioned for each position.
  • Document modification in decision due to absenteeism, affirmative action concerns, etc.

Interested in learning more about the Redeployment Steps?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Redeployment after Restructuring 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

“As a small business owner, the resource material available from FlevyPro has proven to be invaluable. The ability to search for material on demand based our project events and client requirements was great for me and proved very beneficial to my clients. Importantly, being able to easily edit and tailor the material for specific purposes helped us to make presentations, knowledge sharing, and toolkit development, which formed part of the overall program collateral. While FlevyPro contains resource material that any consultancy, project or delivery firm must have, it is an essential part of a small firm or independent consultant’s toolbox.”

– Michael Duff, Managing Director at Change Strategy (UK)

“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

“Several times a month, I browse FlevyPro for presentations relevant to the job challenge I have (I am a consultant). When the subject requires it, I explore further and buy from the Flevy Marketplace. On all occasions, I read them, analyze them. I take the most relevant and applicable ideas for my work; and, of course, all this translates to my and my clients’ benefits.”

– Omar Hernán Montes Parra, CEO at Quantum SFE

5 Best Practices Critical to Transition from an In-Office to Remote Work Setting

27 Dec

COVID-19 has forced organizations to adapt to the new norm of Remote Work.  Many people consider telecommuting as the future of work.  Employers who allow Remote Work have seen enhanced employee morale, output, and efficiency.

However, Remote Work setting is far from business as usual.  Management needs to understand and manage the intricate differences between in-office and remote teams.  To make Remote Work successful and to manage remote teams, leadership needs to follow 5 guiding principles:

  • Assemble a group of people— skilled in Remote Work setting—to supervise and support other employees to work remotely, assess any challenges, and create workable solutions in real time.
  • Develop and share (across the organization) a comprehensive reference guide—e.g., a repository, manual, or a web page—documenting exhaustive information on process changes. This will keep all stakeholders informed and prevent any uncertainties.
  • Communicate with the employees transparently and frequently, foster informal communication, and provide easily accessible video conference facilities for people to adjust to and incorporate change.
  • Keep the number of tools to handle documentation and communication to a minimum.
  • Manage the Remote Workforce by establishing candid, ongoing communication channels, trust, and shared objectives. Transition from an in-office setup to a remote environment takes time.

Likewise, remote employees need to follow certain guiding principles to undertake their responsibilities effectively and deliver on their tasks efficiently.

  • Establish a dedicated workspace.
  • Make their families understand the significance of their work—that they perform from their virtual offices—and respect their work hours.
  • Set alarms to remind when to take a break or end work, so as to work in a healthy routine. Use breaks to recharge your brain or to do errands.
  • Communicate informally with your team.
  • Try out unconventional workdays and routines that work best for you.
  • Adopt this transition

Conventional on-site work settings have clearly defined processes, team structures, interactions, and Organizational Culture, which are lacking in most virtual environments.  The transition from on-site work to work-from-anywhere demands concrete steps to make it viable.  It is critical to adopt Virtual Work mindset and best practices since every organization today, in one way or another, is a virtual company—e.g., global operations, sites and offices across different locations.

This necessitates dedicated efforts to nurture and promote a virtual-work focus and Culture, rather than managing Remote Work with a traditional mindset.  Organizations need to incorporate these 5 best practices to make the transition from conventional to work-from-anywhere environment smoother.

  1. Document everything
  2. Have more structured meetings
  3. Align values with expectations
  4. Create ergonomic home offices
  5. Adopt a self-learning mentality

Let’s delve deeper into these best practices.

Document everything

In office settings, people can run into other colleagues easily to ask queries or just to communicate with them.  This is at times disturbing and counterproductive.  Work-from-anywhere environment demands documenting every critical piece of information, creating guidelines and manuals, and implementing documentation best practices.   This facilitates in:

  • Creating a reliable, primary source of information for everyone to seek answers to their queries.
  • Building successful Virtual Work environment.
  • Clearly outlining organizational objectives.
  • Visualization and clarity of teams’ collective goals and performance results.
  • Orientation of new hires by providing answers to everything that comes to their minds.
  • Offering more inclusivity, as the information is not confined only to the ones present at the physical water cooler, but is available for the entire organization.
  • Precluding a sense of exclusion in the ones who are not part of a physical office.
  • Gathering more diverse ideas.

A handbook culture is even better than “water coolers”—as it saves time by eliminating the need to bother other teammates and ask questions from them.  It enables learning, finding answers or information more readily, and curtailing rework arising out of gathering and updating information over and over again.  Documenting everything instills a sense of ownership, courtesy, and concern for others in virtual teams.

