If you are looking for Innovative leadership then this will inspire you onwards and upwards. Shared by one of South Africa’s most progressive business leaders, Roland Naidoo:
Having just left the football field with my 5 year old son I was finally motivated to write this blog. Why? Trying to teach him to kick the football in the correct way, it dawned on me in that moment I was doing to him what every organised structure is designed to do.
As I caught myself I paused, looked at him and said, “My boy, you figure it out, play, have fun, and find new ways to kick a football.”
Be the doctrine of the how and the why.
Be the standard of the where and the when.
Be the one and only way.
Have the right answers!
The dawning of that realisation underpins why innovation is so important to me. Innovation should by definition not be defined Ior it will simply succumb to every other conformity we know. It should live in every one of us.
This is the need to ask ourselves ‘why?’. Why am I doing this in this way? Is there a better way? Is there a different way? Is there even a need for this at all?
A spirit of innovation is not technology or wonderfully bombastic ideas, but the courage to question our education, rules, bonafide truths and all so-called absolutes in between. Know that your bravery will be rewarded with knowledge; am I. Know you were courageous enough to acknowledge you were wrong and move forward.
In the future when you find yourself saying or even thinking thoughts like this is how it’s always been; this is the way we do things; there is no other way; this is impossible; these are the rules; some things can’t be questioned, stop, take a breath, and find a new way to kick a football.
Footnote (from Steve)
So go find that ball and a new way to score for your team!
I was keynoting a conference in Europe recently, and senior executives in the room were getting the rationale behind moving Outside-In. However, there seemed to be two perplexed groups in the place.
One was what a refer to as the ‘traditional process guys’, and the other ‘the customer is first people’, and interestingly they both asked the same question “Where do we start?”
My honest and most direct answer is “You do not have a choice. You have got to start where you are and go from there!” OK, I get what you’re thinking, how could they take that away and begin to transform their organizations?
So, I walked them through TWO distinctly different ways to navigate to Outside-In working and practice, depending on your mindset, enterprise history and maturity. For the two categories of customer in the room, the NEEDS are the same, just the way they navigate to achieving them is different.
What are the Results?
From a results perspective, both approaches focus on winning the triple crown, that is Improving Service, Growing Revenues and Reducing Complexity (and hence lowering costs).
Process is the starting point
Starts with Customer Needs
Reengineering the Processes
Aligning everything to Customer Needs
Build out from Process to Department to Division to Enterprise
Articulate Successful Customer Outcomes and Remove the complexity of things that do not contribute to it
Local wins building to business-wide transformation
Immediate delivery against Triple Crown benefits
Slow burn, however when they see the benefits and ‘get it’ the support is significant
Starts at the strategic level so influences everything the organization does
If your remit is just ‘improving processes’ this approach will get you their steadily, however, the challenges facing traditional business are seismic so is there time? So, make immediate gains but push hard for more quickly.
By demonstrating the value of ‘customer first’ in terms of the triple crown the enterprise can align quickly and effectively. Importantly avoid the ‘soft and fluffy’ sentiments expressed by many in the customer experience world.
How can I Implement?
Back in 2006 the BPG launched the CEMMethod™ and built out an approach, using the 50+ techniques based on global next practice from companies like Virgin, Zara, BMW, Zappos, Apple and Emirates. Since then more than 3,000 companies in 116 countries have become accredited and certified to transform their processes and organizations.
Now in version 11, the choice you make in deployment is based on your ambition and remit within the enterprise. If you are a leader needing to embrace the digital customer ‘Customer First’ leaps out as the main option. Alternatively, if you are in a traditional process-based business (lean, six sigma, BPM etc.) the more conservative ‘process engineering’ approach may be preferred.
You can access the following resources that will help you make an informed choice:
Outside-In is a regular theme during most of my keynotes, not least this last week here in Florida. A question asked from the floor related to the 30-second elevator test “can you explain to the CEO what this stuff is, why it is different, and how it reframes the work we do?”. I guess I was about to fudge and say this needs more than 30 seconds, and then remembered my two-slide explanation!
So, for those guys looking for a simple explanation, these two slides will do the job. I have put a bit of narrative in there also.
120+ in Florida at the keynote, 16 January 2018
The old, industrial-age traditional way of doing business. We make products (and services). We look for the market to sell them in. We segment customers by circumstance and pitch our products to those segments. We add variations to the products to better fit certain niche segments. We build back-end systems and digital capabilities in this increasingly complex world. We are rigid, functionally oriented and abhor change.
