- Posted by J. Nirdosh Reddy
- On June 30, 2017
- BPM Concepts
High performance enterprises are characterized by teamwork, and are customer focused, process-centric and employee oriented in their management style. But we all know many organizations where employees spend much of their time working individually, fighting fires to meet short-term deadlines, or pointing fingers when things go wrong. In these situations, it is common to see employees try to make their individual jobs less stressful – regardless of how it impacts other employees or even the customer. These organizations are finding it difficult to compete and are struggling to survive.
Many people appreciate the benefits of process-based approaches, but find it difficult to implement. They continue to manage people instead of managing processes through people.
Transformation is a complex process, but not a difficult process
Transformation of an enterprise’s work practices is an involved and complex process. If done right, it is easy. If done wrong, it is almost impossible. Let us explore.
The Model of an Organization
Every organization can be likened to a building, as shown below. When you walk by a building, you see only what is on the surface. However, upon closer observation, you find that the surface is held in place by an infrastructure of pillars, columns, and walls. This infrastructure rests on the foundation, which, in turn, is built on bedrock.
Similarly, when you walk through an organization, you see what is on the ‘surface’ – the daily activities being performed and the tools being used. On closer observation you find that these daily activities are influenced by an ‘infrastructure’ consisting of the management system of reports and reviews. This business management system has its roots in the mindset of the management – the organization’s ‘foundation’, which is built on the ‘bedrock’ of philosophy.
In an organization,what people do daily is influenced by what the supervisors review day in and day out, which is built on the organization’s mindset, which emanates from the organization’s philosophy.
Introspect: What is your mindset, your perspective?
When you think of your employees, how do you view them? As a pair of hands? Or as people with an ability to think? How many people are involved in the conduct of the business? Just the top 10 to 20%? Or is it 90 to 100%? Is there pride in work at all levels? Or is it reserved for just a few? How prevalent is teamwork? Do all employees realize who is paying their salaries?
What is your understanding of how output is produced? Is the power of process-oriented thinking internalized? Or, is it merely a phrase that you are familiar with? What is the focus in operations? Is it getting results any which way? Or, is it getting results through controlling and improving processes?
How is the performance of an individual evaluated? When an individual receives a rating, be it outstanding, average or poor, is it viewed by employees as luck of the draw, as in a lottery? Or, is the rating given after recognizing the contribution of the process (system) and the individual within the system? Are the appraisals motivating people towards excellence, or towards cynicism.
Your mindset (perspective) – very strongly influences your success.
Actions at the surface level
Many organizations attempt to improve quality, productivity and competitiveness by merely introducing new tools and methods at the surface level (daily activities). Tools are necessary but not sufficient. While one would definitely benefit from using newer tools and methods, it has been proven time and again that these efforts generally result in fleeting and superficial benefits unless accompanied by changes to the underlying mindset and management systems.
Change mindset first
You need to change the core of the enterprise – the mindset of the enterprise – to customer focused, process-centric and employee oriented approach first. This change at the core allows your leadership team to create a new management system which facilitates managing processes through people, replacing the conventional practice of managing people.
You will be on your way to establishing a sustainable work culture.
More in my future posts.