Organizations do not change. People change!

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Leadership / Ledarskap on October 28th, 2019 by admin

Addressing an organization’s mindset has a tangible business impact and is the key that opens the door to successfully transforming an organization.

Albert Einstein once famously remarked, “Today’s problems cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created them.”
Consider the example of a Latin American consumer goods manufacturer under pressure to change its performance after not having performed well for several quarters. Due to urgency, the chief transformation officer went off to set more stretched targets and created a weekly governance to review performance initiatives with more rigor.

Yes, people worked hard. Yes, at first some KPIs improved, but all of this drained more energy than the results it was delivering. It soon became clear that the people would not last a marathon at the speed of a sprint; they had started to become disengaged.
Like in this organization, most enterprise transformations focus on changing business metrics and, at best, employee behaviors—and not the thinking what created the need for a transformation in the first place. And, not surprisingly, 70% of them fail. Companies with failed transformation programs identify employee resistance or management behavior as the major barrier (72%) to success.

To avoid that statistic, this manufacturer for the first time shifted the focus on the people. What was driving their behavior? What made their eyes shine? What would truly engage them in a transformation? Looking for these answers, the top team discovered that up until then, people were gaining praise for doing new things even if they were not delivering their promised results. They thought that short-term results were more important than satisfying the consumer. And when the time came to choose, they felt that their individual goals were bigger than the company’s. All this was limiting them from participating wholeheartedly in the transformation underway.

In fact, these mindsets, as we call them, needed to be flipped to make things work. Through a set of targeted initiatives, these mindsets were shaken. The people came to realize that satisfying the consumer is what will bring the short-term results. There is no success for the individual if the company is not doing well. And they started to be recognized for executing with discipline focusing on our full potential to deliver challenging goals. Sharing the story of why the transformation was necessary and addressing these mindsets engaged the employees with a whole new level of energy, and only few months later the organization was able to deliver its first quarter back on track and continue the trend.

Companies that take the time to identify and shift deep-seated mindsets were 4x more likely to rate their change programs as “successful,” according to the McKinsey Quarterly Transformational Change Survey, 2010. In fact, mindset shifts are linked to the highest impact behaviors a person wants to change.

Unless you first identify the mindsets, both limiting and enabling your people, your transformation initiatives may be wasting resources, time and energy. Another company, a telco, found that managers spent the majority of performance reviews explaining the complex rating process vs giving feedback. So, the telco simplified the process and rating system, increased frequency of conversations, and provided training on delivering feedback. However, it’s important to keep in mind that “from” mindsets aren’t necessarily bad; many rational, competent and well-meaning people could and do operate in this way.

In the case of the telco, leaders cancelled reviews and/or spent most time on small talk. Why? Leaders actually avoided difficult conversations and focused the feedback on process because they were afraid that criticism and difficult conversations would damage their relationships. Once this mindset transformed into “honesty (with respect) is the essence of building strong relationships,” leaders started to engage in regular, honest and courageous feedback conversations, and focus their feedback on performance.
Addressing the organization’s mindset has a tangible business impact and is the key that opens the door to successfully transforming an organization. In our next articles, we explore how to uncover those mindsets and how to turn them around.
The authors wish to thank Natasha Bergeron for the practical insights she provided for this post.

Source: McKinsey.com, October 2019
Authors: Anita Baggio, Eleftheria Digentiki and Rahul Varma
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Building conversational capacity to address conflict in today’s work teams

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on October 25th, 2019 by admin

Work teams progress through four basic stages of development: Orientation, when the team is just starting out; Dissatisfaction, when conflict inevitably arises; Integration, as team members begin to learn how to work with each other; and Production, when the fine-tuned team is achieving its purpose and goals.

“The ability to balance candor and curiosity is particularly important in the Dissatisfaction stage of team development, where conflict is higher, misunderstandings are more prevalent, and the risk to team cohesion is greater than in any other stage,” says bestselling business author Craig Weber in a recent article for HR Grapevine.

Weber, author of the books Conversational Capacity and Influence in Action, worked with The Ken Blanchard Companies on the design of their new Team Leadership program.

