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Our Manifesto


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Our Manifesto

  1. 1. THEGroup Partners MANIFESTO 2011
  4. 4. What DOES THAT INVOLVE ?2
  5. 5. An Inspired Vision, setting clear direction and intention, through the applicationof Decision Quality – solidified into a Solution, delivered against a Shared andOwned Roadmap, operating on an Optimal Platform – all achieved throughCollective Endeavour and Strong Leadership. Underpinned by relentless and sustained execution!To deliver this requires or an operating model, human Within the will comes motivationconsiderable commitment, behavior, customer service or and appreciation. This is notexpertise and a deep the product range. simple. Appreciation only comesunderstanding of what it after prolonged engagement Transformation requires fourtakes to make change stick. It that results in ownership of key ingredients at least:demands real depth in every the idea. The will is achieveddimension – both the right IP 1. conscious ‘will’ on the part A and then sustained when theand resources, the right skills, of those driving the change inspired leader creates thelong-term investment and 2. A clear and unified direction environment for an engagedstrong partnership. of travel team to collaborate and fine-Any change to anything requires 3. he focused commitment of T tune the Vision and the plan the application of significant will the workforce as it emerges.and dedicated, well organized 4. he capabilities and resources T to make it happen This is a team endeavour.resource. Whether it’s culture 3
  6. 6. YOU HAVE TO “ context! ” PUT IT INTOWe hear that all the that you have to tackle everything To function as a living systemtime. But whose context? in one go. Mastery comes from requires appreciation of all ofAnd how do we decide understanding all of the moving the moving parts, the dynamicshow wide a context parts and their interoperability of that system and the multipleto consider, without and possessing a framework for ways that they affect allbecoming overwhelmed connecting them, against which ‘moments of truth’ (key eventsby the sheer complexity you can make quality decisions. or activities) that can cause anthat results? effect (good or bad). We can learn so much from natureIt goes without saying that the – the most effective living system Your reading of the rest of thiswider your appreciation is, and yet the last model for us to document, and the value youthe better you will understand think of adopting in our business. derive, will be determined byothers’ perspectives and Nature’s single purpose is to the context within which youdiscover better ways of thinking survive and to do that requires it to consider each topic and howabout your challenge. And just continually evolve and, despite ourbecause you are considering clumsy interventions, it does an many of the connections acrossa wide context doesn’t mean incredible job. topics you take on board. 4
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  9. 9. “Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.” Winston Churchill THEGroup Partners CALCULATOR This compendium of Structured Visual Thinking™ takes each one of the system dynamics the moving parts that we typically work with and adds further definition to them from a Group Partners perspective and based on the insight we have gathered related to managing the complexity of businesses in the 21st Century. We start with the Future – one that is becoming harder and harder to predict, beyond the certain knowledge that the world today is rapidly changing, dynamic and full of surprises. Success in the 21st Century is as much about readiness for anything as it is about sound business experience. 7
  10. 10. The FUTURE The future belongs to the real leaders. The ones who are prepared to change everything in pursuit of their outcome. Those who challenge convention.8
  11. 11. Those who continually explore Consumers and users in every where people are empoweredand embrace the wider industry on the planet demand to do creative and valuablecontext with limitless energy quality as ‘table stakes’. All work in the blink of an eye, atand curiosity. Leaders in the consumers expect a seamless, the stroke or ‘pinch’ of a screen.future will be the ones that can synchronized and valuable Tools and applications aremanage the increasing dynamics experience for themselves. We designed for sheer performanceand complexity of the 21st are all consumers and users and frictionless enjoyment.Century. Doing all this in ways and we expect a solution and They work. Everything worksthat have yet to be imagined. intelligent service as standard. the way we think. Orchestrated. We can each walk if we don’t getIn the future there are three Choreographed. Fluid. it. It is here that leaders win orkinds of businesses – those lose and where the big bets we The future though is not a pathwho make it happen, those make ultimately pay off. for the faint-hearted. It requireswho let it happen and those a new level of effort, creativitythat wonder what happened. A The future is about solutions and inspiration. A crusade thatdistinguishable ‘Vision’ is what emerging in real-time, co-determines a global leader. The created for the customer with makes others want to follow.‘Vision’, if shared, is the spark the customer. The future means It demands that the entirethat causes things to happen. A partnering with the consumer enterprise and its wider ‘eco-leader has typically paved the to design better and better system’ are in lock step. Movingway for differentiated value and solutions. This is the only strategy together as one. The future isthe ‘Vision’ must be designed to for a leader to win and stay now! It just needs a Vision toensure it will stay there. winning.The future is a place bring it to life. 9