Interested in learning more about the other best practices to transition from in-office to work-from-anywhere environment?  You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on how to transition from In-Office to Virtual Work Setting here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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How to Understand Consumer Behavior and Undertake Behavioral Transformation? Appreciate the 3 Bs of Behavioral Change

29 Nov

Product managers, marketers, and designers are often confused as to what they should do to increase the chances of customers’ engagement and uptake of their offering.  Changing individuals’ behavior to enhance engagement, productivity, innovation, and happiness isn’t straightforward.

It takes a lot of effort, time, and resources to execute initiatives aimed at transforming behaviors and Organizational Culture.  However, most people aren’t interested in changing and like the status quo to prevail.  This is where Behavioral Economics can help to know how customers behave, interpret their decision-making methods, and create solutions targeting those behaviors.

Product designers and marketers aspiring to drive acceptance of their products can make use of the 3 Bs of Behavioral Change to change understand consumer behavior. The 3 Bs of Behavioral Change classify the 3 elements essential to change behaviors, i.e.:

  1. Behavior
  2. Barriers
  3. Benefits

Understanding and employing these 3 Bs helps the designers and product managers instill change, inspire design and strategy-related decisions, increase the acceptance of new products / features and product engagement levels, and build new behaviors in people.

Let’s discuss the first 2 elements in detail.

Behavior

People have an inherent tendency to maintain the status quo.  Behavioral change necessitates:

  • Identifying individuals’ existing attitudes.
  • Assessing and tackling psychological biases affecting individuals’ decisions.
  • Carefully tracking behaviors that need to be changed.
  • Ascertaining the most important desired behavior and exact action that is imperative to drive results.
  • Getting the buy-in from all stakeholders on the key behavior.
  • Deciding if the behavior should be permanent or transient.

Examples of key actions to change behaviors include spending 30 minutes thrice weekly doing cardio exercises and consuming salad at lunch daily to stay healthy.

Barriers

Understanding the barriers in behavior adoption assists in creating effective solutions to improve uptake of key behavior.  The second step to induce behavioral change is to reduce barriers in its adoption.

  • Every decision that a product user has to make, no matter how negligible, increases resistance in the likelihood of completing a specific behavior.
  • These actions and decisions, that an individual has to take in order to achieve the desired behavior, create points of friction in embracing key behaviors.  For instance, people often find it difficult to decide when presented with complex choices. They tend to procrastinate or become a victim of decision paralysis.
  • Removing the points of friction and resistance from any key behavior necessitates documenting and streamlining all decisions. The path of least resistance leads to desired key behaviors.

Examples of barriers include the thought process involved in the decision to select where to have dinner.  This thought process is, in fact, a psychological barrier in actually going out and having dinner.  Likewise, the decision to walk or drive to a restaurant is a logistical barrier and a point of friction that warrants making a decision.

To eliminate these barriers, we can either remove barriers entirely or just simplify the decision.  For instance, elimination of a non-critical, open text field from a sign-up form—that probed the users about their business, which requires significant time to think and answer—can increase page-over-page conversion.  In case choices are helpful for the users and cannot be eliminated, then it is best to simplify the decision process by giving fewer options instead of many, or by suggesting “recommended option” to the users.

Interested in learning more about the details of the 3 Bs of Behavioral Change?  You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on 3 Bs of Behavioral Change here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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Employee Onboarding: How to Get Off to the Right Start

21 Nov

The single most pressing challenge for an organization in this knowledge economy is attracting and retaining talented people.  This can be a make or break challenge for the organization and warrants careful consideration during Strategic Planning.

Starting on the right foot is absolutely essential to overcoming this challenge.  Organizations, particularly HR, need to have an Organizational Culture that boasts of an effective Employee Onboarding process.  In order to accomplish this, present-day HR needs to be clear regarding the challenges of modern-day Onboarding and develop a strategy to establish an onboarding process that yields a rewarding experience for the employees.

At many organizations the Employee Onboarding process follows a customary theme—a run down on “how things are done here”—with the traditional HR view that if the employee can be made to commit to the Organizational Culture from the get-go, they are easier to retain.

Such an Onboarding process does not help the new employee adjust to the company or the role, become an Engaged Employee, and meet the expectations of the organization.  Experts have identified various challenges with this conventional Onboarding approach.  Here is a list of 8 most frequent challenges:

  1. Poor Socialization of Organizational Values
  2. Lack of Role Clarity
  3. Challenges with Expectations and Results
  4. Managing Change
  5. Issues with Time Management
  6. Issues with the Manager
  7. Navigating the Culture
  8. Handling Personal Transition and Relocation

By addressing these challenges appropriately, organizations can establish a rewarding Employee Onboarding experience that results in Employee Retention, quality output in the short-term, and enhanced productivity in the longer run.