“High candor creates conversations that are open and direct. People put forward their best ideas, biggest concerns, and most creative suggestions in a clear and compelling way.

“At the same time, high curiosity leads to conversations that are open-minded, inquisitive, and learning focused. If one team member has a view that differs from the rest of the team, rather than getting defensive, other team members get interested in exploring how that colleague sees the issue differently. They ask questions to discover what they might learn. It’s in this sweet spot—where candor and curiosity are in balance—that the best teamwork occurs.”

Weber refers to the ability of an individual or a team to remain in the sweet spot under pressure as their conversational capacity. And the more difficult the issue a team is facing, the more challenging their goals, and the more intense the differences of personality or opinion around the table, the more important this ability becomes to team performance.

“When a team leaves the sweet spot and conversational capacity begins to drop, it’s usually because team members have drifted too far toward one pole or the other. If I’m in a meeting and I let go of candor, for example, I may become overly guarded and cautious. I’ll sit there quietly, not saying something I should. Or, if I do speak up, I’ll water down or sugarcoat my point. If I drop curiosity, on the other hand, I may become more closed-minded, arrogant, and argumentative. I’ll participate in the conversation with my mind shut and my mouth open.

“Conversational capacity, therefore, isn’t just another aspect of effective teamwork—it defines effective teamwork. A team of people who can’t talk in a productive way about their most important issues isn’t really a team at all. It is just a collection of people who can’t work together effectively when it really matters.”

The good news, says Weber, is the ability to work in the sweet spot is a discipline that can be mastered if team members are willing to put in the practice to improve the conversational capacity of their teams and work relationships.

“One person can have a profound effect on the way a meeting unfolds or a decision gets made—even if they’re the only person in the room with the skills. Some of us are more naturally curious while others are more instinctively candid, but we can all learn to communicate in a more balanced way and use this ability to make a powerful difference in our teams, organizations, and communities.

“In both of my books, I quote from Airto Moreira, a Brazilian jazz percussionist, who says this about playing jazz: ‘I listen to what’s being played and then I play what’s missing.’ That’s a great way to think about how each of us can wield more influence. We can learn to pay closer attention to what’s being played in a conversation and then learn skills for playing what’s missing. Is there a lack of candor in this meeting? What can I do to ratchet it up a notch or two? Or is there a lack of curiosity and people are starting to butt heads? What can I do to slow down the conversation and get it focused back on the issue we’re trying to address?

An organization is a community of discourse, says Weber. Leadership is about shaping the nature of the discourse—and effective leaders shape discourse in the direction of learning, progress, and growth.

“A core idea in my work is how, no matter your status or station, you can play a leading role in building healthier work relationships, teams, organizations, and communities. Building your conversational capacity, and that of your team, is the key.”

Source: kenblanchard.com, October 2019
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SL – Kronans Apotek = 1-0

Posted in Aktuellt, Customer care / Kundvård on October 15th, 2019 by admin

Alla ni som följt mina kundupplevelser från Kronans Apotek och SL (se mer nedan) får här ytterligare ett bevis på hur begreppet “kundservice” genomsyrar en organisation och helt saknas i den andra (Kronans Apotek).

När jag tillskrev kundtjänsten på Kronans Apotek fick jag veta att det inte var deras uppgift att förmedla min återkoppling till det aktuella apoteket. Det får jag göra själv! Inget intresse alls av att “se och lära” av sitt dåliga kundbemötande och en kund som faktiskt tar sig tid att ge en saklig återkoppling.

SL, däremot, svarade inom några minuter på följande sätt:
Hej Johan!
Tack för att du hör av dig.
Vad trevligt att få läsa om din positiva upplevelse av förarens bemötande. Jag kommer att framföra din redogörelse till dennes arbetsgivare vilket kommer innebära att han får återkoppling med ditt beröm från sin arbetsledare.
Jag skulle dock vilja fråga dig om den tid du angett i ärendet: Var 09:20 den tid som bussen ankom till eller avgick från de hållplatser du reste mellan?
Jag hoppas att dina framtida kontakter med oss som representerar SL fortsätter vara lika positiva samt att din axel läker bra och snabbt!
Vänliga hälsningar,
Elsa
SL Kundtjänst

Vilket bemötande upplever Du, som kund, som mest engagerat och proffsigt?

