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SCM2Shortage of labor, intensified demand from e-tailers (online retailers), and technological disruption is forcing organizations in the Logistics and Warehousing industry to embrace technology, particularly Automation.

An investment in automating the picking, packing, sorting, storing, and shipping items can yield high returns for organizations.  Warehouses that will sort out the dynamics of e-commerce, select the ideal technology to implement, and eliminate uncertainties in their supplier contracts will outpace others.

Automation is facilitating the Warehousing operations predominantly by:

  • Assisting the movement of goods.
  • Improving the handling of goods.

In these two categories, there are 10 technologies that are fast disrupting the Supply Chain function and creating a breakthrough for warehouses.  These include:

  1. Multi-shuttle System
  2. Optical Recognition
  3. Conveyor Connection
  4. Warehouse Management Systems
  5. Smart Storage
  6. 3D Printing
  7. Swarm AGV Robots
  8. Analytics & Algorithms
  9. Smart Glasses
  10. Picking Robots

Let’s discuss a few of these disruptive technologies in detail.

Multi-shuttle System

Multi-shuttle systems (MSS) are employed to store and retrieve goods automatically—using automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS).  This system is able to transport goods 3 dimensionally (on pallets), and is instrumental in enhancing the throughput, flexibility and efficiency levels.

MSS consists of 3 modules, coordinated by a software module: a Shuttle car powered by power caps for 24-hour operations and moved by powerful motors, high-performance vertical lifts, and a special carrier to move the shuttle car to the exact location.  Communication in the multilevel systems’ carrier and shuttles is managed by radio links, whereas the movement is controlled by an integrated control system.

Multilevel Shuttle Storage System is ideal for cold storage, buffer storage, dispatching warehouses, commissioning warehouses, supply and distribution centers, and factories.

MSS offers a number of benefits, e.g.:

  • High item storage and retrieval velocity.
  • Optimum use of building space.
  • High storage density.
  • Ability to be retrofitted in existing warehouses.

Optical Recognition

Optical Recognition and Sensor technology expedites processes and increases productivity.  This technology is at the foundation of IoT, smart cities, automobiles and laser-guided vehicles, smartphones, wearable technologies, drones, barcode readers, and more.

Optical Recognition devices use a light source to read characters and barcodes.  They then convert these characters into digital data.  Optical Recognition devices scan items.  At times, this scanning is done on 6 axes.  The character recognition software then relates this image to the shapes of individual characters.

Optical recognition devices today use sensors to detect and respond to a specified input—light, sound, motion, pressure, temperature.  Once an input is received, a sensor either produces a resulting output—in the form of a light or alarm—or forward the information received to a network for processing.

Optical recognition sensors facilitate in:

  • Accelerating and improving processes, inspecting parts for error checking, and quality monitoring.
  • Delivering real-time data to make better decisions.
  • Handling repetitive and hazardous tasks and making workplaces safer
  • Freeing up people to manage more complex endeavors.
  • Slashing energy wastage and creating connected, smart factories.

Conveyor Connection

Connected Conveyor Systems are useful in transporting heavy or bulky materials.  These systems allow quick and efficient transport of a variety of materials (e.g. totes, cartons) in different warehouse configurations.  Advanced conveyor systems and connections perform various material handling requirements including accumulation, transportation, diverting, merging, and sorting products.

Interested in learning more about the other technologies reshaping the warehousing operations?  You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on Warehouse Automation: 10 Technologies here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro LibraryFlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market. They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions. I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power. For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“As a small business owner, the resource material available from FlevyPro has proven to be invaluable. The ability to search for material on demand based our project events and client requirements was great for me and proved very beneficial to my clients. Importantly, being able to easily edit and tailor the material for specific purposes helped us to make presentations, knowledge sharing, and toolkit development, which formed part of the overall program collateral. While FlevyPro contains resource material that any consultancy, project or delivery firm must have, it is an essential part of a small firm or independent consultant’s toolbox.”

– Michael Duff, Managing Director at Change Strategy (UK)

virtual work corp culture 2Just as in a co-located setting, a remote work environment warrants a defined culture.  Culture in a co-located setting is distinctly evident.  It is imparted and communicated through collaboration between colleagues, their behaviors, and the actions that are incentivized—or those that are considered inappropriate—at the organization.

