What percentage of your employees are committed and highly engaged to the success of your organization?
100%? 90%? 75%? 50%? 25%? 10%?
Most answer around the 50% mark. Additionally, we often think that we can grow that percentage with some effort at making a change in our operations, or a bit more communication. (In one workshop, after asking for a show of hands at different percentages, I had a gentleman claim 100% of his employees were committed. “Are you a company of one?” I asked. “No, there’s two of us,” he replied pointing to his brother in the next chair. I observed to much laughter, “But he didn’t raise his hand!“)
Unfortunately, reality is far worse. Organizational change efforts acknowledge that 65-85% of all change efforts fail. That’s abysmal results!
According to a Harris poll of 23,000 employees, less than half know the company goals…and it gets worse.
In his book Using the Power of Purpose, Dean Tucker relates the poll results to a football team. As your offense faces your competition playing defense, you only have four employees who know they’re supposed to move the ball to the end zone they’re looking at. Only two know what position to play, only two care and only two think you can win. 9 out of the 11 would just as soon as root for the other team as much as they root for their own.
From my perspective, the only good news is that your competition has the same problem.
If you get more than 4 employees to know how to win the game, and care about it, believe they can win and actually cheer on your team, you have an advantage. If you’ve got six or eight, you’ll bowl over the competition!
I can show what the other experts overlook and why their results are horrible.
What I can show you is how to create the culture, collaboration and ownership thinking inside your company to overwhelm your competition. Together we’ll discover the opportunities and uncover the obstacles. It’ll be hard work, and it’ll take some time…but it’s worth it when you’re winning! And better yet, it’ll be fun!
Now is the time to start reviewing your progress against this year’s goals. The results just aren’t what you wanted. Everyone’s working hard, but the efforts are not attaining the expectations you mapped out at the end of last year. As you take time to think about it, you wonder if everyone is pulling together. Operations has their goals. Sales has their goals. Accounting has a goal or two, as does Human Resources and Quality Assurance. Yet, your company doesn’t feel successful. It’s like the oars aren’t being pulled in synchronization, or all pistons aren’t firing. Stress, worry, confusion…it’s just not fun anymore!
Bringing our experience and insight, we will partner with you to change the misalignment and remove the obstacles to success. As your trusted advisor, we’ll bring an analysis that will reduce your stress, worry and confusion. You’ll be able to focus on the parts of the business you enjoy–the reasons you got into this business! Instead of pondering what’s going wrong, you can create new tactics, strategies, innovations and opportunities.
And the rest of your team will sense your renewed energy and enthusiasm. With our help, your team will overshoot your goals by 25%–and it will feel effortless to them and you! We promise these results–or you’ll get half of your money back, or we’ll keep working for free till they happen!
Most organizational change efforts are a lot of blitz and blast. Many specialists look for velocity of change. Traditional efforts don’t create a lot of organizational action beyond the “early adopters” who are fiercely loyal to your organization. We look for depth of change throughout the organization. We turn skeptics into believers, not through a lot of hard work or flashy work….just steady engagement with your team. They buy into the vision and your organization reaps the rewards!
We specialize in changing corporate cultures, and alignment of the whole organization around a strategy or goal. We have seen the power of an organization that’s committed to succeeding at one or two key metrics. Having the right metric is important. Companies have exceeded their wildest dreams when they’ve selected a metric that requires everyone to make a coordinated effort for their customers. We can help you find and communicate the essential performance indicator. Now we can coach you in the successful methods of Springfield Remanufacturing Company as noted in Great Game of Business, which cleanly meshes with our own experiences and methods.
Before you sign with any consultant, think about these considerations. Being an expensive option to generate improvement, consultants should be used for the right reasons.
1) Bring experience or knowledge to your team that you don’t have. If you have a successful small business, your staff may be home-grown, which is not an entirely bad thing. Some experience, industry knowlege and cross-fertilization of ideas can occur at conferences, workshops or seminars. Another good way to infuse new ideas quickly is to bring in a consultant who has worked on the very problem or strategy you want to energize. Just be careful of rejecting ideas because they’re NIH (not invented here).
2) Bring out the good ideas percolating within your organization. For various reasons, good ideas can flounder and die before they get heard by the ‘right ear’. If you don’t have good ways to elicit and evaluate everyone’s suggestions, then a consultant will be the disinterested third-party who can ferret out the good ideas. A good consultant will also attribute those ideas to the person within the organization. It’s an inherent bias that executives listen more carefully to concepts for which a lot of money was paid than for ones that came free. Thus, your team will appreciate the consultant carrying their ideas to you.
3) You need a revolution. Consultants are expensive and you want to maximize the effort for the time. If you are looking to change the culture, and create a new way of operating the organization, be prepared for a lengthy contract. Or else your organization (and maybe you) will just wait it out till the consultant goes away and then return to “business as usual”. If that happens, you may either go out of business or end up hiring another consultant.
4) You need an independent sounding-board and a partner. There are times when you want to focus on the part of the business that only you can do. You need someone to help develop your team so your team is upgrading your marketing, your operations, your finances to world-class levels. There are struggles you have that can’t be shared with others inside your organization. We can listen and advise. Then you can enjoy the work for the reasons you got into the business in the first place.
Chances are Lean, Six Sigma, “Knock Your Socks Off” Customer Service and other improvment programs you’ve implemented haven’t given the results you expected or had been promised. Individual projects have been effective, but the rest of the organization hasn’t latched onto the tools and way of thinking. 4ward Associates can provide the consulting and assessment of your corporate culture and the alignment of your corporate system elements, and let you know if you have the foundation for continuous improvement programs. We help you bring focus through key metrics, and engendering a collaborative environment. Trust us to bring you improvement. (We even offer a guarantee.) When you’re not sure how to get from point A to point B, we’ll be your business coach.
Without the right corporate values, metrics and the alignment and integration of corporate systems, most change programs fail or become a “fad of the month”. Focusing on the Upper Midwest (Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska), we will help you implement change in a way so that the progress is natural, adopted throughout the organization and achieving the results you need. 4ward Associates Big Questions