Positiv kundupplevelse

Posted in Aktuellt, Customer care / Kundvård on October 14th, 2019 by admin

Efter min senaste upplevelse av kunservice på bottennivå (Kronans Apotek, läs mer nedan) känns det bra att få berätta om dagens upplevelse som speglar motsatsen till Kronans Apotek. Dessutom visar den hur kundservice inte alls behöver handla om CRM-system och strukturer. Istället handlar det om varje enskilds medarbetares inställning och beteende. Varje dag!

Står i ösregnet, med min nyopererade axel i ett axellås, och väntar på bussen till sjukgymnasten. Blött, kallt och allmänt eländigt.
Dörren öppnas och chauffören säger genast: ”ta den tid du behöver att sätta dig innan jag startar bussen” (så farbror inte trillar med sin sargade axel:) )
När det sedan, några hållplatser senare, är dags att kliva av vänder han sig om mot mig och frågar om jag behöver hjälp. Jag svarar att det går bra utan hjälp men tackar honom för vänligheten.
”Det är det vi är till för mannen” svarar han!

Snyggt SL! Hoppas på fler positiva kundupplevelser framöver.

Unlocking the potential of frontline managers

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on October 13th, 2019 by admin

Instead of administrative work and meetings, they should focus on coaching their employees and on constantly improving quality.

A retail manager responsible for more than $80 million in annual revenue, an airline manager who oversees a yearly passenger volume worth more than $160 million, a banking manager who deals with upward of seven million questions from customers a year. These aren’t executives at a corporate headquarters; they are the hidden—yet crucial—managers of frontline employees.
Found in almost any company, such managers are particularly important in industries with distributed networks of sites and employees. These industries—for instance, infrastructure, travel and logistics, manufacturing, health care, and retailing (including food service and retail banking)—make up more than half of the global economy. Their district or area managers, store managers, site or plant managers, and line supervisors direct as much as two-thirds of the workforce and are responsible for the part of the company that typically defines the customer experience. Yet most of the time, these managers operate as cogs in a system, with limited flexibility in decision making and little room for creativity.
In a majority of the companies we’ve encountered, the frontline managers’ role is merely to oversee a limited number of direct reports, often in a “span breaking” capacity, relaying information from executives to workers.1 Such managers keep an eye on things, enforce plans and policies, report operational results, and quickly escalate issues or problems. In other words, a frontline manager is meant to communicate decisions, not to make them; to ensure compliance with policies, not to use judgment or discretion (and certainly not to develop policies); and to oversee the implementation of improvements, not to contribute ideas or even implement improvements (workers do that).
This system makes companies less productive, less agile, and less profitable, our experience shows. Change is possible, however. At companies that have successfully empowered their frontline managers, the resulting flexibility and productivity generate strong financial returns. One convenience store retailer, for example, reduced hours worked by 19 to 25 percent while increasing sales by almost 10 percent. It achieved this result by halving the time store managers spent on administration; restructuring their work (and that of their employees) to focus on the areas most relevant to customers, such as the cleanliness of stores and upselling efforts at the cash register; and creating easy-to-understand performance metrics that managers now had enough time to coach employees on daily.
The key is a shift to frontline managers who have the time—and the ability—to address the unique circumstances of their specific stores, plants, or mines; to foresee trouble and stem it before it begins; and to encourage workers to seek out opportunities for self-improvement. In difficult economic times, making employees more productive is even more crucial than it is ordinarily.

The reality of the front line
To unlock a team’s abilities, a manager at any level must spend a significant amount of time on two activities: helping the team understand the company’s direction and its implications for team members and coaching for performance. Little of either occurs on the front line today. Across industries, frontline managers spend 30 to 60 percent of their time on administrative work and meetings, and 10 to 50 percent on nonmanagerial tasks (traveling, participating in training, taking breaks, conducting special projects, or undertaking direct customer service or sales themselves). They spend only 10 to 40 percent actually managing frontline employees by, for example, coaching them directly.
Even then, managers often aren’t truly coaching the front line. Our survey of retail district managers, for example, showed that much of the time they spend on frontline employees actually involved auditing for compliance with standards or solving immediate problems. At some companies we surveyed, district managers devote just 4 to 10 percent of their time—as little as 10 minutes a day—to coaching teams. To put the point another way, a district manager in retailing may spend as little as one hour a month developing people in the more junior but critical role of store manager.

