ENGAGE YOUR PEOPLE x8.1 FASTER
Too often, organisations attempt service improvement, process change or product development without engaging their own people.
This results in resistance from employees, initiatives fizzling out and a lack of knowledge sharing. People overlook what already works well and get stuck down holes trying to solve problems.
So if the claim that "70% of transformation programs fail" is true, how about the 30% that succeed? What makes these different?
SixSF turns business improvement on its head with ABC Change, combining the best of Solution Focus and Lean Six Sigma in an Agile framework which enables easier, faster, sustainable change.
How? Firstly, SixSF engages people fully in a positive change process, encouraging cooperation and creativity rather than resistance. Secondly, it's fast, flexible and adaptable. Thirdly, it’s measurable, quantitatively and qualitatively.
Scroll to the bottom to read about these approaches.
You don’t need to overcome resistance if you don’t cause it in the first place. Change is easier when working with the energy of human behaviour, not against it.
That means encouraging employee initiatives rather than relying on centralised, top-down agendas. We recognised during development of ABC Change that resistance often stems from the 'Language of Expertise' used by change professionals and practitioners - which is at odds with the language used by the very people change is intended to be embraced by out in the business.
Similarly, resistance has a deep root in the problem-based approach of Lean and Six Sigma itself. In failing to recognise how well someone works already and concentrating instead on deficiencies, errors or waste, the defences of those we seek to 'improve' are immediately raised. ABC Change from SixSF is different.
When people have a sense of meaning, they can identify the “What’s in it for me?” in their work. When they know how they contribute to the bigger picture, they can engage with it fully. Engagement is not some soft ‘nice to have’ feeling.
There’s solid evidence to its significance: “…there is a firm correlation between employee engagement and high organisational productivity and performance, across all sectors of the economy.” (source: www.engageforsuccess.org/nailing-the-evidence)
Engagement impacts approximately four times more strongly on individual and organisational performance than performance impacts on engagement.
Creating an environment for a culture of engagement to thrive is simply good for your business. Solution Focus enables and supports natural engagement and intrinsic motivation.
Businesses consist of groups of people who talk and do things interactively. Change happens when people talk about what they want to be different, and then do things differently than before, in their context.
There isn't a secret of successful culture change. Culture is people acting in a way as a collective group. Changing culture is influencing enough of the people to change this equilibrium. It's a simple thing to say but not a particularly easy thing to do because a culture stems from a critical mass of people who act, speak or behave in a certain way.
It doesn't come from an individual, or an executive leadership team. It doesn't even come from middle managers or the shop floor. Yes, it needs support and commitment from sponsors and people who believe in change; and yes, it needs some trust and empowerment for people to try...and fail...then succeed.
But most of all, cultures change when all elements of a business interact as a cohesive whole. We understand this at SixSF which is why our framework and approach is designed for people - not for job titles or hierarchy levels. Just people.
Our change framework doesn't attempt to change culture. Instead we start with people, one by one. Little by little our principles, skills and tools enable change at the grass roots level.
Instead of focusing on negativity, we shift to positivity and concentrate on how well a person does each and every day they come to work. Then we find days they do even better. And they do more of these. It's simple really.
So how does this one person change a culture? They don't on their own. But picture this: that one person works in a small food outlet in a bigger unit, in an estate, in a region. The positive change of that one person turns that outlet into the best performing in their unit. The unit manager spreads the effect and that unit makes record profits in the quarter. The estate manager takes notice and sends more people to learn what's going on and they replicate it first in the estate and then in the region.
This is how SixSF changes business culture, one person at a time. Without even trying. Clearly, simply and positively.
Solution Focus is a collaborative, strength-based approach to change. It's brief and effective, focusing clearly on sustainable outcomes by keeping things simple and direct. Solution Focus asks what works and how we can do more of it, building on strengths rather than deficits. Solution Focus neatly draws conversations away from problems towards positive, useful action. It has helped thousands of individuals, teams and organisations rapidly break out of problem cycles and develop constructive, agile solutions.
Lean Six Sigma is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement. It applies specialist expertise to reducing waste, process cycle time and costs, while increasing customer satisfaction and profits. Six Sigma searches for failure, waste and poor quality, taking bad things out rather than putting good things in. But it's objective, rigorous and thorough, with an emphasis on statistics and quality management methods that produces measurable results.
Agile management is an iterative, incremental method of managing the design and build activities of engineering, IT and other business areas. It is used to provide new products or develop services in a highly flexible and interactive manner, based on customer wishes and feedback. With links to Lean techniques, kaizen and Six Sigma, Agile focuses on four values: communication is more important than standard procedures and tools; a working application is better than providing thorough documentation; collaboration is key; and openness to change during the process.