  12. 12. the PhilosophyIn an ever-changing landscape, beingable to adapt and respond to newdevelopments is Job 1. Anticipatingand even shaping the direction iswhere leaders should be heading.Even if we had a crystal ball it’s highly unlikelywe would place much store in it. Apart from theinherent dangers of relying on a single prediction,or at least a single source of information, there ismuch to be gained from the process of exploration and enquiry.You never know what you may learn and the moreopen-minded your approach, the more you willdiscover. Opportunity is everywhere. The skillsand capabilities that we seek to help us embracethe future and continue to adapt are not the onesthat have sustained us over the last few decades.Now the successful organization requires aculture and environment of openness, explorationand creativity – and a willingness to listen to thepeople who can best contribute, not just those in aposition of power. 10
  13. 13. the ApproachIt is second nature in Group Partners Additionally our proprietary 4D™ frameworksPractice to constantly seek out new business equations drive our discussions and forceconcepts and ideas and to find us to think hard about where we want to positionnew ways to use them to stimulate ourselves in this future.thinking. We learn from every In Application:assignment and are totally opento new techniques, as long as they D1. Discovery – In the early phases, and wheremeet the core principles of Structured our clients invest time to use this framework, weVisual Thinking™. can explore the business context and trends in related industries and consider what we might doWe bring the results of our curiosity to every new to differentiate ourselves.engagement from the very start of the process.This shows up in many ways: D2. Development – This framework forces us to declare an ambition and a future. We do this• hrough the creation of stimulus material that T against a clear frame of reference that ensures we sets the challenge in a wide context and through consider the dynamics most affecting our world. potentially new lenses and perspectives The more seriously we take these dynamics the• hrough pre-workshop exercises and discussion T better prepared we will be for the future.• Through wide ranging community debate and blogs 11
  14. 14. Purpose- GOAL CONGRUENCY Wouldn’t it be great if we were Collectively building strategies all shooting for the same thing...? and plans that were beautifully connected and interoperable? In a world where the organization is still constrained by silos and functional departments, the odds of everyone linking up to a unified outcome are not that high. It is too easy to be caught up in departmental agenda 12
  15. 15. and self-interest. Even where We use the term ‘goal that is supportive of the overallthe leadership has declared a congruency’ deliberately. There outcome and in harmony, fullyclear ambition and purpose is no single goal for most connected to the intentions ofthere is rarely a holistic blueprint organizations – that would fellow departments. It’s goingsupporting it that has only one be unrealistic. to help significantly if you haveintention – the best possible a good understanding of youroutcome for the business.We What we mean is the most important stakeholders,would argue in today’s world achievement of an aligned both internal and external.that we would acknowledge the strategy. One where individualtriple context rather than department goals achieve their This is the foundation for apurely internal ambition. functional objectives in a way living system. 13
  16. 16. the PhilosophyAligning a variety of goals across This is not about micro-managing every businessan organization requires us to first unit or department. It’s about giving everyone aestablish the common denominator common direction and establishing the frame forthat will lift everyone up from their them, within which they can build the best plans.own perspectives to consider the This requires a team to open their minds and becommon good; that ultimate set willing to see and appreciate the pressures andof goals that everyone should be drivers of others, and to have a better awarenessshooting for. of the implications of their own goals and plans on other departments and teams. This requires clear and appropriate governance and a shared framework for operating – without overly constraining the organization’s ability to empower its teams at a local level. 14
  17. 17. the ApproachThis is a critical foundation to establish D2. Development – As we move forward andin any engagement. We will be testing start to shape our strategy we keep the goalsfor alignment to goals and direction and objectives now framed in context in Modulefrom the very beginning – this shapes D1-K and build our definition so that we all fullythe way we think about designing the appreciate what these goals mean to all of us.program for each client. Not many of us get out of bed and come to work simply to help the business make money – it helpsVery few organizations are able to declare goal to translate these into the significant outcomes – acongruency – a significant challenge for any large clear definition of success.organization. It requires a lot of conditions to bemet for it to really exist, in a sustainable way – you Every time we bring the group together to developcan’t demand this. the next framework, or to refine and enrich the latest one, we build alignment. And by equippingIn Application: the team to continue to apply the structure and logic of the frameworks we are enabling them toD1. Discovery – One of the primary outcomes share a common model – something that they canof a Discovery session is team alignment. all connect to.The very act of taking a group of people withindividual goals and perspectives through the11 conversations of Discovery creates the firstfoundation of alignment. As we explore thebusiness context modules within this framework wetest more thoroughly how well we understand whatit is that we are all trying to achieve. With this wecan begin to declare a direction of travel. 15