In our experience, neither companies nor their frontline managers typically expect more. One area manager at a specialty retailer with thousands of outlets said, “Coaching? A good store manager should just know what to do—that’s what we hire them for.” A store manager in a global convenience retailer told us, “There are just good stores and bad stores—there’s very little we can do to change that.” Another store manager, in a North American electronics retailer, said, “They told me, ‘We don’t pay you to think; we pay you to execute.’”
These shortcomings are rooted in the early days of the industrial revolution, when manufacturing work was broken down into highly specialized, repetitive, and easily observed tasks. No one worker created a whole shoe, for example; each hammered his nail in the same spot and the same way every time, maximizing effectiveness and efficiency. Employees didn’t necessarily know anything about the overall job in which they participated, so supervisors (usually people good at the work itself) were employed to enforce detailed standards and policies—essentially, serving as span breakers between workers and policy makers. Many manufacturing companies still use this approach, because it can deliver high-quality results on the front line, at least in the short term. In many service industries, the same approach has taken hold in order to provide all customers in all locations with a consistent experience.
Although attention to execution is important, an exclusive focus on it can have insidious long-term effects. Such a preoccupation leaves no time for efforts to deal with new demands (say, higher production or quality), let alone for looking at the big picture. The result is a working environment with little flexibility, little encouragement to make improvements, and an increased risk of low morale among both workers and their managers—all at high cost to companies.
The effects of poor frontline management may be particularly damaging at service companies, where researchers have consistently detected a causal relationship between the attitudes and behavior of customer-facing employees, on the one hand, and the customers’ perceptions of service quality, on the other. In service industries, research has found that three factors drive performance: the work climate; the ways teams act together and things are done; and the engagement, commitment, and satisfaction of employees. Leadership—in particular, the quality of supervision and the nature of the relationships between supervisors and their teams—is crucial to performance in each of these areas.2 Clearly, the typical work patterns and attitudes of frontline managers are not conducive to good results.
At a North American medical-products distributor, for example, one supervisor reflected that the company “is like California—forest fires breaking out everywhere and no plan to stop them. A lot of crisis-to-crisis situations with no plan. We’ve been in this mode for so long, we don’t know how to stop and plan, although that’s what we desperately need to do. I wish I knew how to intervene.” Because frontline managers were so busy jumping in to solve problems, they had no time to step back and look at longer-term performance trends or to identify—and try to head off—emerging performance issues. It’s therefore no wonder that the company’s performance had begun to decline: inventories were increasing and errors in shipments became more frequent. Companies can also get into frontline trouble if they fail to maintain well-managed operations (see sidebar, “The danger of complacency”).

Time better spent
At best-practice companies, frontline managers allocate 60 to 70 percent of their time to the floor, much of it in high-quality individual coaching. Such companies also empower their managers to make decisions and act on opportunities. The bottom-line benefit is significant, but to obtain it companies must fundamentally redefine what they expect from frontline managers and redesign the work that those managers and their subordinates do. The examples below explain how two companies in different circumstances and
industries made such changes.

