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Currently viewing the tag: "Leadership"

opportunity 2Potential opportunities always surround leaders.  It is up to them to pounce on those or regret overlooking them, when someone else takes advantage of them.

Leaders’ personal beliefs and assumptions often clash reality.  The trait is categorized as “confirmation bias” in Psychology, where individuals pick the data that supports their existing opinions and approaches and doubt information which defies their mindsets.  Leadership needs to develop themselves to the level to consider the slight hints of the opportunities surrounding them.

There are 10 hidden strategic opportunities that—exist in all businesses and geographies but—are often overlooked by the leadership due to personal biases.  These opportunities go unnoticed because they are often disguised in the form of anomalies and contradictions to leaders’ existing beliefs and assumptions.  It’s up to the leaders to control personal bias; explore anomalies; and develop capabilities to uncover and seize these 10 Hidden Strategic Opportunities before rivals do.

In this article, we will discuss the first 3 strategic opportunities.

Opportunity 1: Assuming a product already exists, but actually it doesn’t.

Most people assume that a certain product already exists.  Its only when an organization ventures into that segment—with a new value proposition—that people realize that there was a void there.  Such gaps are there in almost all industries, but only visionaries are able to recognize and capitalize on them—through innovation and creative product development.  A number of well-known inventions—e.g., tablet computers—were thought to have already existed, but actually didn’t.

For instance, Kate Brosnahan, accessories editor for Mademoiselle magazine, realized in the 1990s that the handbag market lacked stylish yet economical functional bags.  The market at the time was replete with expensive but impractical bags from top designers and functional bags deficient in style.  Kate left her job and founded Kate Spade LLC, with her partner Andy Spade.  Together they began creating fabric handbags which were practical as well as trendy.  Soon, their products started getting appreciation from customers, including media icons.

Opportunity 2: Customer Experience should be anything but strenuous, costly, or irritating (but most of the time it is).

Fragmented and delayed customer experience results in customer churn.  Annoyance caused by poor Customer Experience presents potential strategic opportunity to win customers by fixing it.  They are able to see the bigger picture and strive hard to relieve customers’ aggravation and offer exemplary Customer Experience.

For instance, creation of Netflix Inc. was the result of Reed Hastings having to pay a fine of $40 as late fee for a rented video cassette he had lost.  Leading organizations, such as Netflix, offer quality offerings and provide their customers seamless, quick, and pleasing experiences.

Opportunity 3. An item is often priced low only because not many people know about it.

Hidden merits of a location offers an opportunity for sharp people to invest in for future appreciation.  One of the reasons for inexpensive resources or items is the lack of their awareness and cognizance of their true potential among people.  When people recognize the potential of a property or resource, its price rises steeply.

Interested in learning more about the other hidden strategic opportunities?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on 10 Hidden Strategic Opportunities 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 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

9920145277?profile=RESIZE_400xEarly 2000s saw a change of mind regarding the Globalization of commerce by members of the political and economic arenas.  This change of mind was instigated by myths perpetuated against commerce Globalization because of the dichotomy that appeared between existing Operating Models of companies and needs of the emerging markets.

These perceived trade-offs that were myths included ideas like choosing between centrally-controlled Operating Model and local responsiveness model.

Proponents of the central model had the view that intellectual power and Innovation capability had to be centralized, all products and services brought in line everywhere, foregoing catering to diverse needs and demands of customers in every emerging market.

The converse view was that in order to have locally applicable distribution systems, proactive Supply Chains, and reduced costs of emerging-market management, it was necessary to devolve the company and operation as a loose federation.

This trade-off incompatibility was addressed by the Hub Strategy where, in place of a single center, companies set up principal office “hubs” in as many of the 20 gateway countries of the world as required—a global corporate structure with no headquarters.

These 20 gateway countries represent 70% of the world population and generate 80% of the world income.  The gateway countries include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States from the developed economies.  Rest of the 10 are emerging markets of Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, and Turkey.

This new Business Model covers both the recognized advantages of developed markets and the possibilities of emerging economies.  A model that handles decentralization, centralization, existing practices, and possible disruptions not as trade-offs, but as complements.

