When we’re mapping a trip to an unfamiliar destination, it’s extremely helpful to be able to zoom out to see the big picture. We can then zoom in for turn by turn details.
A big reason up to 70% of change efforts fail is lack of zoomed out planning. Leadership training, succession planning, service/quality improvement, lean, safety programs, talent/performance management, or IT systems, are implemented at a zoomed in level. Often with a narrow street view on reaching that program’s goals.
Recently we completed a zoomed out offsite retreat with a leadership team. The session helped the team get their culture shift together. They reaffirmed their desired culture, set strategic priorities, and then zoomed in to action planning for implementation.
I received a follow-up e-mail from a participant wanting to cascade the same organization self-assessment and planning process we used at the retreat with her divisional leadership team. I linked her to a complementary set of tools on our web site that she — and you — can use to start or continue this mapping and implementation process using these steps:
- Have everyone complete the Organization Self-Assessment and Gap Analysis.
- Compare responses (results are e-mailed to each participant) to identify the top 3 or 4 Pathways your team agrees would have the biggest payoff if you improved them.
- For each of your highest priority Pathways:
- Select that Pathway from the pull-down menu at Transformation Pathways and read the description of that area.
- Participants SILENTLY brainstorm (no discussion) improvement ACTION ideas (not motherhood statements like “trust” or “communication”) for that Pathway on 3″ x 5″ Post-It-Notes (one idea per note) for about 10 minutes. Quantity/volume of ideas is more important than quality at this point.
- Collect the Post-It-Notes and cluster similar ideas.
- Get everyone’s input to put headings/titles on each cluster.
- Establish 2 or 3 Strategic Imperatives from the key themes or overlaps you see in your Pathways brainstorming clusters.
- Form an implementation team for each of your Strategic Imperatives with an owner, team leader (sometimes the same person), and team members. Give each team a broad mandate and direction to return in a few weeks with the broad scope of an implementation plan.
- Follow up in a few weeks with presentations from each team and negotiating their focus, scope, and mandate.
- Teams implement their action plans.
- Set regular follow-up dates to monitor/adjust progress.
In a frenzy of meetings and e-mails, many leadership teams are zoomed in way too far and getting lost in daily firefighting. Is your team zooming out often enough to ensure you’re heading in the right direction?