However, defining, creating, and sustaining an Organizational Culture in a virtual environment is a bit complicated.  It needs careful deliberation.  Leadership can make good use of the 12 guiding principles to inspire a robust Virtual Workplace Culture.  These guiding principles can be segregated into 2 categories:

General Culture Principles

There are 7 principles under this category:

  1. There are no unwritten rules
  2. Reinforce values
  3. Don’t take Culture for granted
  4. Embrace gratitude and transparency
  5. Institute structure around Culture
  6. Welcome changes to Culture
  7. Leverage disruption to improve Culture

Mental Health Related Principles

Virtual Work can lead to various ailments, including burnout, if it is accomplished without abiding by healthy lifestyle, best practices, and guidelines.  The mental health category entails 5 guiding principles:

  1. Don’t encourage long work hours
  2. Document processes around mental health
  3. Recognize mental health struggles
  4. Prevent burnout, isolation, and anxiety
  5. Encourage a healthy virtual lifestyle

Let’s dive deeper into 4 of these guiding principles.

1. There are no unwritten rules

The first principle to foster a Remote Culture necessitates documented policies and systems.  Careful documentation assists in prohibiting decline of a remote enterprise and culture.  The first instance to document should be the company values including teamwork, productivity, clarity, diverseness, and inclusivity.

2. Reinforce values

The actions that are encouraged and rewarded by the company become organizational values.  For instance, in virtual settings, hiring, promoting, and developing people play a huge role in encouraging and underlining the importance of values.  The values dear to an organization are displayed through role modeling of required behaviors by the leadership.  They are manifested by the people the organization hires and let go off.  Organizational values are also evident by the yardsticks used to gauge qualification for increments, rewards, promotions, and performance management.

3. Embrace gratitude and transparency

Without clear-cut information sharing and appreciation, employees may begin to feel cynical and unenthusiastic.  This can eat away at the organization culture.  Leaders should be careful with 360 performance evaluation and feedback.  Negative feedback should be delivered in a positive manner to instill hope and determination to do better.  There is also a need to take drastic measures if there is a general sense of lack of appreciation and transparency prevalent among employees.

4. Don’t take Culture for granted

Culture is easily emphasized in a co-located setting, collaborating with colleagues day after day.  However, underscoring the significance of culture in a virtual environment demands cautious deliberation.  Various core elements of culture are often present, but are masked in our daily activities and habits.  These elements are manifested by “how we do things in our organization.”  These common habits are the hallmark of belonging to a culture.

In remote settings, leaders need to highlight the elements of culture that are evident in such settings and their importance, since these practices are a bit hard to observe in virtual teams.  Leadership should mark boundaries of culture clearly and define what is disrespectful or unacceptable in their organizational culture.

Interested in learning more about the other guiding principles of Virtual Work Culture?  You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on Virtual Work: Corporate Culture here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro LibraryFlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market. They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions. I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power. For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“As a small business owner, the resource material available from FlevyPro has proven to be invaluable. The ability to search for material on demand based our project events and client requirements was great for me and proved very beneficial to my clients. Importantly, being able to easily edit and tailor the material for specific purposes helped us to make presentations, knowledge sharing, and toolkit development, which formed part of the overall program collateral. While FlevyPro contains resource material that any consultancy, project or delivery firm must have, it is an essential part of a small firm or independent consultant’s toolbox.”

– Michael Duff, Managing Director at Change Strategy (UK)

Stock image 2 - Reengagement after RestructuringRestructuring is a turbulent process that shakes the foundations of the organization.  The goal of Operational Excellence cannot be realized merely by the surgical removal of human resource during Redeployment after Restructuring.

Keeping focus on moving the organization forward with vitality means boosting the sagging morale of the employees who survive this storm.  It is the attention to the surviving employees that is going to kick-start the Revitalization process and usher in a new Organizational Culture.

Employee Engagement is an absolutely vital aspect of the revitalized organization.  Re-engagement of the remaining employees after Redeployment is important because:

  • It is a given that engagement levels will be abysmally low.
  • Motivation to work is not the top priority for most after Restructuring chaos.
  • Insecurity is high and employees may be thinking about leaving the organizations on the first opportunity they get.
  • The Revitalization of the organization depends on how the survivors are handled.

To handle such state of affairs, management must do the following:

  • Develop a concrete plan for Re-engagement during the Organizational Design.
  • Allocate appropriate time, effort, and budget for boosting motivation levels.
  • Implement Re-engagement plans that address the diverse Motivational Drivers.
  • Communicate consistently on an organizational level as well as individual level to reassure employees regarding their future.
  • Train line managers on how to handle surviving team members.
  • Push line managers to spend time with individual employees to learn:
    • How team members have handled the Redeployment process.
    • How employees sense the challenges moving forward.
    • What primarily motivates them as individuals.
  • Use motivational assessment methods and integrate the survivors into existing development discussions to align them with organizational processes.

Poor management of the Employee Re-engagement process is bound to have repercussions, such as:

  • Absenteeism
  • Low productivity levels.
  • Substandard customer service quality levels resulting in tarnished image of the organization.
  • Dwindling employees’ commitment to the organizations.
  • Increased risk of switch overs.