  18. 18. A CLEAR vision INSPIREDThe Vision is our The Vision is a unifying emotional connection to theflag in the ground. mechanism. It provides a story business and the manifestation of that can be shared across shared ambition and aspiration.It ensures that the emerging stakeholders, internal and Great Visions will be in harmony‘solution’ knows where to head. external, in a way that makes it with the future – as far as weThe Vision is designed to explain possible for everyone to describe can predict that. They will beand inspire the viewer in equal and connect with. It is everyone’s sensitive to the direction thatmeasure. The Vision describes vision and so the success of economy, industry and society(what is often the abstract the strategy becomes personal are all heading.language) the meaning of “We to everyone and not just to thewant to be the best”, “We will leadership.Visions have to be They will even be shapingbe the leader” or “We will be grounded in reality – believable the future. A Vision is in partthe most innovative/excellent and achievable – and they also a framework and in part asolution in this industry”. have to inspire. Visions are the governing construct – something 16
  19. 19. that ensures that the future is something to be buried away inbuilt in now and not bolted on a management plan. They needlater. This requires sufficient to attract attention, to provide aclarity to serve as the foundation constant reminder of where for the ‘solution’ and the strategy we are heading.that will deliver it. They need to be told over andThe Vision is almost always a over, and by as many peoplecatalyst for change. Change as possible, covering as manyoften comes with the tag perspectives as necessary to‘transformation’ and that resonate with everyone. Creatingmeans utter change.Visions a shared sense of purpose.need continuous exposureto stay alive. They are not Visions have to be realized. 17
  20. 20. the PhilosophyWe regularly come across situationswhere a team is busy building andimplementing plans, and have evenagreed priorities, yet can’t explaintheir Vision or how their manyinitiatives contribute to this.Forcing a team to step back and define theVision often opens up a huge and valuabledebate and creates that elusive unifying storythat everyone complains is missing, but didn’treally know how to get one.Visions for us are generally told in multipleperspectives and break into 2 discrete components– we call these ‘happy duck’ and ‘busy duck’.‘Happy duck’ describes our Vision for the customerwhile ‘busy duck’ looks at the world from a moreoperational perspective.It’s not enough to be able to tell the story solely An example of a D2 Future Visionto the client or to the workforce, a Vision has tobe complete. Without that there is no guaranteethat you will be able to create that fully alignedand coherent business operation that iseveryone’s nirvana. 18
  21. 21. the ApproachA Vision starts when we ask ourselves In this part of the framework we suspend reality“What could we do?” Given the slightly and imagine any possible future scenariosopportunity and the environment to – we can and will ground these later – first weimagine the art of the possible brings need to think big.out the passion and creativity that is all Sometimes we will spend a day dedicated to thesetoo often stifled by everyday pressures. scenarios – really delving into each one and Far too few businesses actually embed quality- giving it identity and definition so that we can thinking time in the working day – for those that test the idea, the return will exceed the investment. D2. Development – We will bring the best ofIn Application these scenarios, when we have them, into the Development phase and use them to help usD1. Discovery – Where the first half of the describe the Vision – we may even describeframework seeks to create a solid foundation multiple Visions.and appreciation, the second moves us to a newmindset. This is where we ask “so what?”. It’sgreat that we now have a much clearer and widerappreciation of our world and what we have tooffer – but we could say the same of many otherbusinesses, many of them our competitors. 19
  22. 22. Governance When that word crops up in your world what are the first words that spring to mind? 20
  23. 23. If you were taking part in one our own experience of what canof those psychological tests make a difference suggests awhat would your immediate number of conditions need toresponse be? be present and aligned:• Constraint? • Ownership• Bureaucracy? • Belief• Delay? • Clarity• Authority? • Relevance • CapabilityOr would it be:• Rigor? These then suggest that governance, to be effective,• Decision Quality? should contain the following• Accountability? components:• Structure? • ConsequencesYour response is most likely • Shared definitioninfluenced primarily by past • Meaningful measurementexperience. Most people wouldagree that governance in some Governance works hand inform is essential. Very few hand with Decision Quality.organizations give this topic the What is the point of investinginvestment it deserves. time and energy in governing questionable activities? If they did more people wouldvalue it and it could even Maybe we should lose thesimply become ‘the right way word altogether and just call itto manage’, rather than some Management?external enforcement system Interestingly, when we firstimposed on the majority by drafted this documentthe minority. Governance was placed rightWhat would that take? at the end – how easy it is to simply default and think aboutThe best thinking that we have this last! We think it belongsencountered, combined with better where it is now. 21
