COVID-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.
- Document everything
- Have more structured meetings
- Align values with expectations
- Create ergonomic home offices
- Adopt a self-learning mentality
Let’s delve deeper into these best practices.
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.
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Product 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.:
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.
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.
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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In the wake of global pandemics when meeting face to face is not possible, it’s about facilitating workshops digitally, designing a formal agenda, and utilizing digital tools to ensure a productive virtual meeting. Digital Collaboration Platforms have been pivotal in the current scenario.
As a matter of fact, Digital Collaboration platforms have become a new norm and have forever transformed business work environment. Digital Facilitation tools are extensively used by facilitators, Change Management consultants, Organizational Development practitioners, and learning professionals as a way to collaborate on workshops, events, change initiatives, and learning programs.
Digital Workshop Facilitation can be categorized into the following 3 major types:
- Virtual Facilitation
In this type of Digital Facilitation, a group collaborates remotely in real time but from different locations. Common tools used are Zoom, GoToMeeting etc.
- Asynchronous Facilitation
In this facilitation method, a facilitator leads participants remotely at a different time and place. Common tools include Email, Slack etc.
- Face-to-Face Facilitation
In Face-to-Face facilitation, a facilitator interacts with a group of people in the same workshop space, in person. Digital tools can be used in such a setup instead of flip charts and sticky notes.
The new scenario brings forth new challenges in workshop facilitation that necessitate robust principles, methods, and tools for the future work environment to run smoothly. Understanding and adhering to the following best practices and principles in Digital Workshop Facilitation helps in attaining effective results just like face-to-face workshops:
- Specify well-defined guidelines and expectations.
- Form an assured environment to enable discourse.
- Ensure effective interaction before, during, and after a workshop.
- Ensure all voices are heard.
- Document the conversations.
- Alter the moderation approach based on the participants’ level of understanding.
- Seek comments and iterate.
Let us delve a little deeper into some of the principles:
1. Specify well-defined guidelines and expectations.
The remote nature of digital workshops limits the element of reacting to audience’s lack of attention. This warrants clear instructions regarding ground rules, both in writing and orally to compensate for this disadvantage. Participants need to use precise language in asking questions and answering them.
Instructions on technology and tools usage should be reiterated from time to time.
2. Form an assured environment to enable discourse.
Trusting participants in a virtual setting is difficult if you do not know them. It is the digital facilitator’s job to create conversation security in different ways. Spending time on icebreakers or other pre-engagement activities may ease the discomfort. Providing quick and positive feedback to those who actively contribute encourages shy participants and creates a positive environment. Informing the participants on how meetings are being documented and information on who has access to this documentation can reassure participants.
3. Ensure effective interaction before, during, and after a workshop.
Digital Facilitation platform can be used ahead of a meeting to help participants familiarize with each other, disseminate the agenda, initiate discussions, or obtain helpful information from the participants, such as questions, skill levels, ideas, etc. Digital Collaboration Platform should be the center of post-workshop activities, e.g., sharing documents, closing agendas, answering additional queries, and extended discussions.
4. Ensure all voices are heard.
Digital Workshop tools can facilitate participation of people who in a traditional workshop setup will not be able to participate due to dominance by a few individuals.
Interested in learning more about the Digital Workshop Facilitation principles, methods, and tools? You can download an editable PowerPoint on Virtual Work Digital Facilitation (Primer) here on the Flevy documents marketplace.
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Business environment has transformed drastically from what it was a century ago. It has become immensely challenging due to competition, disruptive technologies, laws, and globalization. These challenges warrant better performance to address customer needs and to survive—and outpace—intense competition. Consequently, organizations have become complex.
The work that individuals perform in an organization has also shifted from manual labor and clerical jobs to knowledge-based experiential tasks. Traditional workforce was required to adhere to commands and stick to routines, whereas today’s workforce needs to be more empowered, innovative, able to adapt to varying circumstances, and render sound judgment.
Adapting with the constantly changing business environment is essential for organizations aspiring to succeed in today’s competitive markets. In order to stay competitive, more and more organizations across the globe are undertaking Business Transformation programs to reorganize their businesses. However, a large percentage of such programs fail to achieve the desired outcomes.
For the Organizational Design to be successful, leaders need to be mindful of the revolutionized work settings and business environment of this age. One of the major factors attributed to these failure rates is utilizing traditional approaches to reorganization, which are proving ineffective in this digital age. These traditional approaches appreciate “level of control” and power, and underestimate the significance of employee autonomy and innovation.
The Smart Design Approach to Organization Design
Today’s Knowledge Economy necessitates the employees to be more empowered to decide on their own than merely following commands. People act in ways that are best for their own interests. The new approach to reorganization—termed Smart Organizational Design—aligns the workforce’s best interests with the organizational mission rather than seeking control over the employees. The focus is on changing the environment (context) and mindsets of employees willingly and instilling team work and cooperation, thereby enhancing organizational performance considerably.
The Smart Organizational Design approach entails classifying the existing workforce behaviors, ascertaining the desired behaviors critical to improve performance, and providing environment (context) favorable to develop new behaviors. The approach encompasses 3 main steps:
- Define why reorganization is necessary (objective)
- Determine the behaviors critical to support reorganization
- How to execute the Smart Organizational Design
Let’s dig deeper into the second step.
Determine the behaviors critical to support reorganization
The next step involves the leadership to determine the “what” element of the Smart Organizational Design approach—i.e., definition of certain behaviors critical to achieve the transformation purpose. Determining the desired behaviors necessitates thinking through the following 4 critical Smart Organizational Design aspects. These 4 design aspects work in tandem to shift the environment (context) for the workforce and motivate them to embrace the new behaviors crucial for improved performance:
- The Organizational Structure aspect—pertains to management reporting lines, spans of control, and layers of hierarchy.
- The Roles and Responsibilities aspect interprets individual and shared accountabilities to cultivate teamwork and cooperation.
- The Individual Talent aspect specifies the right skill set and motivation to perform responsibilities of each role effectively.
- The Organizational Enablers aspect outlines the elements necessary for creating the right context (environment) for embracing the desired behaviors, i.e., decision processes, performance management, and talent management.
Interested in learning more about the other step of the Smart Organizational Design approach and the factors critical for its success? You can download an editable PowerPoint on Smart Organizational Design here on the Flevy documents marketplace.
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Organizations are continually searching for innovative ways of enhancing competitiveness. This is brought about by evolving external factors such as changing demographics, globalization, and technology. Because of changing dynamics, it has required managers to rapidly rethink and retool their organizational management strategies.
Coming up with the appropriate strategies calls for an increasing need for organizational diagnosis in developing and maintaining a competitive advantage. Researchers believe that in conducting organizational diagnosis, organizational effectiveness must be viewed from a systems perspective using a multidimensional approach in assessing the factors affecting enterprise performance management.
At this point wherein the role of organizational climate in business performance has become significant, there is a need for a business model that is most influential. To date, the Burke-Litwin Change Model is the best known and most influential model suitable when it comes to organizational climate.
A Quick Look at Burke-Litwin Change Model
The Burke-Litwin Change Model is seen as a conceptual framework that can best describe the relationships between different features of the organization, as well as its context and effectiveness.
According to Burke and Litwin (1992), Change Management models are not meant to be prescriptive. They are meant to provide a means to diagnose, plan, and manage change. Using the Burke-Litwin Change Model will provide organizations an effective diagnostic tool to improve overall organizational performance. It is a useful model for understanding the organizational change process.
The Burke-Litwin Change Model, as a change management tool, assumes 12 organizational elements that determine a change within an organization.
The Burke-Litwin Change Model 12 Drivers
The 12 key drivers of the Burke-Litwin Change Model interact with and affect each other. The change in the 12 key drivers brings about a series of changes in the structure, practices, and the system of the organization.
The 12 key drivers have been organized based on their specific roles within the organization.
- External Environment. The External Environment is the external influences important fo organizational changes. These are the economy, customer behavior, competition, politics, and legislation.
Throughput: Transformational Drivers. Transformational Drivers are those that make up the fundamental structure of an organization. It relates to the organization as a whole. There are 3 Transformational Drivers.
The 3 key drivers have over-riding importance of dealing with a change that is intended to share up “the way things are done around here.”
Throughput: Transactional Drivers
Transactional drivers are drivers that are more easily changed, but rarely have the same kind of impact on organization-wide performance. This concerns daily activities that take place in organizations and their mutual cohesion. There are 7 Transactional Drivers.
- Management Practices
- Work Climate
- Task and Individual Skills
- Individual Needs and Values
The Transactional Drivers can affect performance. However, performance can only be long-lasting if these key drivers are aligned. The 7 key drivers are critical in their role of supporting the change process.
Individual and Organizational Performance is the 12th key driver. It is the outcome of the change.
The 12th Key Driver: The Individual and Organizational Performance
The only thing that is constant is change. As output changes, so does the input and the factors of change. Individual and Organizational Performance is the measure of the effectiveness of the change. It measures the performance levels of both the individual employee and on the departmental and organizational level.
Individual and Organizational Performance can be measured on the basis of turnover, productivity, quality requirements, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. This is the key driver that impacts on the external environment.
Interested in gaining more understanding of the Burke-Litwin Change Model? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about the Burke-Litwin Change Model here on the Flevy documents marketplace.
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Never before has Crisis Management been considered important. With businesses being exposed to a disruptive environment, the emphasis on Crisis Management has never been more profound.
“The secret of Crisis Management is not good vs. bad, it’s preventing the bad from getting worse.”- Andy Gilman of Comm Core Consulting Group
An organization is considered to be undergoing a crisis when there is a sudden and unexpected event leading to major unrest amongst the individuals at the workplace. It is an emergency situation that disturbs the employees as well as leads to the instability of the organization. When this occurs, organizations are expected to have critical documentation and process, e.g. Crisis Management Plan, Disaster Recovery Plan, Business Continuity Plan, etc., in place.
Crisis Management is the art of dealing with these sudden and unexpected events which disturb the employees and organization. Yet, often companies are like the metaphorical frog that doesn’t notice the water it is in is warming up until it is too late. There are managers who either do not realize that they are in a crisis or their crisis situation is worsening. The early signs of distress are often missed. While they are not bad managers, these are managers that are under a set of paradigms that no longer apply and just let the power of inertia carry them along.
As a result, organizations in crisis find themselves faced with a potential cost that is greatly significant. This can lead to longer recovery time, a direct impact on downtime, and lost revenue.
First Things First: Taking a Good Handle of Crisis Management
Crisis Management is the application of strategies to enable organizations to deal with a disruptive and unexpected event that threatens to harm the organization or its stakeholders. It is a situation-based management system with clear roles, responsibilities, and processes. In Crisis Management, it requires a crisis mindset. A crisis mindset is the ability to think of the worst-case scenario while simultaneously suggesting numerous solutions.
Being well prepared for a crisis is the epitome of Crisis Management. It ensures a rapid and adequate response to a crisis and maintaining clear lines of reporting and communication in the event of crisis.
Yet, often the organization and communication involved in responding to a crisis in a timely fashion provide the most challenge to business. Responding to crisis in the most effective way can be done by taking the 10 First Steps.
The 10 strategic First Steps are the organization’s guide when in crisis and there is a strong call toward initiating organizational change.
- Establish a Wide Perception of Distress
- Establish a Crisis Mindset
- Activate the Board as a Crisis Detector
- Change Top-Team Members
The first 4 steps will widen one’s understanding of distress and move people to actions at the time of crisis. It is at this stage that the Board will be empowered to see the forest for the trees and can enable organizations to focus on tough movers that can successfully make organizational changes.
The 5th step focuses on Change Management.
- Communicate a Great Changed Story
Communicating a Great Changed Story can create positive motivation to spur action towards change. When Change Management starts evolving, the organization is now ready to advance towards Business Transformation.
The 6th to 9th steps focus on Business Transformation.
- Integrate Trigger Points
- Have a Strong Cash Position
- Focus on Quick Wins
- Make Target-focused Incentive Plans
Business Transformation starts when trigger points are integrated and a strong cash position is maintained. Management can focus on quick wins to create a trajectory effect to spur actions and develop target-focused Incentive Plans to achieve a successful turnaround.
The 10th and final step is sustaining the gains through effective Talent Strategy.
- Retain your Talent
The final step is Retaining your Talent. It is recognizing those that can make a difference and finding the next level of talent that can create and sustain change.
Organizations can build its Crisis Management capability following the 10 first steps. Crisis Management is not anymore a matter of choice; it has become a necessity.
Interested in gaining more understanding of the first 10 steps to surviving a crisis? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Crisis Management: 10 First Steps here on the Flevy documents marketplace.
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Most Transformation initiatives fail to achieve their anticipated objectives.
Change Management is all about engaging and rallying people — at all levels in the organization — to make the transition and sustain that change. It is critical to ensure that the entire workforce is eager and ready to embrace the required new behaviors. More often than not, the technical side of a change initiative is well planned, but it’s the implementation part that fails — particularly, changing the mindsets and behaviors of the entire workforce to enable change to stick.
Managing change is not an occasional affair; it is an iterative process that works on motivating human behavior to accept and adjust to a desired state of mind. The process is naturally evolving as it adapts in accordance with the feedback from the people.
Change Management demands a thorough yet organized approach to enable the “people side” of change to work — essential for accommodating and sustaining Business Transformations. This entails assisting people incorporate new mindsets, processes, policies, practices, and behaviors.
A methodical approach to make the entire workforce accept and support change constitutes 8 critical levers:
- Defining the Change
- Creating a Shared Need
- Developing a Shared Vision
- Leading the Change
- Engaging and Mobilizing Stakeholders
- Creating Accountability
- Aligning Systems and Structures
- Sustaining the Change
Now, let’s discuss the first 4 levers in detail.
1. Defining the Change
The first step entails outlining the rationale, scope, and results of the change initiative for the enterprise, key departments, and roles. There is a need to define critical elements, including the requirements from the initiative, the execution planning, and the adjustments needed to encourage people to work better.
The project sponsors need to clearly outline the essence of the proposed Transformation initiative, to realistically embed Change Management into the design of the program, and develop effective Change Management plans. An initial baseline of the expected effect of the program on people should be performed. The baseline also helps analyze the impact of the change program — in terms of skills inventory, head-count indications, adjustments in accountabilities and relationships, shifts in incentives and pay structures, and future learning needs.
2. Creating a Shared Need
Once the change and its impact has been delineated, the next thing to do is to create a shared understanding of the rationale for Transformation across the organization. To create a shared need for the Transformation endeavor, the change sponsor needs to build awareness of the necessity for change amongst the senior team, key stakeholders, and the entire organization; demonstrate to the people the benefits of change; and set up a feedback mechanism across the organization. The alignment afforded by developing a shared need for change helps build a strong footing for Transformation.
3. Developing a Shared Vision
An essential element of implementing transformation entails delineating a clear vision that outlines critical actions and the anticipated outcomes. It helps in encouraging and involving the workforce in the Transformation initiative, giving them a sense of purpose by becoming a part of something bigger. The vision of the organization after Transformation should be coherent with the company values and mission.
4. Leading the Change
This lever entails developing change leadership and implementation skills needed to drive and enable sustainable change. Engagement and commitment of senior leaders is essential for leading change. They are responsible for planning their and the entire workforce’s actions, demonstrating or role modeling the new mindsets and actions, designating program sponsors — e.g., business unit leaders who are enthusiastic about the Transformation initiative and also act as change agents — motivating others to support transformation, and setting up a road map for the change leaders to steer the organization to achieve the anticipated performance milestones.
Interested in learning more about these levers to Change Management? You can download an editable PowerPoint on 8 Levers to Change Management here on the Flevy documents marketplace.
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Big corporations, by nature, maneuver like battleships. Held back by their own inertia and current business strategies, turning quickly can be difficult when the competitive environment changes. Likewise, high performance as measured by shareholder returns is impossible to sustain over a long period of time. No company consistently beats the market.
A recent in-depth study of long-term performance, however, suggests an alternative point of view about business strategy. A few large companies outperform peers when the measure of performance is profitability. They maintain this performance edge even during a significant business change in their competitive environments. Agility is one factor that differentiates them from others.
Agile companies adapt business change more quickly and reliably than competitors. Even as battleships, they have learned to turn quickly as speedboats. Learning the routines of agility makes them be at the forefront of competition.
The Link Between Agility and Performance
A survey was conducted to determine the link between agility and performance. The survey was focused on determining the way organizations formulated strategy, designed their structures and processes, led their people, and made changes and innovation.
More than 4,700 Directors and Executives from 56 companies were surveyed, of which 34 companies were Fortune 500 firms.
The survey was able to find out that when markets and technologies changed rapidly and unpredictably, the outperformers had the capability to anticipate and respond to events, solve problems, and implement change. As such, this enables Agile companies to easily adapt. Agility is not just the ability to change – it is a cultivated capability that enables organizations to respond in a timely, effective, and sustainable way when changing circumstances require it.
Many an Agile organization involves 4 complementary sets of activities, what we will call Agile Activity Groups.
The 4 Agile Activity Groups to Managing an Agile Company
- Dynamic Strategy Development. This is having a clear, relevant, and shared strategy that is undertaken with 3 key activities integrated within the strategy.
- Market Environment Response. This ensures an effective response to the implications of outside signals. Market Environment Response provides an accurate sense of what is going on in the environment.
- Response Refinement. This encourages innovation and tolerates failures. These are insights refined from the perceiving routing with a relatively high number of low-cost experiments.