Active Employee Re-engagement ensures that the employees are:

  • Clear on the next steps.
  • Clear about their new roles.
  • Can effectively deliver against the new roles.
  • Keen to work in the evolving scenario.

Redeployment in the Restructuring process affects all employees regardless of whether they stay or leave.

Employees typically showcase 4 types of reactions during this transition:

  1. Departure Grief
  2. Survivor Relief
  3. Survivor Irritation
  4. Departure Happiness

Typically, the organizational focus is more on the employees who are leaving, assuming that those who get to stay are happy employees.  This may not be the case.  Care must be taken to address the motivational drivers of all employees in this transitory process.

Let us examine the Employee State, their Motivational Drivers, and appropriate Actions to take during Restructuring, a little more deeply.

Departure Grief

The motivational drivers that induce the state of “departure grief” in employees include:

  • Loss of earnings and benefits such as pension plan and health insurance can be stressful.
  • Loss of daily routine can be upsetting and takes some time to cope with.
  • Forced shift in lifestyle upsets not only the person but the family too which may take a psychological toll.
  • Feeling of rejection crops up as a result of being let go, lowering self-esteem.
  • Loss of financial empowerment puts the person, especially the head of the household, in a vulnerable position.

To help employees cope with Departure Grief, the organizational leadership should take some key actions, such as:

  • Help the ex-employees through counselling sessions.
  • Guide the employees in preparing job applications and CVs.
  • Assist the ex-employees get placed in alternative jobs.
  • Guide the ex-employees in putting the compensated amount to good use.

Interested in learning more about Re-engagement after Restructuring?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Re-engagement after Restructuring here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Want to Achieve Excellence in Business Transformation?

Gain the knowledge and develop the expertise to become an expert in Business Transformation. Our frameworks are based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. Click here for full details.

“If you don’t transform your company, you’re stuck.” – Ursula Burns, Chairperson and CEO of VEON; former Chairperson and CEO of Xerox

Business Transformation is the process of fundamentally changing the systems, processes, people, and technology across an entire organization, business unit, or corporate function with the intention of achieving significant improvements in Revenue Growth, Cost Reduction, and/or Customer Satisfaction.

Transformation is pervasive across industries, particularly during times of disruption, as we are witnessing now as a result of COVID-19. However, despite how common these large scale efforts are, research shows that about 75% of these initiatives fail.

Leverage our frameworks to increase your chances of a successful Transformation by following best practices and avoiding failure-causing “Transformation Traps.”

Learn about our Business Transformation Best Practice Frameworks here.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro LibraryFlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market. They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions. I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power. For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients. In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over! The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

Stock image 2 - Redep assessment process & methodsOrganizations that have survived over time have had to reinvent themselves over and over with the changes in the environment.  These Business Transformations almost always include Cost Reduction that tend to lean towards Headcount Reduction.  Headcount Reduction is typically achieved using 2 approaches:

  1. Downsizing
  2. Restructuring

Downsizing keeps the fundamentals of the roles same with only fewer people performing those roles.  Whereas, Restructuring creates new roles, as well as modify existing roles, requiring a new mix of skills or altogether new resources to perform them.

Restructuring presents a more challenging task in that a new mix of skills has to be identified for each role, an Assessment Process has to be set up to assess existing employees against new competencies, and Redeployment after Restructuring (or new recruitment) done.

The important question in both scenarios is:  Who should we eliminate and who should stay?

The question can be answered by devising and using key criteria to evaluate and then choose the most relevant assessment method.

Assessment of employees is key in both Downsizing as well as Restructuring.  The Assessment Process has to be vigorous enough to identify the right employees to keep and lay off.  A broader assessment process ensures coverage of more aspects of a new role which in turn makes the assessment process fairer.  Measures, in this regard, may include:

  • Covering a broad range of competencies in the interview process rather than concentrating on a few specific competencies.
  • Using a mix of relevant performance data from the last role as well as some elements of future-oriented assessment, such as role plays or OPQs.
  • Taking input from Line managers.

Linkage of the entire assessment process to the requirements of the job is the crucial part of this phase.

As with any assessment system, the content and design will be settled through consideration of various factors, some practical like cost, logistics and some more about safeguarding the output like instrument validity.  When taking into account assessment tools for incorporation in the process it is beneficial to examine them against following criteria:

  • Coverage of range
  • Accuracy
  • Relevance
  • Freedom from bias
  • Acceptability
  • Practicality

The tools, based on the above criteria, help in various assessment methods that gather information on different aspects pertaining to the elements of the new roles.  The most widely used Assessment methods include:

  1. Existing Performance Management Data
  2. Line Manager Performance Ratings
  3. Competency Based / Behavioral Interviews
  4. Personality Measures (OPQ) Linked to Competencies
  5. Simulation Exercises
  6. Pertinent Employee Data

Let us examine the methods in a little more detail.