  24. 24. the PhilosophyWhile we regularly use the term, what success looks like, being able to tell that weour objective in assignments is to are achieving it and knowing whose responsibility it is to contribute what value to the business. Andintroduce a new way of thinking for the inevitable exceptions there has to be a wayabout governance from the earliest of realigning or handling the unexpected.possible point in the process. This isn’tsomething that we bolt on at the end. Knowing where to focus precious resource and what sequence to prioritize the many projectsGetting everything lined up so that there is an and initiatives means having a framework thateffective model in place means knowing exactly everyone can share.An example of a Governance Framework 22
  25. 25. the ApproachIt’s hard to pin governance down D2 Business Equationto a specific framework or module, “To achieve the desired Strategic Outcome; (thealthough some play a more ultimate goal) (H) and deliver the Redefinedsignificant part. Conditions (G); (the measurable effects that result) Our frameworks themselves are governors when optimally enabled by the necessary Governance,used well. The ability to see and maintain a clear Capability and Cultural Environment Operatingline of sight across each individual framework and Model (F) - what is the planned Roadmap ofbetween the frameworks represents effective and Activities and Actions (E), (Action Plan) that willintegrated governance. deliver against the integrated Strategic Themes (D) that themselves are directly driving the effects inIn Application (G) and take the business towards the new Future Vision (C) based on the Business Imperatives (B)We call this the Business Equation and there is one (the business drivers) which will move the businessfor each of the first 2 frameworks: away from the Current Reality (A) and fully answerD1 Business Equation the Exam Question?”“By what decision criteria [H] do we decide In addition to this – and closely linked to Decisionwhat value proposition, story or offer [G] about Quality – is what we call ‘The Calculator’. Thiswhich mix of product [E] and/or service [F], gets is a device that we use from the start of andelivered through which channels [D], addressing engagement to map every dynamic of the worldwhat trend, market issue or point of pain [C], within which we operate and need to considerto which (most valuable) customer segments against our Exam Question. This very book is[B], resolving what aspiration or need [A]? With based on the construct of the Group Partnerswhat capabilities and behaviors [I], against what calculator for our method.timeline [J] achieving the goals [K] at minimumrisk and maximum return on investment?” 23
  26. 26. Decision qualityFor a Vision to persist theorganization has to believe it willbecome a reality.That means that we have to add definition anddirection and show that we are serious and have aplan for achieving it.Any Vision will be achievable through more thanone approach and solution and can be introducedthrough a variety of routes. With so manyopportunities and possibilities open to us howdo we decide the best options for our business?How much time do we actually invest in makingour decisions and how many people are activelyinvolved in the process?Many of the organizations that we work withare unable to describe a structured process fordecision-making – yet this very act can makeor break a strategy. The decisions that we takeand the priorities that we choose will influenceeverything that follows.Now we can start to build the future. 24
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  28. 28. the PhilosophyThere are no cast-iron guarantees of are we making these choices? This is aboutsuccess in today’s environment, but establishing a Frame for your strategy – we callthere are proven methods for giving this setting the Exam Question. Without this frameyourself the best possible chance of any answer is arguably the right one and any roadsucceeding – and of being able to could lead you there.respond and adapt to ever changingcircumstances. With a clear frame you can then start to consider the criteria that you would apply that will help youThis is called Decision Quality (DQ) and it is a to assess options. There are always options, thescience that originates from Stamford University. variables that could help you to determine trade-At its simplest level DQ requires us to think offs and compromises and the critical uncertaintiesdeliberately about our process for decision- that you have to take into account. With a clearmaking. This starts with understanding the context appreciation of the impact that they could have onfor our decisions – why and for what objective your eventual outcome.An example of a Decision Framework 26
