Tag Archive for: #leadershipskills

The Organizational Transformation Journey

Organizational transformation, in reflecting on the word transformation. We hear the word almost daily and in so many capacities. Transformation resonates in almost every aspect of our lives, it manifests in our personal lives, our careers, health, business, and company cultures.

As we embark with clients on their organizational transformation journey there was a very defined methodology that is used, which is the Galbraith Star Model, designed by Jay R. Galbraith (2018 Galbraith Management Consultants). The model system focuses on Strategy, Structure, Business Process, Reward Systems and Human Resource Management. What we love (yes, love) is that this system and process creates a clear path for change (where are we going), scripts the moves (how are we going to get to there), and keeps teams motivated (deliver small incremental decisions and actions along the path).

The organizational transformation focuses on the following key areas

  1. Strategy: Vision, Governance, Comparative Advantage
  2. Structure: Power & Authority, Information Flow, and Organizational Roles
  3. Processes: Networks, Processes Terms, Integration Roles and Matrix Structures
  4. Rewards: Cooperation and Rewards
  5. People: Hiring, Performance Feedback, and Professional Development

It is critically important to follow steps as outlined in the Galbraith Star Model.  Each phase of the model is a building block for the next phase.   The strategy phase focuses on vision, mission and it establishes the direction for the organization and drives the business i.e., markets where the products or services are sold.  Strategy is the foundation.  Think of this in the lens of building a house, there must be a blueprint for the house and then the foundation is built to support the house.  Strategy informs structure.  Structure determines the type of structure required, including:

  • How are we organized?
  • What are the key roles?
  • How is the work managed?
  • Where should the power and authority reside?
  • Where is the span of control?
  • Aligned with the value chains?

Once the structure is designed and agreed upon, then we pivot towards processes.  Processes determine the flow of information, standards of work, and decision accountability.  Highly automated processes should be inherent to a low-cost business model and rigorous quality control processes might be required.

Rewards should align with the goals of the employees and encourage and motivate them to create a synergy to execute the strategy.  And lastly people, in this phase it is critical to ensure the team has the skills required to not only execute the strategy but also create bench strength for the organization and fit into the company culture.  The phase also includes human resource policies.

Culture is also a critical part of the organizational transformation journey (somewhat of an obvious statement).  Involving the teams throughout the process while defining functional accountabilities enables that feeling of control and the ability to influence the moves of change.

Curious and want to learn more about organizational transformation please reach out to xSynergy Solutions.  xSynergy Solutions is a full-service business transformation firm located in Centennial, CO.  We impact every aspect of your business from marketing to operational strategies.  Learn more at xsynergysolutions.com


The 5 Whys of Lean

When you think about the power behind the five (5) whys process for lean, it’s best to reflect on a conversation with a young child.  The inquisitiveness at that young age when they repeatedly ask “why” in an exhaustive fashion. While believing the first couple of responses should have quelled their constant but “why” and yet it does not, there is delight in the end with successfully helping them find the true answer to their original why.  What is fascinating with this process is that it will drive an understanding of the core why (root cause).

There is a tendency when examining a failure in a business process to stop when the first or second why is answered so we can move onto the next business issue.  The shortcut: stopping at the first or second why does not allow an organization to get to the real why (root cause) and thus does not allow for the creation of a solution that prevents the error from occurring again.

What is the five (5) whys analysis process:

  1. State the specific problem that needs to be addressed
  2. Identify and categorize the possible causes for that problem (the first “why”) and attach any supporting documents
  3. Rate each cause based on the likelihood that it led to the problem
  4. Move forward with the top-rated cause and identify the possible causes for that problem (the second “why”)
  5. Repeat steps 1–4 until the root cause of the problem is identified
  6. Develop an action plan to resolve and mitigate the identified root cause

Why use the five (5) whys process?

