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The boat race

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This story explains a common mistake that organizations make when they create a governance structure to realize their business strategy. Especially in digital projects, organizations tend to trust too much on hierarchy and tools.

You can use this presentation under Creative Commons license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/.

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The boat race

  1. 1. The specialist in informa1on management THE BOAT RACE 1
  2. 2. The specialist in informa1on management Once upon a +me there was this Dutch rowing team. 2
  3. 3. The specialist in informa1on management They challenged the Japanese na+onal team to race. Each boat would have 8 crew members. 3
  4. 4. The specialist in informa1on management Both teams worked really hard to get into the best shape. The Dutch team was especially determined to win. 4
  5. 5. The specialist in informa1on management But, look what happened-- the Japanese team won by 6 lengths! 5
  6. 6. The specialist in informa1on management The Dutch team members were crushed. Morale was at its lowest in years. But, they were determined to win the race next year. 6
  7. 7. The specialist in informa1on management So, they hired a group of auditors to assess the situa+on and find-out what caused their defeat. 7
  8. 8. The specialist in informa1on management APer weeks of analysis, desk research, and Big Data Mumbo Jumbo, the auditors found out this amazing thing ... 8
  9. 9. The specialist in informa1on management The Japanese team had 1 coxswain and 7 rowers. 9
  10. 10. The specialist in informa1on management Where the Dutch team had 7 coxswains and 1 rower. 10
  11. 11. The specialist in informa1on management Inspired by the raw data, the upper management showed unexpected wisdom: they hired a consul+ng company to analyze the data and suggest a solu+on that would enable the Dutch team to win the next year. 11
  12. 12. The specialist in informa1on management APer several months, the consultants came to the conclusion that the Dutch team’s ra+o of coxswains to rowers was the problem. Based on this, a solu+on was proposed: the governance of the team had to be changed! 12
  13. 13. The specialist in informa1on management Upper management wasted not a second in restructuring the new team into 4 coxswains instruc+ng the rower, led by 2 managers who reported directly to the senior manager. To mo+vate the rower, management decided to provide an incen+ve--a “rower of the month” award if he wins the race. 13
  14. 14. The specialist in informa1on management With this new governance in place,
 the Dutch team was ready to go! 14
  15. 15. The specialist in informa1on management But the unexpected happened-- the Japanese team won again, by 12 boat lengths! 15
  16. 16. The specialist in informa1on management The rower was fired for his unsa+sfactory performance. 16
  17. 17. The specialist in informa1on management Needless to say, a big bonus was paid to the coxswains, the managers, and the director for the strong leadership and mo+va+on they showed during the prepara+on phase. 17
  18. 18. The specialist in informa1on management The consultant team conducted a new analysis of the match, which revealed that the strategy and governance were correct, the mo+va+on was good, but the boat had failed and needed to be improved. 18
  19. 19. The specialist in informa1on management They’re currently selec+ng a vendor for a new canoe. 19
  20. 20. The specialist in informa1on management Illustra+ons by: Luuk de Bie, © 2016 www.luke-newmedia.com 20
  21. 21. The specialist in informa1on management Erik Hartman Communica+e Visschersplein 160-11 3511 LX Utrecht (NL) +31 (0)30 877 3560 www.erikhartmancommunica+e.nl info@erikhartmancommunica+e.nl 21 hfps://crea+vecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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