  29. 29. the ApproachLike Governance, Decision Quality In Applicationstarts very early in our approach. D1. Discovery – We have a module in thisOur core method (4D ) is fundamentally about TM framework dedicated to decision-making. FromDecision Quality. After all, that’s ultimately the the beginning we will test how decisions should beessence of good strategic thinking. In our approach made – what criteria will provide the best means tothis starts with having clarity about what problem judge options and where compromise needs to beyou are trying to solve and builds in rigor as the made. The data will come directly from discussionframework for making decisions emerges along with and often through the conversations of the otherthe context and options. modules – if asked directly what the criteria are, we doubt we would get the right response.This is an extension of Governance. Knowinghow we make decisions and understanding the D2. Development – We will continue to test thevariables, trade-offs and uncertainties provides us criteria and also the filters that may need to bewith the data to start to create a more structured applied when making decisions. By the time weand relevant approach to decision-making. reach the strategies and initiatives in this framework we will have a strong hypothesis to test – and this will continue to be refined by the team as they build out the framework. D3. Decision – In some cases we go very deep! While the decision phase is not strictly sequential in some instances we will dedicate group time to work through the strategies and initiatives to stress-test the options. This is particularly relevant where there are multiple ways to achieve a Vision, or even multiple Visions and scenarios. 27
  30. 30. Shared MEANING Whenever our love affair with the latest term or buzzword dies we invent a new language. And when we don’t achieve the results we want we call it a fad, blame it on a flawed model and invent a new and more complex one. What if we simply invested our energies into gaining clarity and appreciation of each others’ perspective and meaning? We are a diverse breed with different value systems, different capabilities and different levels of awareness. That diversity is what makes great teams (when we learn how to combine strengths) so where is the sense in trying to force our language on others and expect the meaning to translate exactly as we intended? Just because we know what we meant doesn’t mean that everyone else sees the world in the same way, or speaks the same language.Somehow we have to find a way of getting beyond semantics and personal mental models and open our minds, eyes and ears to truly hear what we are all trying to say. Goal congruence will never be fully achieved without us uniting over definition. 28
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  32. 32. the PhilosophyShared Meaning is a close relative of While Goal Congruency can be establishedGoal Congruency. It’s hard to have and then tested on a periodic basis, new developments and initiatives require theirone without the other. meaning to be constantly defined. And meaningIn a world that works virtually for so much of the needs to run deep into every aspect of thetime, having a shared language is essential. The organization for it to be effective, particularly where it supports shared governance.cost of discovering that we were all working to adifferent set of definitions gets higher the longer It helps if everyone can literally see what they we go our own way. A statement of the obvious! are talking about. 30
  33. 33. the ApproachEven the most rigorous processes can’t In Applicationcompletely guarantee that everyone is Everything we do has a visual aspect – everygoing to develop their vision/strategy/ framework, every piece of stimulus and everyplans against a common definition, or deliverable is a carefully designed blend of visualthat they left a workshop with a single and narrative.interpretation of the outcome. The critical insights of every workshop discussionThis is why visualization plays such a significant and our subsequent consolidation are documentedpart in our philosophy and approach. It is a and provided as deliverables. Our aim in everyproven scientific fact that visual information can engagement is to leave the client better equippedbe processed (12) times faster than word alone. than they were when we were invited into their world.Of course we use word as well and structure.While any picture is helpful, to achieve a lastingappreciation requires something more rigorous – and every bit as compelling. 31
  34. 34. Solution“Just give me the Quick fixes are so attractive moment in time when wesolution!” – everyone in this scenario. Just paper learned that hard coding waswants to cut to the over the cracks with the latest not a very good idea? The samechase and get their new technology or tool and by applies to designing solutionsproblems fixed. the time we discover that the today – we have just extended problem didn’t really go away the context within which weWe are a species on a mission we’ll probably be long gone. consider systems get everything done as quicklyand easily as possible. And in Isn’t that what the last What is actually wrong witha world where everyone can group did? getting to the root cause first?become an ‘expert’ instantly why In many ways we can draw Those agile, rapid methods andgo to a ton of trouble analyzing parallels to the early days that shiny new toy will still beand discussing the answer – we of software design and data there and you might even findjust want to get on and do it. modeling. Remember that that you get the right one this way. 32
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  36. 36. the PhilosophyThe best blueprint or framework 3. now what needs to change and choose the Kcreates necessary structure without right sequence in which to affect the changeimposing unnecessary constraint. Through this we seek to create a balanced/Creativity is alive in the way it is populated; rigor is less risky solution and a conclusion to the Exampresent in the way it is structured. Fundamentallythis approach ensures that we: Question we are asking: “What is the optimal solution and roadmap to achieve the operational1. onsider every moving part of the system C environment, and in so doing, properly augment/ and its purpose enable the business goals locally/globally?”2. Understand the interoperability across all dimensions of the system Now we are ready for the Journey. Illustrating the moving parts 34