Existing Performance Management Data

There are various benefits of using this employee assessment method, such as:

  • No additional data gathering is required since the data is already in place.
  • Such existing data can be obtained speedily and effortlessly.
  • Existing performance data is perceived as pertinent.

There are some drawbacks associated with the existing Performance Management data method that executives should be mindful of:

  • The data is often inconsistent and may vary in quality.
  • Does not provide clear distinction between people.
  • Does not reflect behavior therefore difficult to base decisions on.
  • Usefulness depends on extent of overlap with the new role.

Such data although convenient and easy to obtain, has to be augmented from other sources—and through other assessment methods—for a complete picture to base the employee selection decision on.

Interested in learning more about Redeployment Assessment Process & Methods?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Restructuring: Redeployment Assessment Process & Methods here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Want to Achieve Excellence in Business Transformation?

Gain the knowledge and develop the expertise to become an expert in Business Transformation. Our frameworks are based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. Click here for full details.

“If you don’t transform your company, you’re stuck.” – Ursula Burns, Chairperson and CEO of VEON; former Chairperson and CEO of Xerox

Business Transformation is the process of fundamentally changing the systems, processes, people, and technology across an entire organization, business unit, or corporate function with the intention of achieving significant improvements in Revenue Growth, Cost Reduction, and/or Customer Satisfaction.

Transformation is pervasive across industries, particularly during times of disruption, as we are witnessing now as a result of COVID-19. However, despite how common these large scale efforts are, research shows that about 75% of these initiatives fail.

Leverage our frameworks to increase your chances of a successful Transformation by following best practices and avoiding failure-causing “Transformation Traps.”

Learn about our Business Transformation Best Practice Frameworks here.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market. They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions. I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power. For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients. In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over! The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

Virtual Work 2COVID-19 has forced organizations to adapt to the new norm of Remote Work.  Many people consider telecommuting as the future of work.  Employers who allow Remote Work have seen enhanced employee morale, output, and efficiency.

However, Remote Work setting is far from business as usual.  Management needs to understand and manage the intricate differences between in-office and remote teams.  To make Remote Work successful and to manage remote teams, leadership needs to follow 5 guiding principles:

  • Assemble a group of people— skilled in Remote Work setting—to supervise and support other employees to work remotely, assess any challenges, and create workable solutions in real time.
  • Develop and share (across the organization) a comprehensive reference guide—e.g., a repository, manual, or a web page—documenting exhaustive information on process changes. This will keep all stakeholders informed and prevent any uncertainties.
  • Communicate with the employees transparently and frequently, foster informal communication, and provide easily accessible video conference facilities for people to adjust to and incorporate change.
  • Keep the number of tools to handle documentation and communication to a minimum.
  • Manage the Remote Workforce by establishing candid, ongoing communication channels, trust, and shared objectives. Transition from an in-office setup to a remote environment takes time.

Likewise, remote employees need to follow certain guiding principles to undertake their responsibilities effectively and deliver on their tasks efficiently.

  • Establish a dedicated workspace.
  • Make their families understand the significance of their work—that they perform from their virtual offices—and respect their work hours.
  • Set alarms to remind when to take a break or end work, so as to work in a healthy routine. Use breaks to recharge your brain or to do errands.
  • Communicate informally with your team.
  • Try out unconventional workdays and routines that work best for you.
  • Adopt this transition

Conventional on-site work settings have clearly defined processes, team structures, interactions, and Organizational Culture, which are lacking in most virtual environments.  The transition from on-site work to work-from-anywhere demands concrete steps to make it viable.  It is critical to adopt Virtual Work mindset and best practices since every organization today, in one way or another, is a virtual company—e.g., global operations, sites and offices across different locations.

This necessitates dedicated efforts to nurture and promote a virtual-work focus and Culture, rather than managing Remote Work with a traditional mindset.  Organizations need to incorporate these 5 best practices to make the transition from conventional to work-from-anywhere environment smoother.

  1. Document everything
  2. Have more structured meetings
  3. Align values with expectations
  4. Create ergonomic home offices
  5. Adopt a self-learning mentality

Let’s delve deeper into these best practices.

