Friday, 18 December 2020

A Guide to business integrations

This is a Guide to business integrations. Every business integration is different, whether that is bringing together the Harbours and the Airport into a single company: Ports of Jersey, or if the integrations are part of an acquisition programme building presence and capability in Luxembourg, Canada, Jersey and Guernsey.

This therefore is a rough guide of things to consider rather than an exact plan or a precise order, which will inevitably be different according to circumstances. It is however based on real-life experience and successes in public sector, technology, retail and medical businesses.

If you are interested in projects, change or business integrations please contact me Tim@AdaptConsultingCompany.com or phone +44(0)7797762051

Step 1 - Assemble the Project Team

This is itself is the subject of another step-by-step guide and I won't elaborate here expect to say that it is important to have a team with the competence, capacity, drive and desire to deliver the project. It is also important to have in mind the process of integrating with, and have-over to, business-as-usual team(s) so that there is a clear delineation between the project which should come to an end having achieved its goals, and business-as-usual of running the now expanded business.

Step 2 - Understand the Strategy

Any business integration is part of a strategy and this need to be understood. If the aim is to expand the number of people, products, customers then the integration process may be very different from an aim which is to standardise, centralise, economise. With the former each acquisition may seek to increase the range of products and services [Company A 10 products + Company B 10 products = Company AB 20 products] whereas the latter the intention will be to rationalise and reduce [Company A 10 products + Company B 10 products = Company AB 10 products]

Moreover the business integration may be a long-term "hold" in which case there will probably be significant investment in people, process and technology and a drive for closer integration possibly under a common brand. Or the integration may be a short-term "positon" in which case the businesses are loosely joined possibly with separate products and practices for their "local" sector or market.

The level of integration and the length of ownership are important considerations for investors some of whom may be looking for a steady yield over a long period. Or they may look to flip very quickly to gain the upside of a bigger business (more customers and revenue) without the cost of integration and rationalisation (and associated investment and change).

Some businesses will join but still have 2 accounting systems, 2 sales and marketing teams, 2 compliance teams whereas others would invest to integrate and in the long term rationalise. The most extreme case I have come across is one firm that have 140 different accounting systems, such was the speed of their acquisitions and slowness of their integration.

Step 3 - Review the Products and Services

The above elements set the scene for the Review the Products and Services. Do the business continue all Products and Services or seek to standardise and streamline? A common approach is to consolidate the most profitable and depreciate the least profitable, giving due notice to customers and offering an upgrade or migration path which may also include a review of contracts, terms and conditions, service changes etc. This then later feeds into the Service and Support and Migrate the Customers workstreams discussed later.

Step 4 - Review the Support, Partners and Suppliers

Whether to have 2 accounting systems, 2 sales and marketing teams, 2 compliance teams will depend on a number of factors. It may be that the tax, language and regulations are sufficiently different to merit this. Or it may make common sense to bring everything together under one team and one system.

The same may apply to Partners and Suppliers. If you have an intangible product/service you may be able to service everyone globally from one place or with one supplier, but if there are tangible elements, or the need for face to face, or physical interaction (eg engineer or mechanic) then the choices will be different. For many businesses there is a combination of both strategies at play: centralise some elements and decentralise others.

Step 5 - Review the Organisation Structure

The above elements set the circumstances to Review the Organisation Structure. The roles and responsibilities may change according to what is to centralise or decentralise and what is to expand (more people, products, services) and what is to contract (rationalise services). This may be a once only change as two businesses become one, or more complex if part of an acquisition strategy of many integrations. There may be many functions to consider, some of which may be departments, teams, individuals or external-partnerships. All businesses are different but these themes will apply in some measure to most.
  • Finance And Accounts
  • Sales And Marketing
  • Compliance And Legal
  • Service And Support
  • Training And Development
  • Company Secretarial And Admin
  • Human Resources
  • Information Governance
  • Information Security
  • Properties and Facilities
  • Culture and Communications
Each of the above departments, teams or individuals will have a plan for business-as-usual, keeping existing customers happy and maintaining current Products and Services, whilst also preparing for the future changes. Managing and coordinating the resources between "run the business" and "change the business" is critical.

