Today’s times are extremely fast-paced in practically all areas: technology, politics, education, communication, etc. Many organizations and business owners, mostly small and medium-sized, struggle for their organizations to survive beyond the vision of their leader. That is, they seek to ensure continuity of operation, reducing dependence on their founder. In this struggle, they face extended and relentless competition. Allen Woo, an expert in the proper management of companies, covers some key elements to achieve successful transformations.
Organizational leaders have an increasing focus on performance, efficiency, and results. They are expected not only to guide organizations and their team members but also to implement strategies to deliver consistent results.
The way organizations achieve their strategic objectives is through projects. The Project Management Institute is the most influential organization in the world around the discipline of project management. They have been publishing and refining the de facto standard for managing projects and increasing the chances of success for more than 20 years.
Woo, for his part, has developed a model he calls Idea Management, which he has used to help clients achieve the balance needed to deliver consistent results. It is said all the time and read frequently, “People are an organization’s most valuable asset.” This is only half true because if organizations do not have mechanisms designed to help them consciously make the most of their employees’ talents, then the phrase remains in the realm of utopia.
Thus, for Woo, the subsystem of ideas, which live in each person, comes first. It is essential that the organization has appropriate mechanisms in place to harvest and take advantage of these ideas so that they are put at its service.
“At the top of the model is the strategy subsystem,” Woo asserts. “The ideas that are channeled into this subsystem help define the direction of the organization, always seeking differentiation. Within this subsystem, there should be a set of processes, business rules, criteria, roles, etc., that are of great use to the organization’s leader.”
In the lower right part, there are the projects. The projects subsystem is the set of tools that business leaders have to implement the strategy. In this subsystem, there is a set of mechanisms that contribute to maintaining the focus on the execution of the strategy, that is, on the projects that contribute the most to materialize the strategic vision of the organization.
The fourth and last subsystem that business leaders have is the Business Processes subsystem. This subsystem is the set of tools that the organization has to consistently deliver results to the market.
The most valuable thing that Woo has found in this model is that people are the linchpin of action to set the wheels in motion. A condition for implementing these subsystems and balancing them is that the employees are the architects of the solution. I will elaborate further on this concept of collaborative implementation.
It has been made clear that these four subsystems – People, Strategy, Projects and Processes must be in constant and conscious balance. It is this balance that results in organizations delivering repeatable and sustainable results over time.
However, this balance is not easily achieved. Even once it is achieved, it must be continuously validated. Otherwise, entropy can take over and, over time, effectiveness and efficiency can be lost.
In Woo’s experience, a successful transformation must meet the following characteristics. The first is to have the necessary sponsorship from the highest level. The support required for an implementation of these characteristics and proportions requires top management to provide adequate support and sponsorship.
“Always try to actively involve people,” Woo suggests. “Both those who will drive and participate in the project and those who will be impacted by the change. This implies that their point of view must be considered and taken into account from the verbalization of opportunities or problems to the shaping of a proposed solution.”
It is important to have the end in mind, to establish a big vision of how far you want to go. This will give direction to the employees and help them to better visualize the world at the end of the road, which can be an inexhaustible source of motivation for the team.