Document everything

In office settings, people can run into other colleagues easily to ask queries or just to communicate with them.  This is at times disturbing and counterproductive.  Work-from-anywhere environment demands documenting every critical piece of information, creating guidelines and manuals, and implementing documentation best practices.   This facilitates in:

  • Creating a reliable, primary source of information for everyone to seek answers to their queries.
  • Building successful Virtual Work environment.
  • Clearly outlining organizational objectives.
  • Visualization and clarity of teams’ collective goals and performance results.
  • Orientation of new hires by providing answers to everything that comes to their minds.
  • Offering more inclusivity, as the information is not confined only to the ones present at the physical water cooler, but is available for the entire organization.
  • Precluding a sense of exclusion in the ones who are not part of a physical office.
  • Gathering more diverse ideas.

A handbook culture is even better than “water coolers”—as it saves time by eliminating the need to bother other teammates and ask questions from them.  It enables learning, finding answers or information more readily, and curtailing rework arising out of gathering and updating information over and over again.  Documenting everything instills a sense of ownership, courtesy, and concern for others in virtual teams.

Interested in learning more about the other best practices to transition from in-office to work-from-anywhere environment?  You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on how to transition from In-Office to Virtual Work Setting here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro LibraryFlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market. They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions. I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power. For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“As a small business owner, the resource material available from FlevyPro has proven to be invaluable. The ability to search for material on demand based our project events and client requirements was great for me and proved very beneficial to my clients. Importantly, being able to easily edit and tailor the material for specific purposes helped us to make presentations, knowledge sharing, and toolkit development, which formed part of the overall program collateral. While FlevyPro contains resource material that any consultancy, project or delivery firm must have, it is an essential part of a small firm or independent consultant’s toolbox.”

– Michael Duff, Managing Director at Change Strategy (UK)

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients. In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over! The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

“Several times a month, I browse FlevyPro for presentations relevant to the job challenge I have (I am a consultant). When the subject requires it, I explore further and buy from the Flevy Marketplace. On all occasions, I read them, analyze them. I take the most relevant and applicable ideas for my work; and, of course, all this translates to my and my clients’ benefits.”

– Omar Hernán Montes Parra, CEO at Quantum SFE

Behavior2Product managers, marketers, and designers are often confused as to what they should do to increase the chances of customers’ engagement and uptake of their offering.  Changing individuals’ behavior to enhance engagement, productivity, innovation, and happiness isn’t straightforward.

It takes a lot of effort, time, and resources to execute initiatives aimed at transforming behaviors and Organizational Culture.  However, most people aren’t interested in changing and like the status quo to prevail.  This is where Behavioral Economics can help to know how customers behave, interpret their decision-making methods, and create solutions targeting those behaviors.

Product designers and marketers aspiring to drive acceptance of their products can make use of the 3 Bs of Behavioral Change to change understand consumer behavior. The 3 Bs of Behavioral Change classify the 3 elements essential to change behaviors, i.e.:

  1. Behavior
  2. Barriers
  3. Benefits

Understanding and employing these 3 Bs helps the designers and product managers instill change, inspire design and strategy-related decisions, increase the acceptance of new products / features and product engagement levels, and build new behaviors in people.

Let’s discuss the first 2 elements in detail.

Behavior

People have an inherent tendency to maintain the status quo.  Behavioral change necessitates:

  • Identifying individuals’ existing attitudes.
  • Assessing and tackling psychological biases affecting individuals’ decisions.
  • Carefully tracking behaviors that need to be changed.
  • Ascertaining the most important desired behavior and exact action that is imperative to drive results.
  • Getting the buy-in from all stakeholders on the key behavior.
  • Deciding if the behavior should be permanent or transient.

Examples of key actions to change behaviors include spending 30 minutes thrice weekly doing cardio exercises and consuming salad at lunch daily to stay healthy.

Barriers

Understanding the barriers in behavior adoption assists in creating effective solutions to improve uptake of key behavior.  The second step to induce behavioral change is to reduce barriers in its adoption.

  • Every decision that a product user has to make, no matter how negligible, increases resistance in the likelihood of completing a specific behavior.
  • These actions and decisions an individual has to take in order to achieve the desired behavior create points of friction in embracing key behaviors.  For instance, people often find it difficult to decide when presented with complex choices. They tend to procrastinate or become a victim of decision paralysis.
  • Removing the points of friction and resistance from any key behavior necessitates documenting and streamlining all decisions. The path of least resistance leads to desired key behaviors.

Examples of barriers include the thought process involved in the decision to select where to have dinner.  This thought process is, in fact, a psychological barrier in actually going out and having dinner.  Likewise, the decision to walk or drive to a restaurant is a logistical barrier and a point of friction that warrants making a decision.

