Organization Systems Integration
in all corners of
Bringing the focus to the operational aspects of Organization Development programs
We love planning, and we do it very well. And therefore it’s not surprising to see impressively well designed change, transformation and innovation initiatives in place in organizations, given the high stakes nature of such Organization Development programs.
Yet time after time we see lackluster performance far from the intended outcome of the programs, and even eventual abandonment, which inadvertently reinforces resistance to change in the organization.
What we need is focus on the operational aspects of Organization Development programs.
Drive it hard
High stakes Organization Development programs are like race car engines. And driving a race car engine hard involves tuning, tweaking and sometimes even rebuilding the engine. It’s a dynamic process. And if you drive a race car engine like a street car, it won’t perform as designed. In fact, it may spoil.
Unless operated dynamically, it’s hard to get the best out of Learning & Development, Change, Transformation and Innovation programs.
This is even more true beyond at the individual program level; i.e. at the whole organization level, where sub-optimally performing programs don’t talk to each other. It’s no wonder that change and innovation initiatives stall, and inefficiencies and dysfunctions persist throughout the organization.
Meet Coach Takeshi
As an Organization Development professional, my single-minded focus is on fostering conversations in all corners of the organization. Whether it is a people, process, structure, customer or a product challenge, we have many proven management tools, frameworks and approaches to utilize, and combined that with the spirit of experimentation and iteration, I believe there is no organizational challenge we cannot address with the power of conversations.
My approach to Organization Systems Integration involves three focuses:
- Pilot Intervention
- Scaling & KSA Transfer
Once engaged, I typically jump into spending time with teams and leaders “in their natural habitat.” Gemba means “actual place” or “on-site” in Japanese (Shugi means “principle”), and this is one of the corner stone principals of Lean. Gemba-Shugi denotes the importance of and giving priority to what is happening at the actual place of activity.
Upon observation and assessment, I am quick to hypothesize and test potential measures of intervention. This is first based on my experience that “(1) it is not possible to study a human system without intervening in it, and (2) we can fully understand a human system only by trying to change it,” as attested by Organization Development pioneer Kurt Lewin back in 1947. And second, because this is how we do things in Agile; rapid prototyping, testing, learning is a common cycle in Lean Startup, Design Thinking etc.
Meanwhile, my biggest strength is that I am many professionals in one. From my early days of starting the profession, I have been pursuing a polymathic learning approach to management science since realizing that Organization Development is a holistic and multi-disciplinary practice. As a result, I can run a wide variety of pilot interventions using different tools, frameworks and approaches that I am proficient with, and also follow the client organization’s existing design of intervention while aiding or augmenting it with other means of intervention for improved delivery.
Again, the importance is to run these interventions first as pilots: they are experiments. We need to measure the efficacy of the actions and tune, tweak or pivot as necessary, and keep on iterating until we finally find out what really “works.”
Scaling and KSA Transfer
Once we see good patterns of success in the pilot interventions, my focus will start shifting to a scaling strategy. As we now know what “works” in the organization, we next need to make sure that the success continues beyond my eventual disengagement. The key is “KSA” (Knowledge, Skill and Ability, or Attitude, Aptitude) transfer, and I do this in the form of “coach the coaches” and “train the trainers” to designated leaders, managers and other talent in the client organization. This effectively is Organizational Capability Building.
Form of Engagement
I typically suggest a medium term (e.g. six months) retainer engagement, where I commit a certain number of days per month for a fixed monthly fee. Subject to the scale of the assignment and my capacity, I may both lead and deliver the work myself, or lead with the support of co-coaches, trainers and facilitators for delivery (additional fees may apply). Given the dynamic nature of the assignment, I seek for the client’s understanding that while there will be clear objective and target outcome settings, it won’t be practical to draw a detailed plan or project timeline for the work. However, I also emphasize that the assignment will have a clear expectation for eventual disengagement upon successful outcome, as Organizational Capability Building is the final objective.
Would you like Coach Takeshi help you make your learning & development, change, transformation & innovation efforts happening across your organization work better?