Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Succeeding In Failure ... and how not to do that

A great friend and colleague, John Caswell who runs (owns/founded) Group Partners, shared with me this week some of the "howlers he's seen businesses make." I thought I'd post them here and then add over the coming days what he and his team have learnt can be done about them, what the necessary conditions for success are. This is great stuff, if I do say so myself. So this is the screw-ups he and the team have seen made in just the last few client interventions they've carried out:

  1. Create a new vision, without wide consultation, not looking at the broadest possible context for value - then keep the vision and strategy locked in the boardroom.
  2. Avoid the power of a clearly identified and stated intention, motivational outcomes, relevant measures, a powerful and inspirational vision and well articulated roadmap.
  3. Begin a large transformation, change or technology program by simple procurement and contract with one siloed part of the business and then be surprised by its failure.
  4. Expect wide engagement by the workforce in change – change that the employees don't understand, cannot see the rationale for nor feel any human relationship with.
  5. Outsource all of the thinking to external agencies who then fail to transfer the full control, reasoning or confidence in their plans back to the enterprise.
  6. Outsource all responsibility for the solution to external agencies who have no interest in the wider implications or success of the program other than their task.
  7. Ignore the incredible developments in technology, social community, service excellence and sustainable - values based thinking when it comes to operational transformation fit for the world we now live in.
  8. Remain removed from the new tools of behavioral change, cultural insights, social networks and real world/human engagement as they may be intangible or abstract within the strategic intention.
  9. Forget the power of telling the new story of intention in ways that compel, inspire or motivate the people in the enterprise. Ignore the catalyst of communication.

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