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Process + Executive Leadership

Your starting point: 

Process improvements with a focus on executive alignment.

It looks like you're experiencing pushback from within the wider org about your team's processes. There may be a disconnect between expectations and reality. Or perhaps you need to sort out a few kinks in the way your team is working together. We recommend starting your adaptive journey here.

Starting steps: 
Get it all on the table

Since other parts of the organization are voicing frustration and concerns about your team's processes, you will need to dig deeper into their feedback and the challenges they're facing working with your team.

This could go two different ways, depending on the quantity and weight of the feedback given:

If you are seeing a pattern of feedback about specific, limited issues: If you sense broader discontent with your team's processes:
  • Consider setting up meetings with frustrated stakeholders to allow them to voice their challenges and express their ideas for improvement.
  • Consider setting up a survey to understand the issues that partners are having with your team in more detail.
  • In both cases, be sure to solicit a point of view from your team about how they think things are going.
  • We suggest a survey of your team that includes questions across a wide range of work streams such as prioritization, approvals, time management, briefing and tools.
  • This will be important for comparing how your team sees themselves vs. how the rest of the organization is experiencing working with your team.
  • Include space in the survey for them to share their ideas for addressing each challenge.
  • Once you've gathered this input from stakeholders and your team, group the issues into categories that enable you to address them systematically.
  • Rank each item with a simple weighting system based on frequency, urgency or impact to the business. This will give you a frame for understanding the relative severity of each issue.
Review with the team
  • Review the results of the feedback with the team and lead a facilitated discussion about the themes that emerge to gain further context.
  • Remove any personal callouts and instead focus on the process issues that execs and partners are facing.
  • Encourage your team to empathize with the exec team and other departments and try to model a sense of humility in how you frame each item.
  • Next, translate this feedback into a shared list of systemic issues that are clustered into groups that everyone understands. Remember that it's not about solutions yet—it's about identifying the problems to start solving.
  • Once you have clarity on the issues that need attention, facilitate a prioritization exercise to identify which problems to solve first.
  • We like using a weighted scorecard system. Individuals score items on their own. Then everyone's scores are combined to create a prioritization. Finally, each person gets a set of bonus points to use to alter the final weightings.
  • Keep these bonus points low so they only have value if team members can convince colleagues through debate to put their points toward the same items.
  • Based on the scores, create a backlog of the issues from highest to lowest priority. Spend time as a group assigning owners or committees to tackle the top issues.
Identify new processes to apply
  • For each process change, create a timeline for when it should be addressed.
  • Then prioritize your team's time depending on the size of the issues they are solving. Ask them to research possible solutions and put together a proposal for how the issues should be addressed and which processes they recommend for implementation.
  • Keep it light. Use the planning and proposal process to ensure each item has been given enough thought, but don't make it a heavy lift for projects to get going.
  • Use this planning work as a moment to return to internal stakeholders who provided you with feedback. Let them know how you are responding to their concerns. They may spot ways that your proposed solution can be improved.
  • Once you're sure you have good options for improving processes, provide your team with the support they need to pilot the new processes. Be mindful of your prioritization exercise and refrain from introducing too much change at once.
  • Make one team member responsible to oversee the rollout and adoption of each new process. This team member should check in with colleagues and groups to collect further feedback and ideas on how it can be refined.
  • As your team rolls out and implements each process change, be sure to include time for reflection, socialization of results and revision.
  • Remember that when it comes to change initiatives, how the change is communicated and supported is just as important as the change itself.

It looks like you're experiencing pushback from within the wider org about your team's processes.

“If you’re on a mission to make change happen, you want Modern Craft in your corner.”

Jon Mamela, CMO, Tourism Toronto

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