Apr 25, 2010

Deciding what to change: Role of a diagnostic

It has always been a struggle to me to clearly establish an approach to identifying what to change. Six Sigma has its X's and Y's; process consultants have their maturity framework...but how does a CEO decide what needs to be changed in an organization..

Though newly arrived CEO's probably don't ; most consultants seem to recommend some form of diagnostic as the first step to starting a transformation journey.

Mark Gottfredson and Steve Schaubert (of Bain), in their book 'Breakthrough Imperatives (2008,Harper Collins) recommend a three step approach. The authors divide the transformation into steps of

  • diagnose the points of departure
  • envision the point of result and 
  • (build) the road to results
The authors build their diagnostic around the following defined rules ; 
  • Costs and prices always decline
  • Competitive position determines your options
  • Customers and profit pools don't stand still
  • Simplicity gets results
We will discuss building diagnostics around these rules in subsequent posts. Any diagnostic will need identifying appropriate measures or performance indictors, finding ways to know the existing performance and establishing some form of benchmarks

What has been your experiences with building a diagnostic

P.S. Apologies for the break of previous weeks. I had another 'writing assignment' for my organization !!

Apr 4, 2010

Lateral leadership : A'nother' key change agent skill

Another key skill that every person tasked with making change happen is Lateral Leadership. Roger Fisher (1998, Harper Collins) subtitles his book on lateral leadership as getting things done when you are not the boss. I am sure every 'change agent' can recognize the situation

According to Fisher one can achieve a high level of colloboration that produces high quality results through lateral leadership.This includes three basic steps
  • Organize and sharpen one's  personal skills at getting things done by yourself
  • Understand clearly your strategic goal of an organized way of getting things done with others
  • Learning some tactics of participatory management