To eliminate these barriers, we can either remove barriers entirely or just simplify the decision.  For instance, elimination of a non-critical, open text field from a sign-up form—that probed the users about their business, which requires significant time to think and answer—can increase page-over-page conversion.  In case choices are helpful for the users and cannot be eliminated, then it is best to simplify the decision process by giving fewer options instead of many, or by suggesting “recommended option” to the users.

Interested in learning more about the details of the 3 Bs of Behavioral Change?  You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on 3 Bs of Behavioral Change here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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5 Dimensions of EE - Stock image 2Organizations typically focus on Customer-centric Design in their Strategic Planning and overlook the critical driver of Performance, Growth, and Operational Excellence—their employees.  With cut-throat competition now the norm the realization has become clearer that employees are:

  • The face of the business and create lasting—or perishing—brand impression.
  • Sources of innovation and organizational knowledge.
  • Representation of the company’s service philosophy.
  • Expected to live by its Organizational Culture and values.

Employee Engagement has emerged as one of the significant pillars on which the Competitive Advantage, Productivity, and Growth of an organization rests.  What, exactly, does it mean when an employee is engaged?  Employee Engagement, over the years, has been thought of in terms of:

  • Personal engagement with the organization.
  • Focus on performance of assigned work.
  • Worker burnout.
  • Basic needs (meaningful work, safe workplace, abundant resources).
  • Attention on Cognitive, Emotional and Behavioral components related to an individual’s performance.

Although Employee Engagement is widely seen as an important concept, there has been little consensus on its definition or its components either in business or in the academic literature.

Kumar and Pansari’s 2015 study define Employee Engagement as:

“a multidimensional construct that comprises all of the different facets of the attitudes and behaviors of employees towards the organization”.

The multidimensional construct of Employee Engagement has been synthesized into the following 5 components (or dimensions).

  1. Employee Satisfaction
  2. Employee Identification
  3. Employee Commitment
  4. Employee Loyalty
  5. Employee Performance

The 5 dimensions of Employee Engagement have been found to have a direct correlation with high profitability, as substantiated by a number of research studies:

For instance, a study of 30 companies in the airline, telecom and hotel industries shows a close relationship between Employee Engagement and growth in profits.  After controlling other relevant factors—i.e., GDP level, marketing costs, nature of business, and type of goods, the study found:

  • Highest profitability growth—10% to 15%—in companies with highly engaged employees.
  • Lowest level of profitability growth—0% to 1%—in companies with disengaged employees.

Research reveals that Employee Engagement affects 9 performance outcomes; including Customer Ratings, Profitability, Productivity, Safety Incidents, Shrinkage (theft), Absenteeism, Patient Safety Incidents, Quality (Defects), and Turnover.

The differences in performance between engaged and actively disengaged work units revealed:

  • Top half Employee Engagement scores nearly doubled the odds of success compared with those in the bottom half.
  • Companies with engaged workforces have higher earnings per share (EPS).

These 5 dimensions become the base for measuring Employee Engagement in a meaningful manner that permits managers to identify areas of improvement.  To assess an organization’s current status of Employee Engagement, a measurement system is needed that includes:

  • Metrics for each component of Employee Engagement.
  • A scale for scoring metrics in each component.
  • A comprehensive scorecard that pulls everything together.

Let us delve a little deeper into the first 2 dimensions of Employee Engagement.

Employee Satisfaction

Definition

Employee Satisfaction is the positive reaction employees have to their overall job circumstances, including their supervisors, pay and coworkers.

Details

When employees are satisfied, they tend to be:

  • Committed to their work.
  • Less absent and more productive in terms of quality of goods and services.
  • Connected with the organization’s values and goals.
  • Perceptive about being a part of the organization.

Metrics

The 5 metrics that gauge Employee Engagement in terms of Employee Satisfaction include:

  1. Receiving recognition for a job.
  2. Feeling close to people at work.
  3. Feeling good about working at the organization.
  4. Feeling secure about the job.
  5. Believing that the management is concerned about employees.

We take a look at another dimension central in significance.

Employee Commitment

Definition

Signifies what motivates the employees to do more than what’s in their job descriptions.

Details

Employee Commitment is much higher for the employees who identify with the organization.  This element:

  • Develops over time and is an outcome of shared experiences.
  • Is often an antecedent of loyalty.
  • Induces employees to guard the organization’s secrets.
  • Pushes employees to work for organization’s best interests.

Research has found that employees with the highest levels of commitment:

  • Perform 20% better.
  • Are 87% less likely to leave the organization.

Metrics

The 3 metrics that gauge the Employee Commitment dimension of Employee Engagement include:

  1. Commitment to deliver the brand promise along with knowledge of the brand.
  2. Very committed to delivering the brand promise.
  3. Feels like the organization has a great deal of personal meaning.