It is, however, important to understand that for the model to have its full impact, 3 core pillars have to be integrated and pursued simultaneously.  The 3 Pillars of Globalization are:

  1. Customization
  2. Unity
  3. Arbitrage

Only business leadership that has taught itself and its teams to be very careful about where to customize, how to develop capabilities, and what to arbitrage are the ones reaping benefits from this model.

Let us delve a little deeper into the details of the 3-pillar Business Model.

Customization

Variation in needs, wants, and cultures of consumers makes it impossible to customize centrally.  Providing products and services in a locally competitive manner is therefore central to become a global enterprise.

Customization entails fulfilling the requirements and wants of varied consumers, in areas such as product or service features, affordability, and cultural alignment.  Hub Strategy provides the leverage to fulfill this demand by enabling companies to customize only in the 20 gateway countries.

Unity

Unity entails worldwide alignment of the company with, a unified central purpose, a body of exclusive first-rate knowledge, and capabilities that differentiate the company from all others.

Core purpose must be understood in the same manner by all functions of the company, in every geographical location.

Arbitrage

Arbitrage is a methodical initiative that consists of increasing effectiveness and Cost Reduction by discovering materials, manufacturing methods, logistics practices, funds sourcing, or infrastructure that are less expensive.

Interested in learning more about the 3 Pillars of Globalization and its Case examples?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on 3 Pillars of Globalization 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 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

Lead1Evaluation and onboarding of outstanding leaders is anything but straightforward.  Almost all organizations have set up testing mechanisms or assessment centers to distinguish senior leadership candidates having traits that make up for Exceptional Leaders.  These assessment centers shortlist leaders based on certain indicators and criteria.

However, these assessments are not always accurate in predicting the best leaders.  At times, the entire evaluation exercise results in drafting mediocre leaders and fails to select top influencers and role models for the organization.  The traditional methods of gauging senior leaders prove inadequate based, typically, on 3 common flaws:

  • Granularity – Gauging the candidates for leadership positions using the profiles of successful leaders from the past. Those profiles are not meaningful considering the pace of change today and the future needs of the organization.
  • Long-term Focus – Assessment of candidates based on the traits required to reap the fruits of Business Strategy in 5 years’ time is another ground for not identifying the right leaders.
  • Emphasis on finding typical leadership traits – Instead of looking for traits that separate exceptional leaders from the pack, most assessments are geared towards finding typical leadership traits.

Research by PwC—spanning over a period of 10 years with a sample size of 2500 senior executives, who remained a part of C-suite successions in large organizations—reveals that the common flaws in leadership assessment methods can be confronted methodically.  To find the best C-level executives, leadership evaluations should focus on identifying candidates possessing the following 4 key traits that are typical only of the top C-level executives:

  1. Simplification & Operationalization of Complexity
  2. Drive Enterprise-wide Ambition & Change
  3. Strong Teamwork
  4. Leader Building

Let’s dive deeper into these traits.

Simplification & Operationalization of Complexity

In today’s world of disruption, organizations face new challenges on a day-to-day basis.  Exceptional leaders have the ability to process tremendous volumes of information and simplify things fairly easily.  Leaders who truly standout are well-versed in tackling confusion and learn promptly.  They are great at:

  • Interpreting complexities and creating simplified operational descriptions around them for others’ understanding.
  • Developing visions to influence people and rally them around the shared objectives.
  • Developing & implementing actionable plans to achieve objectives.
  • Developing functional and dynamic storylines encompassing the agenda that demonstrates how the company will execute its strategy. These storylines consistently remind the people to concentrate on the things that matter most to the company (e.g. customers, products).
  • Creating and disseminating robust communication plans—highlighting how their company is best suited to face the challenges of disruption—that are consistently analyzed and improved upon.

Drive Enterprise-wide Ambition & Change

People in an organization often operate in groups.  These groups consider people outside their circle as competitors or “outsiders.”  This tribal mentality is detrimental for an organization and inculcates individual thinking—focusing only on personal / group targets—and debilitates the ability to operate outside one’s comfort zone.  Exceptional leaders have the skills to:

  • Make people come out of this tribal or siloed mentality and think collectively in terms of realizing organizational objectives.
  • Understand different mindsets and know how to influence them constructively.
  • Make people realize their contribution towards the bigger, organizational perspective and work towards achieving their business unit targets rather than personal performance objectives.

