Instinctively we know management is out of date, we know some of the practices and routines are dreadfully inadequate to handle 21 century complexity. That’s why we see Dilbert cartoons in the paper or TV shows like "The Office" mocking practices such as TEAM BUILDINGS - a social intervention designed to inspire creativity, engagement and commitment. Most of them don’t. In fact, most team buildings are dreaded, tedious gatherings filled with socially awkward exercises meant to bring people closer together. To survive the strain, copious amounts of alcohol is believed to be the best remedy - keeping the herd on an even keel towards prosperity and innovation. Team buildings are just one example of a whole host of management practices that are outdated. Surely, we can do better?
Transformation and Management Innovation
Believe it or not, but mangement innovation is happening all over the world. Today, there are a new breed of highly successful companies like Morning Star, Netflix and Spotify who are pawing the way for a new management era - an era where companies are highly flexible, where change is an automated process, where innovation is part of the company DNA, and where the work environment is filled with purpose and passion that inspires dramatic new thinking.
Examples of Management Innovation
For those who are just catching up, we highly recommend these cases:
So where do we begin
Many consider management innovation to be a somewhat futile mission. We believe nothing is farther from the truth. Incorporating fundamentally new practices and thinking into your company isn't rocket science - it just takes time. Time, ownership, commitment and tools. The latter is a good way to create sparks, ignite the organization and collect some low hanging fruits. However, the big picture requires a bit more amunition. Here's how we do it.
Before we can do anyting, we must start with the why - Why do we want to change? What doesn't work, and what are we really prepared to do in order to make change happen?
We start this process, like we start any process in Innovation Lab: We look outwards. We look beyond the horizon. Beyond our current vista. Who is really making ripples in the management innovation space? Which companies are pioneers within your field? We dedicate one or two workshops immersing ourselves with cases, and what we can learn from others.
The True North
Every journey needs a true compass course - without it we are walking in the blind. Where do we want to go? Where is our "true north" ? Figuring out the "Why" and the "True North" are done with a morning workshop, somewhere off campus.
The Smart Scope
This is the most uncomfortable, yet most important phase of any change management process. Getting down and dirty with the details. All the steps prior are way easier! Why? Because talking about the future is always filled with positive energy - with hope, with desire, with passion. However, as soon as we start talking about what we need to actually DO, in order to create the future, it fills us with anxiety, worries and negative thinking. But don't worry. We know this, which is why we use several devious workshop techniques to keep you on course. And we set SMART goals - Specific, measurable, achieveable, realistic and time-bound.
While other consultancy companies might suggest a thourough, well-planned, and best-practice approach to change management, we say NAY! We believe fundamental change requires experimentation. Iteration Prototyping. See what works, and what doesn't. We believe in great goals, but flexible plans. We believe in next-practice, over best-practice. The start is about looking at the grand, and asking ourselves - how might we solve this? What fundamental new routines can we create, what bold changes within our management systems can we do, and how might we approach this one step at a time? What new tools can we implement today, and how do we learn about their effectiveness?
They say, what gets measured, gets done. Well, we want to spin that slightly and say: what gets measured, provides meaningful insight. We want to track movements and interactions. Measure engagement levels. Look at productivity numbers. Consider DATA! What does these insights tell us about our organization? Are we on the right track? Should we consider different options? What can we do?
The Learning and Transformation
With time and effort we will derive learning which will help us adjust our bearings, tweak our models and and refine our prototypes. Repeating this iterative process enough times, and you will be honing in on a organizational DNA that will truly be transformative. That can truly create competitive advantage. That can truly attract the next generation talent and wisdom to your doorstep.
Are you ready?
Although we have a process, no client runs through a process like the one above in one go. They might start something, then come back. Then finish one step, and start the next later. Where do you want to start? Lets talk over coffee. Great conversations always start with coffee!