Manufacturing and the front line
Sometimes a corporate crisis drives frontline changes. A global equipment manufacturer, for example, was facing backlogs, capacity constraints, and quality and profitability issues in its core vehicle assembly business. The company’s senior leaders concluded that they would have to change operations at five plants by running two shifts rather than three while also raising production levels and quality. “Substantial” results would be needed in no more than seven weeks. Frontline managers were to have a critical role in the changeover—indeed, it couldn’t succeed unless they adopted a new way of working. To communicate the importance of the changes being introduced, senior leaders, among other things, ordered vice presidents to spend full days in vehicle assembly stations and sent the company’s director of operations to participate in daily shift start-up meetings at each plant. More on the importance of the senior leadership’s role in driving change can be found in Carolyn B. Aiken and Scott P. Keller, “The CEO’s role in leading transformation,” mckinseyquarterly.com, February 2007.
Meanwhile, the jobs of frontline managers changed. They were to spend more time in active roles: critical processes and workflows were redesigned according to lean principles,3 and the managers played the principal part in implementing these changes. Administrative activities, such as writing reports to plant managers and gathering data to prepare for site visits from regional managers, were eliminated. Innovations spouted—boards posted on factory floors, for example, were continuously updated with performance information, such as hour-by-hour tracking of lost time, as well as long-term problems and the solutions found for them. End-of-shift reports let each shift know exactly what the previous one had accomplished. Weekly reports informed workers about the five most important defects to correct and the five most important actions needed to improve performance. A typical manager’s span of control fell to 12 to 15, from 20 to 30.
Such changes freed managers to spend more time providing on-the-floor coaching and helping teams solve immediate problems. Managers received on-the-job training in lean technical skills as well as in coaching, team building, and problem solving. They also moved their desks from offices to the shop floor and spent at least five hours a day there, literally putting themselves in the middle of the transformation.
As a result, managers and workers identified and implemented other improvements—for example, making parts more available, with fewer defects, and routing materials more efficiently—so that lost production and the need for rework fell. Overall, though the transformation took ten weeks rather than seven, the initial targets were exceeded. Across the five plants, the number of completed vehicles rose by 40 percent a month—despite the elimination of a shift—and quality by 80 percent. Worker hours fell by 40 percent.

Retailing and the front line
Changing the mind-sets and capabilities of individual frontline managers can be the hardest part. In our experience, many of them see limits to how much they can accomplish; some also recognize the need to restructure their roles but nonetheless fear change. At times, before the job of coaching can begin, companies must address more insidious mind-sets—such as a belief that employees can’t learn, their negative attitudes toward customers, or a lack of confidence that frontline managers can influence performance.
The first step is to help frontline managers understand the need for change and how it could make things better. At the convenience store retailer mentioned earlier, for example, an analysis revealed that store managers spent, on average, 61 percent of their time on administration and that they struggled with poorly defined processes for interacting with customers. In addition, these managers felt that they had no control over key performance drivers (such as sales in important product categories), lacked simple tools to monitor daily performance, and had inadequate leadership and coaching skills. They were also tired of “flavor of the month” corporate-improvement initiatives that dictated more work without addressing the fundamental causes of problems.
To give store managers a sense of what could be, this company showed some groups of managers a radically different model store. There, work processes such as stocking took much less time than it did in the company’s ordinary stores, because similar products were grouped together, and high-volume stock was stored in a common and much more accessible location. Cleaning was easier because the layout had been improved, employees had the equipment and supplies to clean more frequently and quickly, and an if-it’s-simple-clean-it-now policy had been introduced. Such steps created a more attractive store environment, simplified the work of employees, freed them to interact with customers, and reduced the amount of time managers had to spend dealing with problems in these areas.
Managers also gained time in other ways: for example, they no longer had to complete long weekly sales reports, respond to corporate directives that arrived at unexpected times, and accommodate too-frequent visits by district or regional sales managers. Streamlined sales reporting captured fewer but more essential indicators, such as the volume of sales in key product categories. All visits from district or regional managers were scheduled in advance and followed a predetermined and performance-focused agenda.
As a result, the time store managers spent on administration fell by nearly half, so they could devote 60 to 70 percent of their days to activities such as coaching workers and interacting with customers. These managers spent more time on the sales floor with individual employees and regularly discussed store strategies and performance metrics with them. The discussions took advantage of a new performance scorecard with just a few key metrics, such as the number of customers greeted during peak hours, success rates on “suggestive selling” at checkout, and immediate follow-up with customers to gauge their satisfaction. Because the stores stayed open 24 hours a day, managers weren’t always present. They therefore engaged all employees in regular problem-solving sessions to create a better selling and service environment in the stores—for example, by ensuring that more employees would be available at critical times of the week. Furthermore, managers could now adapt the company’s general operating model by deciding how many (and which) employees would be present in stores at any given time.
This vision of a well-run store, contrasting starkly with the stores of the managers who visited it, overcame their fears. Once frontline managers have accepted the need for change, however, they must learn the new ways of working required by the demands of their redefined roles. At the convenience store retailer, training sessions and trial-and-error fieldwork helped the managers develop the needed capabilities quickly. Some of these skills were technical, focused on managing more effective processes and revised daily routines, as well as keeping track of the simplified store performance scorecards. Other forms of training enhanced the managers’ interpersonal skills, such as how to engage and empower subordinates; to have regular, constructive conversations about performance; and how to provide feedback and coaching.
Managers were also made aware of the negative mind-sets (such as, “I am just another associate when I go on the store floor,” and “My job is to make sure that tasks get done”) that made it harder to develop the right skills and capabilities. They learned how to counter these mind-sets and to adopt more positive ones (for instance, “I regularly provide my employees with constructive feedback and tips,” and “My job is to ensure that tasks are complete and that customers are served as well”), which promote more appropriate behavior and better performance. When the company rolled out the program broadly, the results were impressive: productivity rose by 51 percent in one region and by 65 percent in another.5