Strong Teamwork

Nobody can undermine or deny the importance of teamwork.  Much has been written on the subject. However, in reality, most teams do not quite understand the spirit and commitment fundamental to develop teamwork.

Exceptional leaders:

  • Are aware of the importance of teamwork and collective leadership. They consistently challenge their people to ponder over ways to achieve not only personal but also the strategic organizational objectives.
  • Work with teams to uncover prioritized initiatives critical for organizational growth.
  • Lead their teams and make informed strategic decisions.
  • Focus more on the strategic planning front than tactical way before they reach the C level.
  • Emphasize to the teams the significance of spending time discussing / developing strategy and devising plans.
  • Focus on maximizing the effectiveness of each individual to benefit the organization.

Interested in learning more about the traits of outstanding leaders?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Exceptional Leadership 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 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

Obstacle 1Agile is a robust approach to value creation.  More and more organizations are adopting Agile Software Development approach.

Becoming Agile is imperative to meet and exceed customer expectations and emerging business trends.  Implementing the Agile approach to Software Development leverages significant benefits, including:

  • Rapid design and development of new product and service offerings
  • Revolutionizing processes
  • Managing talent
  • Reforming organizations

However, Agile alone is not enough.  Agile Transformation can slip-up as Agile teams can stagger while working together and depending on others.  In order to become an effective Digital organization, companies have to steer clear of the obstacles that bog down the rapid progress of Agile software development.  These organizational obstacles to Agile include:

  1. Rigid Technology Architecture
  2. Poor Talent Management
  3. Lack of Product Mindset

Overcoming these barriers necessitates sincere harmonization, persistent effort, and commitment from the business and technology leadership.  Anticipating and addressing these major organizational obstacles is integral to becoming Agile.

Let’s discuss these obstacles in detail.

Rigid Technology Architecture

Using and expanding the same old codes and plugging gaps with software patches renders the IT Architecture cumbersome and unyielding, at most organizations.  Many organizations have outdated systems to manage operations and facilitate their customers.  The integration of these outdated systems with modern applications and IT architecture isn’t easy, making them inflexible.  Most of these systems and aps are inter-reliant and connected.  A small change in a code has serious implications on other connected applications.

IT executives have to consider a number of factors before modernizing their IT architecture.  These factors include potential value envisaged from the new architecture, requirement for new functionalities, risk of disruption, complications involved in the process, extent of fragmented data, and costs.  Based on thorough evaluation of these factors, executives select one of these 4 common approaches to revolutionize their IT architecture:

  • InactionThe investment in overhauling certain applications is thought to be nonviable as their impact is considered insignificant in the overall architecture.
  • IntegrateUncover the old system’s essential function / elements and connect them with modern systems using interfaces (APIs).
  • OverhaulModify the design of applications—e.g. dissecting the code into distinct, autonomous sections and eliminating any hard-coded values.
  • ReplaceDesign innovative applications and deploy latest architecture (e.g. micro-services).

Poor Talent Management

Most leaders understand the importance of finding and staffing top talent in becoming Agile.  However, outdated HR Management practices at some organizations become a major hurdle in attracting and retaining talented individuals.  The issue with IT management at most technology firms in the recent past was their shortcoming in visualizing the problems through a business perspective.  This led to the depletion of technical capabilities due to hiring of more and more people with strong business sense, but inadequate technological prowess.

Another factor compounding the talent deficit is entrusting the hiring function to external contractors by scores of IT organizations.  This practice, although, assists in staffing talent and gaining new capabilities promptly, but diverts much of the executives’ time in supervising the external contractors.  This leaves little time for them to acquire new technical skills and gives the contractors too much control over innovation.  Outsourcing the software maintenance to 3rd parties is another factor that leads to poor accountability and Talent Management.

To mitigate these issues, technology companies need to transform, strengthen their technical capabilities, eliminate dependencies on 3rd parties, and clearly define responsibilities.

