Do you assign most of the work you need done to teams? Yet when you examine the output from these teams is examined, there are few measurable results.
Here’s an example from a client who wanted to reduce the time required to process sales orders. To make this happen, she asked me lead a team made up from sales, IT, operations, finance, etc. Our team analyzed order times, benchmarked competitors, mapped processes, interviewed customers, and explored technology options.
The team presented recommendations to the executive team, who seemed satisfied, thanked the team and went on to debate the issue.
So what’s wrong with this picture?
The team did a good job and was recognized for it; the manager received the information she needed; and the executive team had a basis to make a decision. The only problem was that after all that effort the only outcome was a PowerPoint deck!
In my experience many organizations repeat this same pattern until it becomes part of the culture.
There is an alternative to this: Why not challenge your people to produce results and not reports.
Imagine if the team was instructed to actually reduce processing times?
Imagine if the team identified improvements, initiated trials and mobilized frontline staff. They could have created new approaches, produced results, added knowledge, built momentum and increased the readiness for change.
Wow! Now compare those outcomes to a PowerPoint deck and a team demoralized because they feel their work was a waste.
This approach may not be appropriate for every issue, but if you need & have the authority to drive change, remember that you have choices.
You can either have recommendations or you can hold the team accountable for producing real results.