How to implement major change initiative across organization?

Every organisation big or small in order to remain relevant to its customers need to constantly improve. A recent study by Forbes suggests that majority of initiatives fail to produce intended results. ‘8 Infrastructures’ or ‘8 Success Factors’ is a practice which is evolved by Rishi Diwan by practicing these success factors while running mid size to large organizations. The original concept is evolved by Professor Shoji Shiba where he wrote in his book ‘A New American TQM’ about 7 Infrastructures. With practical insights the concepts is further augmented.

The initiative can be divided in four phases – setting up, empowerment, sync and link. Setting-up Phase is preparation phase where first two success factors are addressed. ‘First Success Factor – Goal Setting’ and ‘Second Success Factor – Organization Setting’ are conducted.

Empowerment Phase can last between 2 and 3 years which comprises of next three success factors. ‘Third Success Factor – Training and Education’, ‘Fourth Success Factor – Promotion’ and ‘Fifth Success Factor – Diffusion of Success Stories’ are the success factors of this phase.

Sync Phase or Synchronization Phase starts after 2-3 years and not at the beginning. This phase comprises of next two Success Factors i.e. ‘Sixth Success Factor – Incentive and Awards’ and ‘Seventh Success Factor – Diagnosis and Monitoring’.

Link Phase is usually the last phase where assessment of concluding the initiative is done followed by a successor initiative which will then repeat Success Factor 1 through 7. This phase comprises of last Success Factor, ‘Eighth Success Factor – Conclude and Link’.

Lets look at each Success Factor or Infrastructure to launch organization wide change initiative. This set of 8 tools is very effective to launch initiatives like ‘Work Place Transformation’, ‘LEAN’, ‘Green Organization’ and so on. The comprehensiveness of the tools presented and practiced shows that organizations can save millions of dollars by running a well communicated and success factor enabled program.

                                                       Phase I : Setting-up

Success Factor 1 : Goal Setting

To segregate imaginative ideas and closure to ground ideas it is recommended to create goals at three levels of hierarchy. Start with defining ‘Noble Goal’ which more philosophical goal and relevant in 5 years from now. Arrive at ‘Intermediate Goal’ which is relevant for the initiative in the 3 years from now. Then define very specific SMART goal as ‘Annual Goal’ – include expected results. The split of 3 will help in communication to all kinds of stake holders. Name your initiative which is easy to remember and refer.The name should be crisp, funny if possible and referring to the goal. Some example are ‘SPRINT – a performance matrix improvement’, ‘C and C – Customer Satisfaction and Cost Reduction in a process’, etc.

Success Factor 2 : Organization Setting

It is important for an initiative which is large scale and impacts whole organization, two parallel complementary organizations are in place. First is ‘Organization of Daily Operations’.This comprises of regular organization like plant leader/ site leader with his functional heads. Second is ‘Organization for Change’. This consists of ‘Full time Promotional Organization’ and ‘Committee’.  This factor is of utmost importance as many a times all participants of initiatives are part time ones lead to failure.

                                                       Phase II : Empowerment Phase

Success Factor 3 : Training and Education

First create a homogeneous segment of participants – General Managers and Line Managers may not suite fit for same content. Utilize line managers for teaching as they are closest to ground realities. Use real examples from your business. You can follow learn-apply-learn. Once a learning is given using a training let the participant apply at workplace and then again get together to learn from it. Continue to do so to improve on learning and implementation repeatedly

Success Factor 4 : Promotion

It is important aspect of implementing change to promote the initiative well. The is at the base of needed communication. This can be worked at three levels.

Logic level – Flyer, Brochure, Process Flow etc.

Image Level -Video, Motto, Flags and Symbols.

Events Level – Education, Presentation, Drinking, Eating, CEO crusade

Remember logic level is required but least effective. Image level is powerful way of communication. Most impact-full though is event level. Do you recall the CEO talk over a beer.

Success Factor 5: Diffusion of Success Stories

Small achievements in the beginning can boost moral and are most vital. Without success stories no snowball can happen. This makes key part of Phase two of Empowerment. Combine celebration and fun during presentation of success stories.

                                                       Phase III : Synchronization Phase

Success Factor 6: Incentive and Awards

This is one of the two pull factors of the third phase. This success factor to be conducted after 2-3 years an initiative is running. This can include promotion, cash award, recognition –  individually or in a group.

Success Factor 7: Diagnosis and Monitoring

This is one of the two pull factors of the third phase. This success factor to be conducted after 2-3 years an initiative is running. This includes reviewing the whole program and each level of it, resource restructuring and progress measurement.

                                                       Phase IV : Link Phase

Success Factor 8: Conclude and Link

This is important that in about 5 years journey of an initiative the success and contribution is measured and recognized. This can be an event which explains the journey of the initiatives-  highlighting gains and leanings. No organization stops growing if intending to innovate. Link the conclusion of this initiative with a new launch and run success factors 1 through 7 again.

All the best with change initiative in your organization. If you have any questions write to Rishi Diwan. You can visit where one such initiative is going on. You can watch out for blog space to learn more on practical side of the conceptual framework given here. One of the upcoming article will be on successful ERP implementation experience across 5 manufacturing sites and 17 distribution centers across India.

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