Interested in learning more about the obstacles to becoming Agile?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on 3 Organizational Obstacles to Agile 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 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

Change4With most Transformation initiatives people gradually revert back to their old habits of doing things.  Sustainable Change Management necessitates 4 key processes:

  • Chartering—defining the scope, rationale, and team for the change initiative.
  • Learning—testing and refining ideas before a full-blown execution of the initiative.
  • Mobilizing—using symbols and metaphors to engage people and gain their buy-in for the change program.
  • Realigning—redefining the roles and responsibilities and managing performance of the initiative and the people driving it.

These processes are critical to enable an Organizational Culture which encourages execution of lasting change.

In addition to these key processes, for the change to entrench into the organizational fabric, Leadership needs to put in place the environment necessary for the people to embrace and own the new processes, systems, and desired behaviors.

The 4 critical processes aid in creating the enabling conditions necessary for institutionalizing change in the organization.  These enabling conditions for sustainable Change take place in 3 settings:

  1. Structural Context
  2. Procedural Context
  3. Emotional Context

The environment for sustainable change must be put in place way before the actual execution of the Transformation initiative.  These enabling conditions encompass making changes to the organization’s structure, procedures, and sentiments / behaviors.

Let’s dive deeper into the 3 conditions critical to enable sustainable change in the institution.

Structural Context

The first element of the enabling environment requires the change leadership to work on reshaping the organizational structure.  The 4 key processes have a direct bearing on the organization’s structure.  Their effect pervades over:

  • The organization’s hierarchy and reporting lines.
  • Compensations, benefits, and rewards systems.
  • Monitoring and control systems.

The Structural Context significantly affects the way employees’ work and expend their time and their interest in certain types of projects.

The structural context is altered during the Realigning process of Transformation in the way new personnel practices are employed.  The Learning process informs the redefinition of linkage between the leadership and field staff.  The Mobilizing process informs the changes to be made in the roles and responsibilities of the management and front-line people—through storytelling and metaphors.  Whereas, the Chartering process helps instill a reformed, team-building culture in the organization.  Together, these changes in the structural context cascade down across the organization.

Procedural Context

The Procedural context pertains to a feeling of objectivity and authenticity of new processes and systems.  The Procedural environment involves the perception of people that their views are taken seriously and acted upon while designing and implementing a new initiative.

Procedural authenticity is critical in gaining commitment from the employees on initiatives that were not validated by them earlier.   It involves belief of the people that the change initiative integrates well with the philosophies of the organization and the way business should be done.  It makes the people feel heard, ensures trustworthiness of the change leadership through positive track records and effective decision making abilities, and alignment of the change initiative with the core values of the organization.

Interested in learning more about the other enabling conditions mandatory for institutionalizing change?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Conditions for Sustainable Change here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Did 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

change2Initiatives aimed at improving performance are often launched with great uproar, costing an organization significant investments.  Such initiatives necessitate extensive changes in the Organizational Culture and the way the enterprise systems and processes function.

However, most initiatives fall short of realizing success.  Decades of scholarly research on Change Management reveals that the issues that contribute the most to the failure of strategic initiatives are:

  • Incompetence in sustaining process improvement.
  • Lack of trust on senior leadership.
  • Failure to embrace new ways of doing business.
  • Performance relapse.
  • Inability of the initiative to produce any positive financial returns.
  • Skepticism towards the desired behaviors and return of impractical employee behaviors.

Researchers have carried out scores of studies to isolate the drivers of lasting change.  Research published in MIT SMR in 2005 discusses how leadership can design and execute Transformation initiatives that bring lasting changes in the organization.  The study entailed in-depth analysis of the strategic Customer Service Enhancement (CSE) initiative undertaken by a large clothing retailer, having franchises in multiple geographic locations.

The researchers conducted 20 semi-structured interviews with leaders, in-store operations and support function managers.  Detailed notes of the interviews were shared amongst the researchers alongside an exhaustive literature review.  A case study of the initiative was prepared using independent research to have an unprejudiced viewpoint, free from any bias.  Feedback from the organization’s management was gathered and incorporated throughout the study to seek clarifications or corrections.  Data analysis was carried out employing a coding scheme developed using Atlas.ti tool.  Comparative analysis was conducted and similarities and differences in conclusions were discussed.

