In the past, I have written about how to measure your business transformation efforts and how alignment leaders and change partners alike can determine, as an organization, when a transformation is completed. This discussion sits squarely between these two subjects and attempts to examine the point at which customers and
Measurement is an essential activity to ascertain the success of a process or an activity. However, assessing the effectiveness of a change transformation is not always as straight-forward or simple as reading outcome data or waiting for a position in the market to change. Although metrics such as milestones and
Organizations often have their own specific third rails—sensitive topics that are so highly charged that no one feels they can survive trying to address a problem or change needed. Sometimes these are long overdue changes where a powerful executive shuts down discussion. And so the organization continues irrationally behaving the
As we work with major organizations undergoing HR transformation (and many are still underway), we find variants of the three-pronged HR delivery model (business partners, HR operations and centers of expertise) popularized by David Ulrich over 20 years ago. One recurring challenge is freeing up Business Partners to fulfill the strategic relationship building and brokering role envisioned in many, if not most HR models.
Only by living in a house do we come to know intimately the many disadvantages of our particular structure. Depending on our attitude, this may become all we see. We may long for another house – one without the downsides that daily irritate us. We romanticize about how much better our lives would be in that other house, without those issues that have fatigued us. But we may learn that another house brings a new set of downsides. Sometimes it makes sense to give up our current structure and move to another house, but sometimes we learn we’ve just traded one set of problems for another.
We’ve all heard many times the idea that “people will do what they’re measured on.” Is it really true? If I told you that the defect rate for this company’s premier product dropped from 12% to 1% in only three weeks and then further declined to 0.5% in just three more weeks, you’d probably think I was making it up. Well, that is exactly the result that occurred—and it occurred solely from beginning to measure quality in parallel with measuring productivity (in this case, speed). Perhaps what is even more revealing is that there was no incentive linked to quality improvement. All the while, workers were being paid a bonus for speed—which, incidentally, did not suffer when quality improved. That they were not being equally rewarded for quality made no difference. The metrics alone changed their behavior.