Let us delve a little deeper into the challenges.

1. Poor Socialization of Organizational Values

It is presumed that Organizational Values are a thing to be imparted and accepted by the new employee.  This is, indeed, essential knowledge, but it is not sacrosanct.  Studies suggest acceptance of organizational values in contravention of one’s own identity may be counter-productive in that it may exhaust the employee psychologically, restrict full engagement, hinder creativity, and create work dissatisfaction.  This can be overcome by allowing employee to express their unique perspective on the job from the beginning and welcoming them to incorporate what they do best in their work.

2. Lack of Role Clarity

Lack of clear understanding of one’s role is a widespread problem in organizations.  After spending some time in the new organization, the employee realizes that the expectation of the role is conflicting with what the employee thought he/she accepted.  Encouraging the new employee to identify the gaps in the expectation / perception and discussing it with their managers enables the employees to have a clear perspective and understanding of their roles and responsibilities, enhances employee satisfaction levels, and improves their efficiency and productivity.

3. Challenges with Expectations and Results

New employees are often unable to realize their workload.  In order to meet the perceived expectation of managers or peers, they take on too much of work resulting in overload, which diminishes their performance.  Informal discussions of new employees with managers and peers regarding their expectations eases the pressure and enables them to take on what is manageable and deliver quality results.

Interested in learning more about various aspects of Employee Onboarding, guiding principles, challenges, and approaches?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Employee Onboarding here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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Transforming Employee Engagement into a Competitive Advantage? Here’s How

22 Oct

Organizations typically focus on Customer-centric Design in their Strategic Planning and overlook the critical driver of PerformanceGrowth, and Operational Excellence—their employees.  With cut-throat competition now the norm the realization has become clearer that employees are:

  • The face of the business and create lasting—or perishing—brand impression.
  • Sources of innovation and organizational knowledge.
  • Representation of the company’s service philosophy.
  • Expected to live by its Organizational Culture and values.

Employee Engagement has emerged as one of the significant pillars on which the Competitive Advantage, Productivity, and Growth of an organization rests.  What, exactly, does it mean when an employee is engaged?  Employee Engagement, over the years, has been thought of in terms of:

  • Personal engagement with the organization.
  • Focus on performance of assigned work.
  • Worker burnout.
  • Basic needs (meaningful work, safe workplace, abundant resources).
  • Attention on Cognitive, Emotional and Behavioral components related to an individual’s performance.

Although Employee Engagement is widely seen as an important concept, there has been little consensus on its definition or its components either in business or in the academic literature.

Kumar and Pansari’s 2015 study define Employee Engagement as:

“a multidimensional construct that comprises all of the different facets of the attitudes and behaviors of employees towards the organization”.

The multidimensional construct of Employee Engagement has been synthesized into the following 5 components (or dimensions).

  1. Employee Satisfaction
  2. Employee Identification
  3. Employee Commitment
  4. Employee Loyalty
  5. Employee Performance

The 5 dimensions of Employee Engagement have been found to have a direct correlation with high profitability, as substantiated by a number of research studies:

For instance, a study of 30 companies in the airline, telecom and hotel industries shows a close relationship between Employee Engagement and growth in profits.  After controlling other relevant factors—i.e., GDP level, marketing costs, nature of business, and type of goods, the study found:

  • Highest profitability growth—10% to 15%—in companies with highly engaged employees.
  • Lowest level of profitability growth—0% to 1%—in companies with disengaged employees.

Research reveals that Employee Engagement affects 9 performance outcomes; including Customer Ratings, Profitability, Productivity, Safety Incidents, Shrinkage (theft), Absenteeism, Patient Safety Incidents, Quality (Defects), and Turnover.

The differences in performance between engaged and actively disengaged work units revealed:

  • Top half Employee Engagement scores nearly doubled the odds of success compared with those in the bottom half.
  • Companies with engaged workforces have higher earnings per share (EPS).

These 5 dimensions become the base for measuring Employee Engagement in a meaningful manner that permits managers to identify areas of improvement.  To assess an organization’s current status of Employee Engagement, a measurement system is needed that includes:

  • Metrics for each component of Employee Engagement.
  • A scale for scoring metrics in each component.
  • A comprehensive scorecard that pulls everything together.

Let us delve a little deeper into the first 2 dimensions of Employee Engagement.