  37. 37. the ApproachIn order that any Solution is In Applicationrigorously engineered to meet the These need to be treated as a calculated set ofVision it needs to include every conclusive components, and not some arbitrarycomponent that contributes to jumble of bits that may or may not work togetherits success to be considered and when put to the test. For Group Partners thisdesigned as a complete system. means structured frameworks – this is anotherAnd the word system here is used in its widest application of our calculators – they serve as thepossible context. This means policies, processes, solution context that in turn informs the strategiesvalues, principles, capabilities, behaviors, and initiatives that will deliver the Vision.technologies and tools that all add up to These structures serve as Blueprints fordelivering the Vision. the Solution. D2. Development – Guided by the Vision and outcomes, and fully connected to the most important things to address, we can build our strategies and initiatives that define the solution. Within this module we include everything that is needed to deliver the Vision that by now everyone in the team has co- created. This includes acknowledgement of in-flight projects and covers every aspect of the business. 35
  38. 38. A Coherent Vision – A Unified ultimate test of achievement. Here is also whereBusiness Platform. semantics rears its head again. When we talk of operating models we mean everything that A unified Platform means standardized systems it takes to operate in a way that is in harmony and streamlined processes, delivering unique with our vision and the very DNA of the solutions to individual consumers and users all business, nothing less.the time, every time. A unified Platform givesany business the ways and means to be leaders This is not a conversation about the organization– valued and indispensable – locally, regionally chart and is most definitely not about low leveland globally! procedures and who does what. While this is still the primary response to organization design weAll over the world, all the time. believe this to be an approach and mindset thatThis is where we get down to the things that time expired sometime in the last decade. In aare so personal to everyone and represent the world that is increasingly networked and operatingFLEXIBLE SECURE Platform 36
  39. 39. on a global, or at least multi-national level in one applying new models with great success.way or another, we have to take a more inclusive When organizations struggle to perform at theirapproach to the way we design our operating best there are nearly always organizationalmodel. This is equally relevant when it comes to design issues at the heart of the problem.a workforce that is used to being connected to The optimized organization doesn’t have towhoever, however and whenever. talk about processes or enforce complex rules and multiple layers of management. Stuff justThe new generation of business leaders will happens, because everyone knows where theynot flourish in hierarchical silos using outdated are heading, how they contribute and what itmethods and technologies. Some kind of will take to get there.organization is still necessary, it just doesn’thave to be approached in the conventional way. And once there they are fully committed andMore enlightened organizations are already empowered for constant evolution. 37
  40. 40. the PhilosophyIt’s all too easy to declare a newstrategy and Vision and expect the rest to follow.OK, maybe even that is not necessarily easy, buthaving an intention that is then successfully articulatedand embraced widely is still just the beginning.Knowing what this means to the way everyoneworks together, the way the organization ismanaged is one of the keys to success. This isdesign in its truest sense and in the best strategiesis part of the thinking from day one. Your An example of an Operating Modelorganization is full of human beings who bringtheir own identity and uniqueness to work withthem and if allowed will use that to the best oftheir ability to deliver the Vision. 38
  41. 41. the ApproachWe will be exploring the operational D2. Development – By the time we get to theimplications for the business from Operational Model module of this frameworkthe very start. we have all the clues that we need to think about what we need to have in place to land this vision.Even before the workshop and first group In this module, and with no excuse for missingdiscussion we will be exploring the client the hidden implications, we can define the correctenvironment and getting our heads inside that structure and mode of operating for the businessworld, testing how much we can learn about the and in a way that will sustain the Vision.DNA and culture of the business. D4. Deployment – In some engagements weIn Application will unpack this module into a framework of its own and define this model in great detailD1. Discovery – one of the questions that we with emphasis on the culture, the capabilitiesask after we have allowed ourselves the creativity and the environment that will be needed. Mostof imagining the future is “what is stopping us businesses have partnerships that can help themas an organization?” If these options are so to implement the physical systems and design theattractive why haven’t we already implemented new processes. As long as they don’t completelythem? This will start to tease out the cultural hand over the problem to others there is noand behavioral challenges, as well as the more reason why bringing in the experts now shouldpractical organizational and governance issues derail success.– everything that is holding the business back,albeit unintentionally. 39
  42. 42. MEANINGFULPartnershipsLeverage – In the 21st Century no A well-designed organization has very fewleader can stay in front without hard boundaries that create walls between theleveraging the best of the best. internal workforce and the wider network.To try to build (and then continue to develop) Collective Intelligence is an expression thateverything one’s-self is a sure signal to the market resonates with most people. Building it into of impending failure. It is just unsustainable. the environment requires new and much more transparent models.Yet so few get beyond lip service. It is proven‘corporate suicide’ – economics of the madhouse This may be a time to rethink that – to develop proprietary hardware, software or Operating Platform!infrastructure that could be overtaken tomorrow.Developing the next ‘thing’ – be they fashionabledevices, new services, staying ahead of thetechnology tsunami or investing in anything but thecore business alone – is increasingly high risk.Partnering in the right way, with those alreadyleading in their fields, is the only sure bet.Engaging with the workforce to think this way –creating a culture of difference. Everyone inspiredto work like this. 40
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  44. 44. the PhilosophyA true value network extends wellbeyond the traditional organizationalboundaries and the approach topartnering is embedded in the Vision,in the approach to decision-makingand the operating platform.Without this mindset we are left with the poorrelation of ‘partnership’, one we see more oftenthan its’ more open and transparent cousin: it’scalled ‘supplier management’.It’s helpful to declare our true intention forpartnership vs. control. There is a direct impact onhow we organize and govern and the behaviorsthat we ask of our workforce. An example of a Partner Vision from a Customer Experience Framework 42
  45. 45. the ApproachIt is important for us to understand D1. Discovery – As we build the business contextwhat kind of partnership our client we are exploring the world of our stakeholdersreally wants and to be sure that they – internal and external. How highly we scorehave thought carefully about this and partners and potential partners in our stakeholderappreciate what this will take. prioritization and how well we can describe their perspective is a clue to our current ability to partner.Where the partners are involved in this process we have much more confidence D2. Development – If we are serious aboutthat the intention is serious. partnership then our significant relationships should feature throughout the framework – in ourIn Application Vision, our measures of success and our strategies – and also in the Operating Model that fullyWe bring in the external perspective in a number of embraces these relationships with the right level ofways and the degree that this is covered will depend governance and transparency. Where Developmenton the Exam Question typically. However, in these includes our supplementary Excellence Frameworksdays where the ability to partner or form mutually (e.g. Customer, Operational) there will be a Visionbeneficial alliances is hardly an option, the topic dedicated to partnership.will always come up at some stage. How deeply weaddress this is often dependent on the openness andwillingness of the business to collaborate. 43
  46. 46. RoadmapA SHARED OWNED 44
  47. 47. A shared Roadmap. That’s what What does that really mean though? In manyeveryone says they need – it’s so cases a shared roadmap simply translates to aobvious isn’t it? project plan packed with tasks, deliverables and milestones, allocated to a bunch of people whoVery few successful transformations have have the responsibility to magically deliver. Forbeen achieved by acts of individual heroism, some this becomes the day job, others hand thealthough some may claim that to be the case. problem over to professional project managers trained in the mysteries of critical paths and Gantt chart. In other instances it is an additional – maybe part time – responsibility, an unwelcome addition to an already bursting day job. A project plan is undoubtedly a critical resource in achieving a successful transformation. We would argue that it only becomes a valuable tool if backed up by decision quality, strong and effective governance, capacity and capability. And let’s not forget engagement. 45
  48. 48. the PhilosophyChange isn’t something you do to That’s the only way it becomes sustainable. Thepeople. Change, transformation, gantt chart helps to juggle the many movingwhatever term is most appropriate, parts for sure, but making those activitiesis something people engage in. and deliverables meaningful requires deep appreciation and widespread endorsement. This is hard for the people involved and difficult to achieve. To do this requires that ‘will’ and ‘commitment’ – the care and sensitivity, experience and an enabling platform. A typical construct for a Roadmap 46
  49. 49. the ApproachRoadmaps are not a team sport D2. Development – In this phase we start to takein reality! Trying to build a shared the roadmap more seriously and will be startingroadmap live in session is not for the to map out the key initiatives and horizons forfaint-hearted. implementation. Typically this starts in session and then continues as the team takes awayHowever, getting the team aligned to a structure assignments and validates/refines their plans. Atand approach for building this is critical. We apply this point we will continue to support the creationsome standard principles to the roadmap that of this roadmap remotely.ensures that we cover everything and build thestructure so that it can be managed in harmony D3. Decision – Where we include this phasewith business as usual, not as a conflicting agenda. the roadmap is more detailed and much more robust and the team will have invested group timeIn Application considering the different options and identifying the new tasks, the activities that remain and thoseD1. Discovery – We do have a roadmap positioned that stop altogether. By the end of this process therein our very first framework as it is important that should be nothing else for anyone to do that isn’twe never forget this aspect. And even in the early on this roadmap.Discovery frameworks there is value in raisingawareness to any known milestones, or even settinga timeframe for the strategy. 47
  50. 50. LeadershipIt’s easy to recite any number ofqualities that are evident in greatleaders. Often our selection is a reflection of our own values or perspectives.Interestingly there are 2 qualities that haveemerged as the top characteristics of the mostsuccessful and widely recognized leaders: humility and an iron will – an intriguing mix.What is clear is that leadership has to be present inmany places and at many moments. And not justfrom the most senior people in the organization -although that’s a great place to start.Leadership has a purpose beyond individualrecognition. It is an essential condition for anysuccessful strategy. Without strong and committedleadership the challenges along the way will proveharder to combat. 48
  51. 51. The consequences of those challenges in particular are: • Doubt • Confusion • Cynicism • Denial • Apathy This places a huge responsibility on those picking up the mantle of leadership. And even the best leaders need a support mechanism to guide them through the inevitable challenges. Challenges like: • ow do you convince people who are weary H and overburdened that they will benefit from a transformation? • ow do you instill confidence in the team and H build passion and commitment for a Vision? • ow do you ensure that you are getting the best H from your organization – that you have the right people in the right jobs doing the right things at the right time? • ow do you balance accountability with H empowerment and co-creation?49
  52. 52. the PhilosophyWe stated much earlier in this organizational design and management. In ourdocument that ‘the Future belongs to experience it is far too easy for others to usethe real leaders’. leadership as the reason for what is wrong in their company. Yet when asked who the leaders are it isIt may be time to redefine what leadership means, nearly always the same people pointing the fingerjust as it is long overdue to think differently about away from them. An example of a Leadership Framework 50
  53. 53. the ApproachThe act of getting a senior team In Applicationin a room together gives us an D1. Discovery – there is no single controllingopportunity to witness their current module in this framework for addressinglevel of leadership and to ask some leadership, it will appear in discussion in manychallenging questions. ways. In reality the entire act of Discovery andWhile our approach is always deeply respectful, Alignment is a precursor to establishing leadershipit is often necessary to force what are difficult – assuming it wasn’t there in its entirety already.conversations out into the open. The response And by this we are not referring to the most seniorfrom the team will tell us how strong a leadership person in the room – although they will be equallywe have in the business and this is a strong under the spotlight with this process.indicator for the likelihood of success in sustaining D2. Development – Taking ownership of drivingwhatever we create together. through this strategy and investing the time and effort to fully leverage the emerging framework in Development is a critical imperative – one of the most commonly listed imperatives in this framework (Module B) is Leadership. And it starts with the team being willing and able to take the outcomes of the work in session out to the wider enterprise and to continue developing this into a sustainable and executable program. We will in some cases take the Development phase further and deep dive specifically on Leadership – particularly where this is a key concern for the business. As with other Excellence Frameworks we have one dedicated to this topic. 51
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  55. 55. SummaryThis document represents our views It contains our personal insights and experienceson tackling the many challenges gained through working with some of the largestof businesses in the most holistic global companies and their leadership teams.manner and embracing the principles We passionately believe that a new way ofof systems thinking. thinking is not a luxury or a latest fad – it is essential to stay viable and survive in business. The world today is unbelievably different from the one that built the modules and practices that we continue to follow. While the burning platform may not be that apparent yet to everyone, the most enlightened are giving this serious thought and exploring new ways of working. For Group Partners every dynamic in this document is part of an interconnected system that only works optimally when everything is aligned. We have spent the last 10 years developing frameworks and techniques that help organizations break out of their old models. We will continue to evolve our Practice and embrace new concepts, tools and techniques to stay at least one step ahead in this dynamic, fast changing world that offers so much opportunity if we are brave enough to embrace the future. 53
  56. 56. Group Partners Europe Group Partners America www.grouppartners.net32 St James’s Street, Mayfair 111 West John Street, Suite 302 www.grouppartnerswiki.netLondon SW1A 1HD, UK Seattle, WA 98119 54