Companies that succeed in redefining the job of the frontline manager can improve their performance remarkably. Successful approaches can be applied across many industries. A mining company that implemented such a program enjoyed a 10 percent increase in tonnage per frontline employee. A bank branch found that cross-selling went up by 24 percent within a year. Total sales at a department store rose 2 percent in one six-month period.
The key is to help frontline managers become true leaders, with the time, the skills, and the desire to help workers understand the company’s direction and its implications for themselves, as well as to coach them individually. Such managers should have enough time to think ahead, to uncover and solve long-term problems, and to plan for potential new demands.
A nursing supervisor at a European hospital that empowered its nurses offered perhaps the clearest description of the way frontline leaders ought to think—a description that couldn’t be more different from the role of traditional frontline managers: “I am a valued member of this team, who has responsibility to make sure my ward nurses have the right coaching to improve patient service while contributing to the overall functioning of our ward—for the first time, I feel as important as a doctor or an administrator in the success of this institution.” That kind of frontline leader can consistently help employees to enhance their impact on an organization’s work.

Source: McKinsey.com
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Authors: Aaron De Smet is a principal in McKinsey’s Houston office, Monica McGurk is a principal in the Atlanta office, and Marc Vinson is a consultant in the Cleveland office.

What people still don’t understand about culture and how to change it

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Leadership / Ledarskap, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on October 9th, 2019 by admin

The world of organisational culture has changed in the last 10 years. It doesn’t matter if you are a manufacturer, financial services provider, a FTSE 100 or a SME, this is what you need to know about culture today, that still seems to be misunderstood.

1. Your values are not your culture
Your values form part of the building blocks of your culture, along with your purpose and vision or equivalent but they are not the culture itself. The process of setting them does not mean that you have a great culture.

It is an often heard comment that your values on the wall do not make great culture and it is so true. Culture needs to be lived, it is seen, heard and felt throughout the business, through your customers, your employees as well as your partners and suppliers.

So, what exactly is it?

It is the beliefs, mindset and attitude that your employees turn up to work with every day
It is the leadership style leaders and management capability that’s displayed
It is the customer experience you deliver
It is how your people communicate and collaborate
It is how manageable your employees workload is and how effective the tools are they use
It is how you treat your partners & suppliers
It is how much of an effort you make to be diverse and inclusive
It is your appetite for risk and or innovation
It is how all your processes, policies and systems support what you say you want to achieve
It’s a long but not exhaustive list of what your culture is made up of and a reminder of how many facets of the organisation you need to really embed those values into.

2. Culture Change Needs to be Embedded Not Just Communicated
Firstly, if you want to design a new culture or change/enhance an existing culture whether it’s at organisational, regional, divisional or even team level, you need to do it with intentionality – there needs to be a concerted effort AND a structured approach to it.

The good news is that with all the technology, tools, data and experience that we have at our disposal these days culture change can now happen quite rapidly and in a fairly agile way but still it requires an organised approach rather a once-off intervention.