The study brought to light 4 key processes necessary for change to stick in an organization.   These key processes assist in laying the foundation for successful institutionalization of change initiatives by creating a company-wide culture that encourages enduring change:

  1. Chartering
  2. Learning
  3. Mobilizing
  4. Realigning

Let’s delve deeper into the first 2 processes.

Chartering

Chartering is a process through which an enterprise classifies the purpose, scope, and the way people interact with each other on a strategic initiative.  Clear delineation of project boundaries, resources, responsibilities, and reporting lines are the elements integral for the success of a change initiative.

The Chartering process entails 2 critical components:

  • Boundary Setting
  • Team Design

Boundary Setting involves the key steps a team takes for accurate definition of change initiative’s scope.

The project team should clearly outline the problem(s) that the project is, and isn’t, going to tackle.  Ideally, while designing and executing a change initiative, the focus of the engagement should be on confronting the most crucial problem area.  The leadership should ensure not to confuse the core team by eyeing too many priorities to deal with through the strategic initiative.

The Team Design element of Chartering involves ascertaining the roles, accountabilities, and guiding principles for team’s collaboration.  Team design entails creating ground rules for team members to interact, devising mechanisms to manage conflicts.  The leadership needs to not only maintain diversity of the project team’s expertise, but also ensure they complement each other, and inculcate a standardized approach to decision making in project teams.  There needs to be fostered a culture of positive discourse and testing ideas amongst the team members.  Incorporating these guidelines helps spark thinking, learning, and decision making.

Learning

Learning aids in anticipating and dealing with hurdles during implementation of Transformation initiatives.  Learning enables the managers to improve the quality of the new processes.  it is a process through which managers develop, test, and refine ideas before full-scale implementation.  The process entails 2 critical components:

  • Discovery
  • Experimentation
For more information on Learning and Development and how to elevate your organization into a Learning Organization, check out the frameworks and tools on Flevy here: https://flevy.com/business-toolkit/learning-organization

The discovery element involves gathering data to identify the objectives of the change initiative and outlining ways to achieve those objectives.  Before rolling out a complete implementation of a change initiative, testing and refining the individual elements of the initiative immensely assists in the success of the initiative.  Gathering adequate information relevant to the initiative, setting up baseline metrics to measure performance, and identifying issues hampering customer satisfactions are the key aspects of this phase.  The team should learn from the failures of prior initiatives, introduce change in a systemic fashion rather than piecemeal, and encourage people to change rationally as well as emotionally.

Interested in learning more about the other processes critical for change to stick?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on 4 Processes of Sustainable Change here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Did 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

Stock image 2 - Quality 4.0The introduction of emerging, digital technologies has ushered in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  To keep the competitive advantage in this era of Digital Transformation, leveraging contemporary technology is an absolute necessity.  Using cutting-edge technology means not just augmenting, but in fact, revamping the whole Quality outlook.

Quality 4.0 is the complimentary Quality approach to the Industry 4.0 era.   Quality 4.0 is about transforming and improving Organizational Culture, collaboration, competency, and Leadership Development among other things through the application of technology.

Quality 4.0 is characterized by:

  • Transforming and improving culture, collaboration, competency, and leadership through the application of technology.
  • Digital Transformation of Management Systems and compliance.
  • Enabling technology and processes necessary to maximize value, resolve customary Quality impediments, and provide innovative solutions.

Quality 4.0 is not just about Digitalization, but more importantly about the impact of that Digitalization on Quality technology, processes, and people.

Companies can use the 11 pillars of Quality 4.0 Framework to identify how the existing capabilities and initiatives can be transformed and then educate, plan, and act accordingly.  The framework uses the traditional Quality methods to build upon and improve them.  The 11 pillars of Quality 4.0 include:

  1. Data
  2. Analytics
  3. Connectivity
  4. Collaboration
  5. App Development
  6. Scalability
  7. Management Systems
  8. Compliance
  9. Culture
  10. Leadership
  11. Competency

The majority of the companies are still not in a position to take leverage of Quality 4.0.  This warrants making investments in improving traditional Quality and bringing themselves in a position where they can spring up to use Quality 4.0 to prepare for the future.

There are strong interrelationships between the pillars of Quality 4.0, and adding new capabilities to certain pillars facilitates new applications on other pillars.  Let us delve a little deeper into a few of these pillars

1. Data and 2. Analytics

Data and Analytics form the first 2 pillars.  Data is key to informed decision making.  Most companies are still using fragmented data while the innovating market leaders have progressed to taking leverage of Big Data.  Data can be better understood by understanding its 5 components:  Volume, Variety, Velocity, Veracity, and Transparency.

Analytics help reveal the insights contained within raw data.  Correct metrics are key to uncovering correlations and patterns—meaningful information.  Big Data Analytics using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence is beneficial if the Analytics Framework—comprising Descriptive, Diagnostic, Predictive, and Prescriptive Analytics—is understood clearly.

3. Connectivity

Connectivity encompasses the link between Business Information Technology—e.g., Enterprise Quality Management Systems (EQMS), Product Life-cycle Management (PLM), Enterprise Resource Planning—and Operational Technology that is used in Manufacturing, Labs, and Services.  Connectivity is achieved through abundant and inexpensive sensors providing real-time feedback from Connected People, products, edge devices, and processes.

4. Scalability

Scalability creates uniformity in Quality.  It is the ability to harmonize processes, best practices, competencies, and lessons learnt across the organization, be it global.  Cloud Computing has played a pivotal role in harnessing scalability by providing Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Solution (PaaS), and connection of databases.

The reality of the future is Quality 4.0.  It is being adopted very swiftly.  Those who remain unfamiliar with it or are slow to adopt run the risk of being marginalized very quickly.

Interested in learning more about Quality 4.0? You can download an editable PowerPoint on Quality 4.0 here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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Recruitment 2Mediocre people occupying senior leadership positions is one of the chief reasons for the fiasco and humiliation that organizations like Enron and WorldCom faced.  The practice of recruiting average people at the top is omnipresent and often goes unnoticed until the results begin to surface, which is typically too late for any intervention.

Smart people decisions matter a lot in achieving profitability.  Research indicates that a return on average human asset of 5% is typical in many industries.  However, a senior executive selection of 2 standard deviations below the average yields -15% return on asset.  An executive selection with 2 standard deviations above average causes +25% return, which is 5 times the average.  Increased investment in finding and hiring the best senior executives fetches returns to the magnitude of 1000%.

Attracting and selecting the best people for senior leadership positions isn’t a small feat.  The future of organizations depend on it.  However, the Human Resource Management function at most organizations fail in getting the right people at the top.  The decision to hire at the senior positions necessitates deliberate effort and commitment.  Identification and onboarding of right people at these levels can create a substantial competitive advantage and profitability for the organizations.  Leading companies invest a lot of time in these decisions and conduct careful assessment of a pool of candidates.  They evaluate the opportunity costs associated with onboarding wrong people at critical senior positions and those associated with performance that could not get delivered due to selection of incompetent individual(s).

To prevent the disasters caused by psychological barriers and biases and to onboard competent executives, organizations need to religiously follow these 8 guiding principles:

  1. Outline requirements
  2. Prepare a large candidate pool
  3. Benchmark rationally
  4. Appraise systematically
  5. Overcome resistance in decision making
  6. Keep the evaluation team small
  7. Finalize the deal in time
  8. Support assimilation of new hires

Let’s discuss the 4 guiding principles in detail, for now.

Outline requirements

Defining the job requirements clearly before initiating the executive search process is an imperative for finding and appointing the right persons at senior positions.  The board should take out time to hold meetings to sift through the organizational strategic objectives and prioritized initiatives.  The outcome of these sessions help the recruiters develop a list of critical skills and behavioral competencies.

Prepare a large candidate pool

Restricting executive search to specific geographies or industries limits the chances of finding the most suitable candidate(s).  For instance, to hire the country head for a computer hardware firm in Asia, a company may identify all C-level executives at specific large hardware and software providers in the region; target former top executives of all relevant companies; consider senior executives outside the hardware sector; and shortlist about 10-12 top candidates to be interviewed.