The new Outside-In customer-centric way. We identify the customers we would like to do business with. We understand their needs (even when they may not know them themselves) and specific Successful Customer Outcomes (SCO’s). We categorise customers by need. We then create the capability to deliver to these categories the SCO’s (both products, people and digital). Progressively we manage new and existing customer expectations to deliver success without exception. We are agile, innovative and attuned to 21st century needs.
Let me know if this works for you.
For the curious, the original slides came from a deck presented as a keynote in Sydney, Australia 3 years ago.
You can access that here: http://bit.ly/SydneyPEX
Do you follow up on others to ensure that activities they are responsible for are being done in a timely manner so you can get your primary work done?
Any time we “check” on something, we are doing so because a Break Point exists.
Do you ever need to “fight a fire”?
Every “fire” exists because of a Break Point, Moment of Truth or Business Rule.
What about meetings? Do you have meetings in order to get everyone “on the same page”?
Many meetings exist solely to coordinate and communicate the actions that need to be taken in response to “break downs” from Break Points and Moments of Truth.
How many actions do you take to confirm something got done, has been completed or to check on something to make sure it is in a particular place, with a particular person, etc?
Actions taken to confirm other actions are behaviors that arise from failures that have occurred in the past (we have learned our lesson) at Break Points and Moments of Truth.
How many times have you had to fill out one or more forms to “document” the fact that something got done?
Documenting normal work is a behavior spawned by process failure at one or more Break Points as a means to “reduce” the number of failures that don’t get “caught.” (This is called fixing the effect – which always leads to the creation of more Causes of Work.)
Remember, any place that a hand-off occurs for any interaction between any combination of people and systems, a Break Point exists.
What do you need to know to put this strategy to work for you?
It’s simple. You are only five steps away from identifying the causes of work in your organization then eliminating them. You need to have a target, Break Points identified, Actions identified, Cost/Benefit Assessment and your Cost Reduction Plan.
A variety of studies exist that place the percentage of time the average employee spends on non-value added work at 40% to 90%. Regardless of where you fall on that scale one thing is obvious…
Identifying and eliminating the causes of non-value added work presents an opportunity for cost reduction of at least 40%. And that’s a prize worth pursuing.
What are Break Points?
Any point within a process where work is handed off is a Break Point. There are four main types of Break Points:
1) person to person
2) person to system
3) system to person
4) system to system.
Break Points are places where stuff goes wrong more often than any place else. Handoffs fail, work is incomplete, and stuff gets duplicated in a cycle that produces a perpetual drain on the organization’s resources.
Like the baton hand-off in Track and Field relay races; if something happens at the hand-off, something unplanned, the next runner must stop running and deal with the resulting issue.
They can’t continue with the race, which is their professional skill, until they have dealt with the failed hand-off. So when something unexpected happens at a hand-off we must stop what we are doing and perform an activity that is nothing to do with our professional skill.
What could go wrong at a Break Point?
For the relay team, the runner waiting for the baton could start too early, either runner could drop the baton, the runner receiving the baton could start too late, either runner could use the wrong hand*, the baton could be slick for some reason causing it to slip… you get the point.
*Many Break Points cause work when the patterns we (people) are used to get changed for any reason. People always create patterns of work behavior. It makes it much easier for us to do things that have repetition. The patterns we’re talking about are not documented anywhere, they are the naturally evolving patterns people in our organizations create to help them do their work.
But these patterns are often violated. For example: a new person is involved (they don’t know the existing pattern), someone is using a different software program, somebody changed a form or document, a new policy went into place requiring people to follow a business rule in how they do a more generic activity like making a request or sending an email, someone’s job changed slightly and they have created a new personal work pattern, a new manager comes in, etc, etc, etc.
To identify with the concept of Break Points (BP) all you have to do is think about the work you do on a daily basis. How much of that work is caused by Break Points?
Back in 2010 when I was writing the book, Outside In (click here) we determined a couple of fundamentals as leaders of the Customer Process One Council:
Outside-In is a philosophy and method of managing an organization by understanding and delivering Successful Customer Outcomes.
Outside-In Process optimizes value-delivery to customers. By fusing customer-driven process with customer-centric strategies, O-I creates successful customer outcomes (SCOs) – the foundation for achieving sustainable growth and profitability in an increasingly buyer-driven marketplace.
Of course everything evolves 🙂
We have the annual updater webinar soon (click here) and this year there are more than 50 specific advances to the techniques and tools, derived from organizations across all sectors. The webinar is interactive and limited in attendance so if you wish to join move swiftly.
You may wish to remind yourself of some of the fundamentals that underpin Outside In thinking and practice. If so review these 2-5 minute vids: