ADAPTOVATE helps organizations through their transformational change.
Leaders will often want to know, up front, how we will do it. Cut to the chase, so to speak. And while it’s not a cookie cutter approach, there are commonalities. In fact, the opposite is true. Every business has unique challenges. However, there are key principles in our methods which we will share with you in this article.
So how do we help organisations achieve business value? We use various methods to roll out these principles. (Agile Methodology being at the core). The best way to illustrate this is to use a few real-life examples from around our ADAPTOVATE offices.
Slawek Koziol our project lead in Warsaw says there are a few key non-negotiables that we put in place when we introduce new ways of working. He says “The most important ones, in my view, are related to creating transparency and improving communication. In most cases that’s the starting point for a transformation and typically a prerequisite for other elements to be effective.”
PRINCIPLE ONE: TRANSPARENCY AND COMMUNICATION
In this case study – our client struggled with siloed teams, with people working mostly directly and individually with their line managers.
This resulted in low transparency of work which significantly impacted team communication and resulted in project delays.
Slawek explains “At that point we didn’t jump in with a ready-made solution that could be implemented overnight. Instead we sat down with the leaders and laid out a roadmap that would help create a lasting change in behaviors.”
What ADAPTOVATE started with was getting the teams in the habit of daily huddles and used whiteboards to create full transparency around all current and planned work.
We started with the goal of just getting the teams get up and talk regularly every morning.
The formula was simple with just a few rules around the structure of the session. It took a couple of weeks to make every team member comfortable with sharing what they work on without judgement or pressure.
Chelsea Bates – our principal and Managing Director in Melbourne expands on the importance of transparency.
“One of the most common areas we help organisations realise tangible business value is in creating alignment through transparency. This has stopped duplication of effort where 2 or more people may have been working on the same or similar tasks.” She says.
“It has also resulted in stopping work being done which doesn’t move the team towards the agreed goal / outcome Having the team focussed on the goal and outcome and having the outcome visible helps drive conversations about what actually needs to be done to move the needle forward.” Chelsea says.
PRINCIPLE TWO: SIMPLICITY IS KEY
“Often when we meet clients their team has positive and ambitious objectives, however sometimes there are too many of them to enable focus. This is where ADAPTOVATE can help distil this down. Simplification is harder to do than it appears.” Says Caitilin Studdert, principal from our Sydney office.
Returning to our European case study example, the teams themselves felt the need to improve the structure of the sessions to make them more effective.
Adjustments on the team boards followed. After a couple of weeks, the teams were ready to make the next step – refine their targets so that they would better reflect customer-oriented output of their work and support team collaboration.
The teams grew mature enough to recognize the value of promoting and rewarding desired behaviors, e.g. team collaboration, sharing of best practices, openness for feedback, test and learn approach as well as making commitments and actionable follow-ups.
Currently the teams self-organize to run and manage their own effective daily stand-ups, can quickly recognize and address challenges within the team and invite people from other teams to each other’s stand-ups to ensure good communication and collaboration.
All that is reflected in the teams’ efficiency and overall performance.
Causing a lasting change in behaviors requires a well-defined vision and a careful incremental, step-by-step implementation.
An experienced coach can make sure the change brings the most business value. Therefore, it is important at ADAPTOVATE that we have experienced consultants in all our offices worldwide. Our consultants have experience in working with big and small organisations, in a variety of different industries from fintech to health.
An experienced coach can make sure the right prioritization criteria are applied and that the entire session is conducted without disruptive emotional bias, but with more focus on the strategic objectives.
Read about the Red Flags to look for when implementing change in this article.
PRINCIPLE THREE: TARGETS
Caitilin adds it’s important to set measurable targets which are directly linked to business value. She explains “for example if we achieve x in this timeframe, we will see a direct y uplift in business volume or value.” So, in parallel with getting the actual format right – we are ensuring that the business has the appropriate measures in place.
Setting up teams with specific, measurable targets is imperative. This includes visibility (transparency) of the target and frequent measurement to motivate teams as they move towards their goal.
Another example is a client we have worked with in Sydney. With that client we achieved business value simply through implementing strong OKR’s. (ADPATOVATE use OKRs ourselves in our own business.) The client was unable to measure the Impact that they were having on the industry.
Laura Scott, our project lead in our Sydney office says “We needed to be able to measure Impact and output. What better way than to implement OKR’s. Each team sat down and agreed on the company level OKR’s. From there we sat down with the business pillars. With each pillar we set Key results to achieve the business level OKR’s.”
PRINCIPLE FOUR: INSTINCT VS STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE
This point is very nuanced. In another example, Steve Walton a principal from our Melbourne office, assisted leaders at a large FinTech client. He guided them to realise that they were working on instinct and not towards an agreed and articulated strategic objective.
“This was quite a revelation to them. It was a classic case of dedicated people expending energy without discussing if they were working on the right thing.” Steve says.
“Additionally, we helped them understand ways to focus communication on. And organise around the big outcomes they were focusing on achieving. The value came in pausing and considering what they really wanted to achieve first, second and so on. “Steve explained.
We then worked to get them talking to the people in organisations in a more direct way. They discussed what was most important and aligning their effort.
Please get in touch with ADAPTOVATE if you are interested in making a step change in your business design. We implement and have experience across small start-up to large scale global companies. We are world leaders in our field where we can assist you achieve the change. ADAPTOVATE do things differently.
Learn about the four pillars to identify that your organisation is going in the right direction in this article.
Thanks to our following team member for providing valuable insight for this story.