Benchmark rationally

Having a fair comparison of shortlisted candidates is possible by creating consistent benchmarks.  This helps all the appraisers to follow a defined approach and rating criteria.  External and internal candidates should be assessed without any biasness.  Likewise, comparison of soft skills—which are obvious to internal candidates but unknown to outsiders—should be done on equal footing.

Appraise systematically

After shortlisting potential candidates, it’s time to evaluate their suitability on the required competencies through rigorous interviews using behavioral-based questions.  The evaluation should constitute in-depth reference checking—through the nominees as well as those who have worked with the candidates in the past—internally or through executive search firms.

For more information on selection and hiring “the best of the best,” take a look at the Fiaccabrino Selection Process (FSP)Download a free primer on FSP here.

Interested in learning more about the other guiding principles critical for selection of competent senior executives?  You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on Executive Selection here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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Obstacles 1Mediocre people occupying senior Leadership positions is one of the chief reasons for the fiasco and humiliation that organizations like Enron and WorldCom faced.  The practice of recruiting average people at the top is omnipresent and often goes unnoticed until the results begin to surface, which is typically too late for any intervention.

Smart people decisions matter a lot in achieving profitability.  Research indicates that a return on average human asset of 5% is typical in many industries.  However, a senior executive selection of 2 standard deviations below the average yields -15% return on asset.  An executive selection with 2 standard deviations above average causes 25+% return, which is 5 times the average.  Increased investment in finding and hiring the best senior executives fetches returns to the magnitude of 1000%.

Attracting and selecting the best people for senior leadership positions isn’t a small feat.  The future of organizations depend on it.  However, not too many organizations succeed in getting the right people at the top.  The reason for this failure is attributed predominantly to 3 critical obstacles that hinder in making the right recruitment decisions at such a crucial level.  Wrong Executive Selection decisions due to these 3 obstacles bring about losses and negative returns:

  1. Obstacle of Rarity
  2. Obstacle of the Unknown
  3. Obstacle of Psychological Traps

Let’s talk about these obstacles in a bit of detail.

Obstacle of Rarity

The first barrier to finding outstanding executives for senior positions is their scarcity, as excellent executives are a rare breed.  Sophisticated skills that make an executive standout aren’t common.  They are distributed in a given sample.

Outstanding people perform at a much higher level than that of their peers, particularly at the top positions.  A blue-collar executive with 1 standard deviation above the mean translates to 20% more productive individual than an average executive.  With increasing complexity of job, the difference between the top performer and an average performer increases considerably.

Appointments at the senior positions do not go without assessment errors, which can prove to be extremely costly.  Even an accuracy level of 90% in executive assessment isn’t satisfactory.  This results in a number of mistakenly categorized top performers and rejection of outstanding candidates.

Obstacle of the Unknown

Another barrier to the Executive Selection process is the predictive assessment of candidates on the skills and attributes required and the actual delivery capabilities of the individuals.  It is difficult to assess the unknown.

Competencies at the junior levels are easier to define, but it gets difficult to pinpoint the skills required at the top level.  The skills required at the top keeps on changing due to the evolving political, technological and economic landscape.  The skills required today get obsolete over time.  In case the exact requirements for a position are fully known, it isn’t certain whether a candidate meets the requirements in their entirety.

Accurate assessment of the candidates’ behavior and competencies is difficult but worth investing efforts and resources.  “Soft” skills—e.g., leading people, coaching and developing teams, teamwork, and managing Business Transformation—are what differentiate the senior leaders, but gauging these skills necessitates thorough evaluation and considerable time, which is difficult at senior levels.

Obstacle of Psychological Traps

A number of psychological traps are associated with cognitive biases in humans that hinder the decision making abilities in people and incapacitate the hiring process.  8 types of psychological traps are most common in individuals:

  • Procrastination
  • Assuming incorrectly
  • Impulsive judgment based on first impressions
  • Discounting the warning signs
  • Covering mistakes
  • Bonding with familiarity
  • Emotional anchoring
  • Tendency to follow the majority
For more information on selection and hiring “the best of the best,” take a look at the Fiaccabrino Selection Process (FSP).  Download a free primer on FSP here.