- Change Management. Change Management is the mastery of internal program management capabilities needed to convert successful test and innovations into widespread practice. It builds the company’s capability to adopt unambiguous commitment with speed, certainty, and precision.
With the 4 Agile Activity Groups, Competitive Advantage is gained through an ongoing series of advantages that exploit current business conditions.
Interested in gaining more understanding of 4 Agile Activity Groups? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Agile Activity Groups here on the Flevy documents marketplace.
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Most Product Managers have relatively narrow roles and decision rights on product portfolios are fragmented on various functions. This creates incoherence between a company’s product and its overall Corporate Strategy.
What is needed is more accountable decision rights that align responsibility for results to one person who also has cross-functional decision-making authority. This realignment is at the core of Strong-form Product Management.
What is Product Management
Product Management is an organizational lifecycle function within a company. Product Management deals with the planning, forecasting, production, and marketing of the product or products at all stages of the product lifecycle.
The Product Life Cycle (PLM) Management integrates people, data, processes, and business systems. It provides product information for companies and their extended supply chain enterprise. One of the ultimate goals of Product Management is to optimize the business at the product, product line or product portfolio level over the lifecycle of the products.
Taking a Cautionary Case in Point: Understanding What Happened to Research in Motion (RIM)
In April 2007, Research in Motion (RIM) was flying high. The Blackberry creator was coming off its best year ever. RIM was experiencing record revenues, record earnings per share, and record shipments. And there was a new reason to be optimistic: Apple had just introduced the iPhone and RIM executives took it for granted that their product—a runaway hit in the business world—would grab a huge share of the burgeoning consumer market as well.
However, the confidence proved to be ill-founded. The iPhone reversed the historical pattern of computer technologies flowing from the enterprise to the consumer market.
RIM is compelling as a cautionary tale but it is not unique. Many companies falter in the face of discontinuous change. Their failure usually stems from their inability to keep up with technological shifts or the complexity of their product lines. Though often seen as a breakdown at the enterprise level, this starts at a much more granular level, with ineffective Product Management.
A Strong-form Model could have kept RIM stay ahead of change and remain competitive.
The Strong-form Product Management Model
The 5 steps to Strong-form Product Management will keep competition at bay.
- Hire Product Managers with Proper Skills
We need to understand that intrinsic abilities are required by Product Managers. These are the abilities to make a judgment to understand trade-offs, anticipate market changes, and make savvy business decisions.
- Create Financial Transparency to the Product Level
Companies must realize that a given product may be siphoning revenue from more profitable products. Increase in costs from suppliers that are managed by another function may cause hidden opportunity costs or out-and-out profit surprises. The creation of Financial Transparency down to the product level can address these concerns.
- Implement Product-first Decision-making Processes
There is a need to broaden decision rights and increasing accountability of Product Managers for performance and results. Product Managers have a “first among equals” status.
- Develop Strong Customer Relations
Product Manager must translate customer insights into product improvement and new products.
- Encourage Cross-functional Collaboration
Strong-form Product Management is inherently cross-functional. Communication is essential in developing the relationships between marketing and product management.
In all these steps, the Strong-form Product Manager must be the center of knowledge. However, Product Managers must also realize that the adoption of a Strong-form Product Management Approach requires taking Change Management initiatives.
Undertaking a Change Management initiative can take years to implement. Success can be achieved when anchored on basic principles of Change Management. However, once this is put in place, significant opportunities arise as companies move from strategy to execution.
Interested in gaining more understanding of the Strong-form Product Management Model? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Strong-form Product Management Model here on the Flevy documents marketplace.
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In a recent update to Flevy, the documents marketplace has allowed select contributors to offer complimentary documents. However, it takes some digging to find these free offers. Here, we present 5:
Introduction to Strategy
What is Strategy? This 20-slide presentation provides an introduction to strategy, separating out the concepts of Corporate Strategy vs. Business (Unit) Strategy.
Introduction to Operational Excellence
This 48-slide presentation provides a high-level introduction to Operational Excellence. It explains the four building blocks: Strategy Deployment, Performance Management, Process Excellence, and High Performance Work Teams.
A Practical Framework Approach to Change
This presentation presents a flavour of some of the more necessary change components and associated tools & techniques that will require consideration during any change initiative.
Lean Thinking 101
This 32-page presentation that explains the Lean management philosophy, based on the Toyota Production System (TPS).
Delta Model Primer
The Delta Model is a growth strategy framework developed by MIT/Sloan professors to help managers in the articulation and implementation of effective corporate and business strategies.