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Is your organisation keeping up with tech changes in your industry?

Did you read the Technology sections of your usual web haunts today?

No? But that’s okay because you read it yesterday, right?

Not really.

New technology and IT solutions are emerging daily. And organisations that pay attention to these changes are more adaptable to the markets and their customers.

But keeping up on technology is only part of the equation. Ensuring your workforce integrates it into their day-to-day work is crucial.

That seems obvious but how many companies actually make continuous improvement an organisational priority? In my experience, very few.

And yet the revolution is coming. The ability to master continuous change is going to be a prerequisite to compete in the marketplace. This isn’t a nice-to-have. Adaptability will be a crucial must.

Consider these questions:

  • In a world where strategy and targets are being redefined every day, how do you manage planning, fiscal control, and forecasting?
  • How can better management of activities and operational systems control, and in some cases, eliminate costs?
    What skills do companies need to develop internally in order to respond to outside forces?

Recently we’ve had a few inquiries about conducting internal two-day tutorials and adaptability workshops that focus on these these pressing issues.

Measuring and Managing for Value: from controlling costs to maximizing business value, looks at emerging strategic challenges and their implications on business.

Click here to learn more about this workshop and how it can move your business from being completely reactive to outside forces by employing an adaptable framework for ongoing success.

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An Adaptable organisation: sensing deeper and responding sooner

Although I often talk of how adaptability and creating and fostering an agile environment help organisations keep up with external change pressure. But I’ve also seen these same approaches used very effectively in managing a company’s internal affairs.

Consider the issue of staff recruitment and retention.

I recall a time, some years back, when Blackberry security software was the gold standard for business clients. The emergence of the iPod and its appeal to youth created a conundrum for companies seeking to lure the best and brightest to their fold. Young recruits wanted to have their shiny new Apple toys with them in workplace and many balked at the notion of having a Blackberry ‘for business’.

A friend of mine, who was an IT manager for a security company at the time, lived through this clashing of tech cultures. To reduce the ‘two phones’ grumbling among increasingly frustrated employees, they bought a company that specialized in email security and developed an inhouse solution that allowed staff to use their iPhone for work AND personal use.

Did they do it as part of a public corporate strategy? No, they did it to make themselves more attractive to potential employees and encourage retention among current staff members.

Were they able to do it easily without reinventing their entire IT department? Very easily.

Could they have done it easily without having an adaptable environment in place? No.

Ironically, a lack of adaptability in Blackberry itself, was partially responsible for their decline over the following years. Further, an inability to properly assess the threat of the iPhone to their business model, left them floundering.

If using adaptability and agile to resolve a seemingly minor internal issue seems less than an ideal use, you’d be mistaken.

The IT company in question knew very well that in a competitive marketplace, the acquisition of good talent is crucial. As such, they were able to respond to employee demands and adapt their processes to make everyone happy.

To learn more about creating an agile and adaptable workplace, please get in touch with us at Lloyd Parry International.

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How Nokia’s cellphone fumble grew Finland’s start-up culture

The urgency for businesses and organisations to become adaptable and agile is growing.

A large organisation can succeed and lead but they must be able to continually respond to new challenges and changing customer needs. Absent such an organisational strength they will find themselves struggling to compete against new startups looking to eat their lunch.

Nokia faced such a challenge almost ten years and they failed in reacting to that challenge.  The result was an unplanned and perhaps unexpected legacy.

Nokia was ubiquitous in the cellphone market in the early 2000s, its flip phones going head to head with Motorola in the flourishing portable communications market.

Unfortunately the company culture was so volatile and insular, that when Apple announced the first iPhone in early 2007, Nokia dismissed them as a competitor.

Nine years on, Apple and Android device manufacturers, such as Samsung, own the smartphone market. Nokia’s flip phones are sitting in junk drawers around the world, right next to Blackberrys and PDA devices.

While the fall of Nokia is a fascinating story of corporate failure, what happened in the wake of their collapse is even more interesting.

Nokia’s retrenching as a business, put hundreds and perhaps thousands of Finnish IT professionals out of work. Unsurprisingly many of them started up new companies and IT projects. And while Finland always had a solid start-up culture, Nokia’s decline boosted it by significant degrees.

If Nokia had been nimble enough to respond to the reality of the rise of smartphones, they might still be a major player in the computer device market.

