Top Leader Commitment and Outside Consultation Make a Huge Difference

MetaOps Inc. is currently conducting interviews for a new book.  The purpose of the interviews is to uncover how CEOs / top leaders use process improvement methods as a tool to drive their strategic objectives. The interviewing process is about 25% completed with consultants as well as internal organizational consultants.  These changes in process improvement are across organizations of all sizes.

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When a CoE or the process improvement team is buried within the organization and doesn’t have the commitment from the top leaders, employees know and their support goes out the window

When a CoE or the process improvement team is buried within the organization and doesn’t have the commitment from the top leaders, employees know and their support goes out the window

The preliminary results identify one thing that seems true among all organizations. CEO’s and organizational leadership that brings in outside consultants tend to get better results than what is supplied by internal consultants.  It is being revealed during these interviews that the skill set is not different between the outside consultant and internal consultant. What is being found is that the success is driven right back to the leadership and their engagement in the initiative.  It seems the external consultants are more successful in getting the top leaders to engage more effectively in transformation efforts at a personal level than the internal consultants.

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The interviews are also finding that nine times out of 10 organizations are putting their Centers of Excellence (CoE’s) and process improvement departments inside the organization several layers below the CEO and leadership teams.  When structured in this manner, results are consistently less than stellar.  It has nothing to do with the skill of the individuals in the organization. It has to do with their being insulated from the CEO and key leadership who drive the vision of the organization.

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To the people of the organization burying this key component under many layers appears as insincerity on the top executives’ part.  When a CoE or the process improvement team is buried within the organization and doesn’t have the commitment from the top leaders, employees know and their support goes out the window.

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Outside consultants can be very helpful to the highly-skilled internal process improvement specialist. They can help bridge the gap between the top leaders and the internal team.  This can be a cost effective way to maximize the resources in which the organization has already invested.  In most cases, the knowledge provided by internal specialist combined with the skill of outside consultants can help immensely with a successful operational transformation.

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Ron Crabtree, CPIM, CIRM, CSCP, MLSSBB

Kim Crabtree, President of MetaOps WBENC Certified

Three Key Factors for Leaders to Remember

Leaders must provide ways in which the employees are allowed to experience “insights’ at a personal level.

Leaders must provide ways in which the employees are allowed to experience “insights’ at a personal level.

Here are 3 key factors for any leader desiring a change in their organization to remember These actions are critical in any transformation.

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First, leaders must recognize that the power of a plan or vision comes from the people understanding and adopting it. But, contrary to what many believe just having that ‘compelling vision’ is clearly not enough alone. Where things fall short is often the result of a combination of factors, including the inability of the leaders to demonstrate their commitment to employees.

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Over-delegating and falling victim to magic ‘silver bullet’ cures fail to drive the proper communication throughout the organization. In addition, the necessity to convey the vision/strategy/plan to win both understanding and buy-in of all in the organization is paramount.

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Second, employees will see through any in-sincere and / or lack of leadership commitment. It’s necessary for executives to truly commit to personal leadership of a change initiative. Without the top leaders showing the right level of personal commitment it is nearly impossible to expect the next level of leaders to do so. This idea cascades down from there building a culture in the organization.

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Third, leaders must provide ways in which the employees (ie. The people who must adopt change) are allowed to experience “insights’ at a personal level. Not only must the vision be understood and seen as important by the CEO, that person must also experience the vision on a personal basis. This will facilitate the adoption of new lines of thinking by all.

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Upon reflection, the last point here is the ‘secret sauce’ that we never learn about in management school and are missing in all the ‘transformation models.’ In the cases of most the successes the top leader or CEO is the difference maker. By making the process personal in a genuine way, everyone in the organization understood.

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It is very important to think critically about how the ‘personal touch’ can be accomplished on the part of the top-most leaders. As with anything else in organizations, there is no silver bullet cure for success. However, the absence of these key inputs correlates highly with failure. At the end of the day organizations are made of people. Winning their hearts to fully embrace the vision of the organization and embrace change is decidedly a personal decision and builds a successful culture.

Connect with us in LinkedIn: .

Ron Crabtree, CPIM, CIRM, CSCP, MLSSBB

Kim Crabtree, President of MetaOps WBENC Certified

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