A 3-stage approach is a good starting point:
Stage 1: Understand the current culture – listen to your stakeholders and understand what their views and concerns are. Listen to your people and find out what really happens in the day to day happenings of the organisation. What’s enabling performance and results and what’s holding it back or could hamper the strategy or current transformation project?

You also need to understand what the case for change is. If there isn’t a compelling case for change then you need to create a very desirable and compelling future state.

At this point it’s also useful to explore how equipped your leadership team are to drive and lead any culture change.

Stage 2: Design the future culture required to fulfil the aims and ambitions, whether that be the purpose/mission and vision. What are the values, behaviours and mindset shift required to drive the new culture forward?

For larger companies, this might not be just at the top of the organisation- it might be what does this division want to do differently to standout or outperform from the rest. What’s the right culture to mobilise the people on your strategy? Make it personal to you. It’s not one size fits all.

Stage 3: Embed the culture. Build a roadmap and engagement plan to embed the desired culture and make it stick. This is the piece that most organisations don’t do well. Culture needs to be fully embedded across the entire business and not just into HR policies but also into processes, systems and structure that guide the organisation.

3. A Culture of Innovation is your only Choice
If you’re not innovating, you’re sliding backwards. There’s no such thing as sitting tight and waiting to see.

There is lots of innovation going on today but mostly it’s happening in pockets of organisations, in a lab or hub in a different building somewhere. Innovation needs to be embedded as a way of life where people have changed the way they think and work, with everyone contributing in some way to the innovation ecosystem.

In our book, Building A Culture of Innovation, we talk about the attributes of a Next Generation Organisation as Intelligence, Collaboration and Adaptability.

Intelligence is about getting meaningful insight so that you know what problems, opportunities or ideas will best serve you and your customers.
Collaboration is about truly leveraging skills, knowledge and experience of not only your own employees but also your partners, suppliers and customers.
Adaptability is about speed and agility to move. We’re still seeing businesses take too long to get a new proposition to market. And employees taking too long to adopt new ways of working.
Making these 3 things a way of life requires changing the mindset, behaviours and skills of your people.

4. Your Future Culture needs to be Human, Business and Technology Focussed.
Let’s start by saying that the future of work is definitely human. Even if we think that 40% of today’s jobs will be automated and the near future sees us fully working alongside robots. There will obviously still be jobs for people. The likely scenario though is that there will be an even greater skills gap and the war for talent even tougher.

This means that creating a culture which will attract and retain the best talent needs to be a priority.

Human
Employers will have to factor in the overall wellbeing of their people (physical, mental, financial and social)
Employee experience will need to be inclusive and welcoming to people from all backgrounds and be able to appeal to the needs and wants of all generations of workers.
The rapid pace of change will mean that you will constantly need to be upskilling and creating a learning culture.

Technology
Given the pace of technological change no single technology solution is going to define your culture but you will need to provide work tools which enable people to work the way they want to. Flexibly, collaboratively, differently. You will also need to provide the tools that continually measure your culture and its impact so that you can react immediately to issues that arise. Or even with AI in culture tools, you should be able to react before the issue!

Business
It’s obvious that you need to focus on the business aspect but don’t lose sight of your strategy! We’ve seen too many people and tech initiatives fail because they weren’t connected to the overarching strategy of the business. Define your strategy then decide what culture and tech you need to support it.

5. Equip your people to lead the culture of the future
Many of the skills that will be needed for the future will need to be learnt. Equipping people at all levels with the right skills for the future will be key for success.

Leaders: There’s always quite a bit of focus on leaders but not necessarily on the right things. Ensure they are equipped with future- focussed leadership skills such as resilience and adaptability and being an excellent communicator with strong empathy and an inclusive mindset.

Managers: Rather unhelpfully referred to as the permafrost- these people need to not only be taught how to be effective people managers, time managers and project managers, they need to be given the resources to manage their own careers and the time for their own ongoing learning.

Front-line staff– rather than herding ‘staff’ through culture change- you need to think about the individual scenarios that are going to appeal to and benefit people. The modern workplace is very diverse and its people have various needs and wants- don’t make too many assumptions that put people in buckets such as Gen Y or Mothers or LGBT- take the time to find out what they really want.

Source:Thefutureshapers.com, 8October 2019
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