Employee Satisfaction

Definition

Employee Satisfaction is the positive reaction employees have to their overall job circumstances, including their supervisors, pay and coworkers.

Details

When employees are satisfied, they tend to be:

  • Committed to their work.
  • Less absent and more productive in terms of quality of goods and services.
  • Connected with the organization’s values and goals.
  • Perceptive about being a part of the organization.

Metrics

The 5 metrics that gauge Employee Engagement in terms of Employee Satisfaction include:

  1. Receiving recognition for a job.
  2. Feeling close to people at work.
  3. Feeling good about working at the organization.
  4. Feeling secure about the job.
  5. Believing that the management is concerned about employees.

We take a look at another dimension central in significance.

Employee Commitment

Definition

Signifies what motivates the employees to do more than what’s in their job descriptions.

Details

Employee Commitment is much higher for the employees who identify with the organization.  This element:

  • Develops over time and is an outcome of shared experiences.
  • Is often an antecedent of loyalty.
  • Induces employees to guard the organization’s secrets.
  • Pushes employees to work for organization’s best interests.

Research has found that employees with the highest levels of commitment:

  • Perform 20% better.
  • Are 87% less likely to leave the organization.

Metrics

The 3 metrics that gauge the Employee Commitment dimension of Employee Engagement include:

  1. Commitment to deliver the brand promise along with knowledge of the brand.
  2. Very committed to delivering the brand promise.
  3. Feels like the organization has a great deal of personal meaning.

Interested in learning more about these foundational pillars to Employee Engagement? You can download an editable PowerPoint on 5 Dimensions of Employee Engagement here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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The Devil is in the Details: Your Primer to a Lean Culture

3 Jul

Culture is essential today in helping employees and management survive in today’s environment. Survival has become a strong word today. Without culture, everyone in the organization would act or behave differently. No one would be able to anticipate someone else’s behavior, and no one would understand why people behave the way they do. When this happens, the organization’s performance would be very chaotic.

What is culture? Organizational Culture is a learned process and is developed by the organization as a response to the working environment established by the organization’s leadership and management team. It is established in all organizations, regardless of whether its development is guided or unguided. Either way, culture can have a positive or negative impact on the organization’s performance.

A Take Away at Corporate Culture and a Lean Culture

Corporate culture is a set of standards shared by members of an organization. It produces behavior that falls within a range that the organization considers proper and acceptable. Having the right culture will increase the organization’s chance to survive.

What is a Lean Culture? Lean Culture is a total system and represents a complete and comprehensive culture change in the organization. A Lean Culture enables lean implementation and represents a completely new way of managing the organization through Lean Management.

The development of a Lean Culture starts with a Lean Culture Framework.

The Lean Culture Framework

The development of a Lean Culture starts with a definition of a Continuous Improvement Lean Culture. As a starting point, the Lean Culture Framework consists of 5 essential elements.

  1. Definition. This element ensures that the organization gets to properly define what Continuous Improvement Lean Culture really means for the entire organization. When this is undertaken, improvement becomes a part of the organization’s culture.
  2. Translation and Integration. The second element ensures that culture is well translated and integrated into values and related behaviors. It is important for organizations to understand that strong values can guide the behaviors of people.
  3.  Strategic Applications. This basically refers to the strategic application of cultural elements. If problem-solving is one of the cultural elements, the strategic plan of the organization can take a problem-solving approach to achieve key targets.
  4. Diligent Development. This element focuses on the diligent development of a comprehensive culture. This ensures the alignment of programs with a long-term problem-solving culture of improvement of the organization and eliminates conflicting messages.
  5. Reinforcement. The fifth element ensures that reinforcement is undertaken with regular recognition. When this is done, the organization can expect to gain more improvements.

The five (5) elements of the Lean Culture Framework must be properly structured to ensure its effective implementation. In today’s business environment where Competitive Advantage and Operational Excellence is gaining ground towards sustainability, organizations just need to learn how to operate smartly and effectively. This can be done when a Lean Culture Framework is established and implemented.

The Devil is in The Details: The Implementation

Culture change typically is not greeted with open arms. To be successful, a Lean Culture change initiative must have a few DO-NOT-PASS-GO items. A few of these are leadership involvement and engagement, cultural dynamics, and education. Implementation of a Lean Culture Framework may seem easy but it is not. It requires care, patience, a bottomless energy source, and an iron will to succeed. It can be of advantage if organizations are well guided in undertaking a culture change. A well developed and thought-of plan can highly help organizations go through culture change with just a few bumps along the way.

Interested in gaining more understanding of Lean Culture? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Lean Culture here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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