Interested in learning more about these foundational pillars to Employee Engagement? You can download an editable PowerPoint on 5 Dimensions of Employee Engagement here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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mind - guy

Technology, Internet, growth, and globalization have metamorphosed the way we work, play, and live.  They have even changed the fundamental laws of economics.  We are living in an economy that is quite different from the old manufacturing-based economy of the 1980s.  Fewer people are now employed in the manufacturing sector, who are anxious about the prospects of being replaced by machines soon.

The “New Economy” is a term economists started using in the 1990s to describe new, high-tech, high-growth industries that have been the driving force of economic growth since that period.  The new economy is also heralded as the Digital Economy, the Knowledge Economy, the Data Economy, or the eCommerce Economy.  Top technology enterprises—including Google, Facebook and Apple—have outpaced traditional firms around the globe by taking advantage of the new economy.

Leadership Development in this age of Digital Economy is a key challenge for most organizations.  More and more organizations, today, are revisiting what they are about and the meaning of leadership for them.  It’s not about one person or even those residing at the top anymore.

MIT Sloan Management Review conducted a study of 4,000 executives from 120 geographies around the world to understand what defines a great leader in this changing world.  The study revealed striking results with most executives believed that their leaders lacked the mindset needed to produce the strategic changes essential for leading in the Digital Economy.  Enterprise-level transformation is what majority of leaders feared to embark on.

Mindsets are established set of attitudes held by someone that shape how a person interprets and responds to experiences.  A mindset arises out of a person’s view of the world or philosophy of life.  To know about the Digital Economy leadership mindsets (i.e. leadership mindsets critical to survive in this new economy), the MIT Sloan Management Review’s global study identifies 4 critical mindsets—based on in-depth interviews from executives worldwide and detailed analysis of data:

  1. The Producer
  2. The Investor
  3. The Connector
  4. The Explorer

Let’s define these first 2 leadership mindsets.

The Producer

Leaders with a producer mindset evaluate each of their customer touch points painstakingly.  These leaders exhibit a passion for producing customer value.  Producers concentrate on analytics, digital know-how, implementation, results, and customer satisfaction.  They focus on analytics to fast-track creativity.  The resulting innovation helps them tackle shifting customer preferences and enhance customer experiences.  The Producers strive to create all the customer journeys enjoyable.

The Investor

The leaders with an investor mindset make people appreciate the higher purpose they serve by their work.  They constantly struggle to instill motivation and teamwork among their teams in order to achieve their overall organizational goals.  The leaders with an investor mindset are concerned about the communities that surround them.  They look after the well-being and constant advancement of their employees, and devote their efforts to improve value for their customers.

Fostering these types of mindsets is critical to building the right Organizational Culture for an organization to be successful in the Digital Economy.

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bright-cardiac-cardiology-433267The typical approach to improving productivity focuses on assessing variance in quality, time, rate, service, or cost, around which management systems develop incrementally or revolutionary.

Organizational Health Index, on the contrary, focuses on improving performance through improved alignment of organizational systems. For example, by improving competence of key components such as mindset, work design, technical expertise, or relationships; or through improving the interface between work processes, or the interaction between work practices.

Simply put, the capability of an organization to achieve its strategic goals and their alignment defines an organization’s health. The Organizational Health Index (OHI) leverages logical consistency to manage the organizational health. OHI entails quantifiable evaluations, diagnostics and recipes for success that allow the leaders to calculate and accomplish the organizational health goals, required to sustain long-term performance.

Organizational health refers to the need to address soft (leadership, direction or culture) and hard factors (accountability, reporting lines, or controls) affecting performance. The organizational health index is an ongoing continuous improvement system applicable across an organization. The OHI measures not only the current health level, but also determines the next steps for an organization. There are numerous advantages to the organizations implementing it, including:

  • Benchmarking organizational health against the rivals.
  • Aligning the organizational systems, units, and people by communicating shared goals and priorities; and highlighting and plugging the disconnects.
  • Improving organizational performance by pinpointing variances and opportunities to improve health and drive business success.

The OHI Diagnostic Framework provides a road map for leaders and managers to improve organizational health. It measures the organization against the 9 most critical health outcomes; these outcomes comprise both hard and soft organizational elements. Careful measurement of these 9 elements has a proven link with improved financial performance and earning above-average EBITDA margins:

  1. Direction
  2. Accountability
  3. Coordination and control
  4. External orientation
  5. Leadership
  6. Innovation and Learning
  7. Capabilities
  8. Motivation
  9. Work Environment
Org Health Index
There are 37 management practices under these 9 health outcomes, developed to help companies identify the behaviors most critical to their health journey:

Direction

  • Shared Vision
  • Strategic Clarity
  • Employee Involvement

Accountability

  • Role clarity
  • Performance contracts
  • Consequence Management
  • Personal Ownership