Instead, many of their finest minds are working on their own initiatives with no formal connection to the company that gave them their start.

To be certain, the startups in Finland are a good example of how Nokia should have reimagined their company to compete in the fast changing digital device landscape.

Nokia could have had it both ways. But an inability to respond to an evolving competitive threat left them floundering.

The takeaway from this is that although this story is almost ten years old, the need for organisations to be responsive and adaptive is more pressing than ever.

If your organisation needs to get in good business shape, please get in touch with us at Lloyd Parry International and we’ll show you how to compete and win in an increasingly demanding marketplace.

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Climetrics: Inside the process

So you’ve hired Lloyd Parry to work on your internal change program. You’ve seen the overview of how Climetrics works and understand the value of creating a highly adaptive organisation. But how does the process work? You’ve got thousands of employees spread over branch offices around the world. How can we possibly live up to the promise of adaptive and  make change happen at the scale you need it to happen?

If I was in the same situation, I’d be asking the same questions.

So here is where I pull back the curtain and tell you how it’s done.

Here’s how change is made…

After discussing the proposal and scope of the process, we agree on terms and sign off on the proposal.

Next comes a two-day site visit.

Day One, we do a detailed site visit scoping for the climetrics survey and set survey parameters.

We meet with two or three managers to gain a deeper understanding of:

    • stated organisational values
    • organisational structures
    • duties of the main teams, goals-targets-objectives
    • management reporting
    • change programs and their objectives
    • current barriers and constraints
    • terminology and jargon used within the business

On Day Two, we meet with various managers and teams, conduct on-site data gathering and garner insight into day- to-day operations and decision-making.

After the two day site visit, we create a custom survey template and review it with a representative of the organisation. Following the review we run the survey with a small test team.

After any necessary adjustments, all staff and managers complete the full survey.

We then take the completed survey results and conduct a statistical analysis of the data. That information combined with the on-site interviews forms the basis of an executive report.

With the Climetrics executive report in hand, we then meet with the client and the survey statistician.

After that meeting the conclusions and recommendations are published jointly by the client and Lloyd Parry International.

When these recommendations are accepted we then go about creating a custom program that takes into account the entire organisation and all its branches.

What makes our approach different is our commitment to knowledge transfer. We don’t just guide and implement the program, we teach the organisations work with how to sustain and adapt  their processes long after we have left.

To learn how Lloyd Parry International can transform your organization through Climetrics, please get in touch.

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Inside Climetrics: the process of changing a work climate

The benefits of changing a work culture are well known. When people talk to us about change their questions aren’t about “why” it needs to happen, but rather “the how Inside Climetrics.” 

How you change the work climate within your organisation

At Lloyd Parry we use a proprietary system called Climetrics. And as part of our comprehensive change programs we first take the time to understand the the alignment between the following areas:

  • Operating strategies
  • Organisational structures
  • Managing practices
  • Delivery capabilities
  • General work climate (i.e. operational performance and behaviour)

Then, a general assessment is made to determine the overall operational impact on workplace perceptions, and the ability of employees to serve customers better in the following areas:

  • Ability to define and measure customer value and end-to-end delivery performance metrics.
  • Ability to share customer data and operational performance information at all levels within the organisation.
  • Ability of the organisation to introduce innovation and improvement.
  • Leadership styles and drivers at each level within the organisation.
  • Particular attention will be paid to the processes and practices used to define new customer business, create a service design, implement, test and deploy.

Managerial practices are also reviewed in the following areas:

  • Customer and client management
  • Management review practices
  • Workforce management practices
  • Change and improvement practices
  • MIS practices
  • Knowledge management and reuse
  • Reward and recognition policies
  • Service-level-agreement regimes
  • Process standardisation and reuse
  • Staff targets and goals
  • Management targets and goals

Then we conduct interviews, observe work demonstrations and review operational reports.

And now the change program takes shape

Up until now we’ve spent most of our time doing a deep dive that shows us at a very detailed level how the organisation functions (or dysfunctions!) Using this information when can then prepare and configure a subsequent on-line survey to collect staff and management perceptions, feelings and behaviours.

Is it that easy? No.

All organisations are different and those differences and how we adapt to them ourselves is part of the Lloyd Parry International expertise.

To learn more about Climetrics and how Lloyd Parry can make your organisation more profitable, please get in touch by clicking here.