Flavor-of-the-month programs cripple the effort to make sustainable improvement. No program begins that way, but many end up that way, because traditional control cultures prevent long-term gains from occurring. When a program does not achieve the desired results, it is typically thought the program was defective and a new one is launched. The overall impact is a disjointed system that consumes a lot of organizational energy to operate.
We have found that the starting point for sustainable change must be Authentic Leadership. Traditional management approaches have created strong defense routines that reinforce the status quo and have made many organizations highly resistant to change, even when performance degrades to alarming rates.
When this happens, sustainable improvement is only possible when Authentic Leadership is developed to expose the sources of defensiveness, address them, and allow the organization to move forward. Then, effective organizational structures and integrated work process designs can be implemented to develop a learning culture. This creates a solid foundation to build on and develop new capability when required, rather than resort to further wholesale changes.
Based on our experience, any change effort that this is not led with sustained Authentic Leadership will inevitably backslide to former performance levels. We have seen social change efforts alone yield approximately 20-30% of potential improvement with questionable sustainability. Process design efforts will generate slightly better results with questionable sustainability as well. An integrated approach led by sustained Authentic Leadership is compounding because both enabling systems are aligned by design. This has proven to be sustainable, yielding extraordinary results and in many cases far exceeding expectations.
FOCUS begins by working with you to develop a winning organizational culture to support work process designs that improve productivity, quality and customer relations. We also assist to align support processes and systems. This winning culture reinforces capacity for change, promotes sustainability and continued performance improvement.