Interested in learning more about the 3 critical obstacles that hinder right Executive Selection?  You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on Executive Selection here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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TM1Enterprises worldwide face problems selecting, staffing, developing, compensating, motivating, and sustaining their key talent.  Building a sustainable Talent pipeline is quite strenuous even for large multinationals.

Replicating best practices from somewhere and applying them alone isn’t sufficient for organizations to build a Talent pipeline and achieve Competitive Advantage.  This warrants overcoming arduous challenges associated with this digital age, including:

  • Adjusting to varying dynamics in global markets
  • Handling the expectations of varied customer segments in different geographies
  • Managing the preferences of key Talent
  • Acquiring new technologies
  • Building novel capabilities
  • Achieving Operational Excellence by streamlining operations and improving processes
  • Exploring new markets
  • Devising strategies to attract, select, develop, assess, and reward top Talent.

Developing Talent Management practices helps the organizations build and retain talented people available in the job market.  The term was first used by McKinsey & Company in 1997, and it pertains to planning and managing strategic Human Capital through activities, i.e. attracting, selecting, developing, evaluating, rewarding, and retaining key people.

Executives use diverse Talent Management strategies and career pathways based on various departments, levels, and roles in their Talent pool.  Multi-year research on Talent Management practices conducted by an international team of researchers from INSEAD, Cornell, Cambridge, and Tillburg universities studied 33 multi-national corporations, headquartered in 11 countries.  The study revealed that successful Human Capital practitioners and workforce planners adopted 6 core principles.  These principles act as the 6 pillars to effective Talent Management implementation:

  1. Alignment with Corporate Strategy
  2. Consistency of Talent Management Practices
  3. Integration with Corporate Culture
  4. Involvement of Leadership
  5. Global Strategy with Localization
  6. Branding and Differentiation

Let’s discuss the first 3 pillars in detail, for now.

Alignment with Corporate Strategy

Integrating Talent Management with Corporate Strategy is imperative as the need for future Talent depends on the company’s long-term strategy.  Corporate Strategy should guide the identification of Talent required to accomplish organizational goals, since it’s the right Talent that drives the key strategic initiatives rather than strategic planning.

For example, GE’s Talent Management practices have been a great assistance in implementing their strategic initiatives.  The organization regards its Talent Management system as their most potent execution tool and has integrated TM processes into their strategic planning process.  To sustain its image as an innovation leader, GE targets technical skills as a priority in its annual Strategic Planning sessions.  Individual business units lay out their business as well as the Human Capital objectives in GE’s annual strategic planning sessions.  Significant time is spent on reviewing its Innovation pipeline, its engineering function’s structure, and Talent requirements.  To achieve its vision, GE promotes more engineers in its senior management than its rivals.

Consistency of Talent Management Practices

Talent Management practices must be consistent and synchronous with each other.  It is critical not only to invest in advancing the careers of key Talent but also to invest in processes to empower, compensate, and retain them.  Human Capital practitioners utilize various tools to ensure consistency of Talent Management practices, including Human Resources satisfaction surveys and qualitative and quantitative data on TM practices implementation.

For example, the success of Siemens is based on consistent monitoring of its systems, processes, and key performance metrics across its subsidiaries.  Every element of Human Capital Management is connected, continuously assessed, and linked to rewards.  This goes from recruitment of graduates each year, to their orientation, to mentoring and development, to performance evaluation and management, and compensation and benefits.

Integration with Corporate Culture

Corporate culture is regarded as important as vision and mission by renowned global organizations. These companies hold their core values and behavioral standards very high and promote them among their employees through coaching and mentoring.  They strive to embed this into their hiring, leadership development, performance management, remuneration, and reward processes / programs.  So much so that they consider cultural adaptability a crucial element of their recruitment process—as personality traits and mindsets are hard to develop than technical skills—and evaluate applicants’ behaviors and values rigorously.

For example, among other leading companies, IBM has a special emphasis on values while selecting and promoting people.  To ensure consistent values across the board, it organizes regular values jam sessions and employee health index surveys.  These sessions encourage open communication and debate on values and organizational culture and their importance among employees.

Interested in learning more about the other pillars of Talent Management, the various approaches to TM? You can download an editable PowerPoint on 6 Pillars of Talent Management here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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