Coordination and Control

  • People Performance Review
  • Operational Management
  • Financial Management
  • Professional Standards
  • Risk Management

External Orientation

  • Customer Focus
  • Competitor Insights
  • Business Partnerships
  • Government and Community Relations

Leadership

  • Authoritative Leadership
  • Consultative Leadership
  • Supportive Leadership
  • Challenging Leadership

Innovation and Learning

  • Top-down Innovation
  • Bottom-up Innovation
  • Knowledge Sharing
  • Capturing External Ideas

Capabilities

  • Talent Acquisition
  • Talent Development
  • Process based Capabilities
  • Outsourced Expertise

Motivation

  • Meaningful Values
  • Inspirational Leaders
  • Career Opportunities
  • Financial Incentives
  • Rewards and Recognition

Work Environment

  • Open and Trusting
  • Internally Competitive
  • Operationally Disciplined
  • Creative and Entrepreneurial

Years of research have shown the healthiest companies to align with 1 of the 4 recipes for organizational health. These recipes constitute concrete management practices and activities for the organization to implement.  Leaders need to acknowledge and align to the recipe that is appropriate for them. They can use these success recipes to plan and implement a change program that results in sustainable outcomes. The 4 recipes for organizational health are:

  1. Leadership
  2. Market Maker
  3. Continuous Improvement
  4. Talent

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design-learn-pattern-247819In this era of rapid change only organizations that are evolving and continuously learning can flourish. Successful organizations discover how to tap their people’s commitment and capacity to learn at all levels.

Learning Organization is a place where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new ideas and thinking are nurtured, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together. A Learning Organization is established on the principles of innovation, free flow of ideas, and a consistent focus on transforming the ways of doing business.

Learning Organizations adopt 5 distinct practices to succeed, which form the “building blocks” of such organizations:

  • Systematic Problem Solving
  • Experimentation
  • Learning from Experience
  • Learning from Others
  • Knowledge Transfer

Five key characteristics distinguish a Learning Organization from the rest. These attributes serve as the guiding principles and practices that these organizations study and integrate into their DNA. A blend of these core characteristics helps organizations adopt a more interconnected way of thinking:

  1. Systems Thinking
  2. Personal Mastery
  3. Mental Models
  4. Shared Vision
  5. Team Learning

Learning Organization Primer

By adopting and mastering these core characteristics organizations become communities that employees can commit to. Let’s, now, discuss the first 3 characteristics in detail.

Systems Thinking

Systems thinking allows people to study businesses as bounded objects. Learning Organizations possess information systems to assess the performance of the organization and its components as a whole. Systems thinking states that all the characteristics must be present together in an organization for it to be a Learning Organization. However, some experts consider that the characteristics of a Learning Organization are gradually acquired, rather than developed simultaneously.

Personal Mastery

Personal mastery is an individual’s commitment to learning. It is about becoming more productive by applying skills to work in the most constructive manner. It involves clarification of focus, vision, and to interpret reality objectively. Training, development, and continuous self-improvement are the sources of individual learning.

Mental Models

Mental models include assumptions and generalizations retained by individuals and organizations, which go undetected, as mental models limit peoples’ observations. Learning Organizations need to identify and challenge these models. For a learning environment it is important to replace confrontational attitudes with an open culture that promotes inquiry and trust, introduce mechanisms for uncovering and assessing organizational theories of action, and discard any unwanted values.

Role of Leadership

Productivity and competitiveness relies on knowledge generation and processing. Therefore, organizations not only have to invest in new machinery and systems to improve production, but also focus on knowledge generation and learning of their people. Learning Organizations require a new view of leadership. Leaders in Learning Organizations create workplaces that help people keep building their capabilities to understand complexity, clarify vision, and improve shared mental models.

Peter Senge describes the 3 key qualities of leaders to be critical in leading the Learning Organization:

  1. Designer
  2. Steward
  3. Teacher

Designer

The key roles of a leader as a designer in Learning Organizations is designing the policies, strategies, and systems. The designer also outlines the governing ideas — the purpose, vision, and core values — for the people. They plan and develop the learning processes whereby people throughout the organization can deal productively with the critical issues they face, and cultivate personal mastery of the team members in the desired learning disciplines.

Steward

According to Peter Senge, the notion of management in this modern age should be replaced by “stewardship” — whereby control and consistency should be swapped with partnership and choice. The leader as a steward tells ‘purpose stories’ about their organization and relate those stories. They explain the reasons of the tasks that are required to be performed, the need for the organization to evolve, and the purpose of evolution. They learn to listen to other people, involve them, and develop vision — both individual and shared.

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