  1. Identifies the root cause, not just the symptoms
  2. Allows users to perform an evidence-based analysis
  3. Ultimately eliminates issues in the system for good
  4. Seeks to drive improvements and welcomes change
  5. Builds a culture that embraces progress

The power of the five (5) whys is to poke yoke (error proof) the process where the root cause occurred, and the benefits come in many forms.  The benefits include improved customer experience, process waste eliminated, and employee satisfaction to name a few.  To learn more about lean please contact xSynergy Solutions at info@xsynergysolutions.com

xSynergy Solutions is a full-service business transformation firm located in Centennial, CO. We impact every aspect of your business from marketing to operational strategies.  Learn more at xsynergysolutions.com.

Change Management

It is easy to say that 2020 has been a year of change, albeit forced changed in some cases but nevertheless change.  Change whether pursued or levied upon us, let us say it out loud, is incredibly hard.  Let us say it again, change is incredibly hard.  While pushing through the tough work of change we evolve, transform, and ultimately grow as individuals and leaders within our organizations.

As we work with our clients on optimizing their people, processes, and systems we ensure we are coaching on not only the scope of the project (the why) but also the change management fundamentals. There are so many elements of change management that must be focused on, including the emotional aspects of change, the behaviors of change and the transformation journey that an organization must navigate through.  So, let us start with the emotional aspects of change as outlined by author John Fisher.

1. Emotional Aspects of Change

For emotional aspects of change, we utilize the John Fisher process of transition model and the transformation emotional curve.  As changes begin to occur within an organization it is important to recognize and acknowledge that everyone is experiencing emotions associated with change, and that not all people are at the same emotional stage.  There will also be a tendency for individuals to vacillate within the emotional change curve as the project progresses.  The keys are 1. acknowledge it, 2. discuss it and 3. revisit it as often as necessary.

One of the change management activities we like to do is have the team members place their fears on a post-it as we begin a project. As the project progresses, we have the individual remove or add their post-it note as the fear is alleviated or new fears emerge.  We find that creating that visual representation (the post-it notes) helps the team process the emotional changes and as the project progresses that 99.9% of their fears are alleviated. Again, the key is to 1. acknowledge it, 2. discuss it and 3. revisit it as often as necessary.

2. The Behaviors of Change

For behavioral aspects of change: the identification of behaviors is an extremely important part of the change management process. We can sight negative behaviors relatively easy but what do those positive behaviors look like?  When we started our journey on developing our change management collateral, we surveyed individuals with one question, what do leadership behaviors look like associated with change?  Here is what we heard; ability to inspire, openness, tenacity, communicates the “why”, confidence, and positive attitudes.  So then what do the behaviors look like within other roles in an organization?

  • Individual and Front-Line Mangers: Openness; coaches individuals to overcome resistance and supports others by showing empathy struggling with the emotional aspects of change.
  • Operational Leaders: Promotes change, encourages innovation, and addresses resistance (the why are we changing).
  • Strategic Leaders: Creates opportunities, encourages boundary breaking, and encourages others to continually set higher goals.

In the book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard they write about “cognitive dissonance” which is that people don’t like to act in one way and think in another so once a small step has been taken, and people begin to act in a new way, it will be increasingly difficult for them to dislike the way they are acting. Understanding cognitive dissonance is critical to understand and acknowledge when we see a behavior change within an individual or team, and then provide that recognition and motivation to continue the acceptance of change.

3. Business Transformation

Lastly, is the need to also focus on what change looks like within the organization.  Business transformation is a journey that can take years in some cases to occur given the magnitude of change affecting people, processes, and systems.  It is critically important the journey is shared with all key stakeholders, the functional business leaders and all people impacted by the transformation.  We find that having multiple communications methods and cadence is critically important throughout the transformation lifecycle.  Within the transformation lifecycle there are five phases which include 1. Transform to Disorder, 2. Stability to Performance, 3. Performance to Competence, 4. Competence to Excellence and lastly 5. Accelerate and Outperform.

To learn more about the business transformation lifecycles reach out to xSynergy Solutions , a full service transformation firm headquartered in Centennial, CO.