For the bringing together the Harbours and the Airport into a single company: Ports of Jersey we had the additional legislative and political aspects to consider. It was necessary to write laws to set-up the Port Authority on a legal basis, transfer the assets and vest the responsibilities and all this was subject to political oversight and also political scrutiny, with necessary liaison with UK for Privy Council and Queens Assent. Furthermore it was necessary to reach accord on the balance of responsibilities to the Treasury (expecting a shareholder return) and to Government (expecting public service)

Step 6 - Review the Company Structure

This Review the Organisation Structure may have an impact on company structure, tax status, jurisdiction etc., for example whether there is one business or a conglomerate. Whether there is a holding top-co and where the assets of the entities are held and the income booked and the contracts held. This does require careful thought because internal and inter-company movement of assets, income and resources will have a material affect on the balance sheet and profit and loss of the company(ies) their approach to investment and the rules applying to staff (employment laws are different in some countries) and services (regulations are different in some countries).

Step 7 - Prepare the Service Teams

At the onset we talked about the project which should come to an end having achieved its goals, and transfer to the business-as-usual team who will run the now expanded business. All the thinking above now needs to be translated into preparation so that the new people, policies, processes, products are prepared and ahead of any client migration.

This may be a significant amount of work if it requires the transfer or consolidation of data into new systems or adapt and adoption of new ways of working. This is a project within itself.

Step 8 - Communications

Communications should be happening all the time. I have placed it at Step 9 not because it is the 9th thing to do, but to highlight all the things that need to be considered as part of a communications plan that starts before Step 1. The communications plan should start before integration, perhaps as a statement of strategy or intention. What gets said to whom, when, how and why is a project within itself. There may be issues of commercial confidentiality, insider-trading, staff and union participation. There is much to consider and many to include from shareholders to stakeholders, suppliers to staff.

Step 9 - Culture and Process Change

Culture and Process Change should be happening incrementally all the time, in parallel with planned communications to ensure what you say and what you do remain in step and people are engaged as well as informed. This "theme" may include a number of elements including human resources, training and development, process change and coaching.

Whereas the steps above will provide a map, a map is not a journey. Success is dependant upon execution and successful delivery will be dependant upon the competence, capacity, drive and desire of everyone, and possibly a reliance upon a change team to compliment the project team in helping the people aspects of change.

There may also be the need to consider "local" issues and customs where global approach does not exactly fit and an element of translation, interpretation or customisation is needed.

A Review the Products and Services (discussed above) is ostensibly about picking the winners and losers, those that will carry forward and those for which there will be a managed end-of-life. However at a more granular level there may be a need to review how these are delivered faster, cheaper, better possibly taking account of new capabilities emerging from the integration.

Step 10 - Review and Migrate the Customers, Products and Services

As noted in Communications, there is a need to talk to customers all the time, before, during and after the changes that effect them. The steps above will shape the conversation. In some cases there may be a emphasis to remove unprofitable or high maintenance clients and target resources towards more profitable homogenous clients.

Often small businesses offer a la carte bespoke services when they get started which are difficult and costly to maintain when the scale-up resulting in a switch to drop parochial services in favour of consolidated global services and reduce the variety and complexity of Products and Services to a few staple products.

If your strategy is to target different customers with different Products and Services you may have a challenging tasks of managing the transition, particularly if there are existing contracts and committments which will take a time to unwind, review and renew.

The review element should be a part of the hand-over to business-as-usual and the regular relationship management annual reviews. This is critical part of kaisan: continuous improvement beyond the integration project.

Conclusion

This has been a look at integration rather than the pre-integration task of acquisition. It is not a definitive guide, but hopefully useful to indicate themes and share experience.

If you are interested in projects, change or business integrations or would like checklists, templates, tools or training in any of the above elements or perhaps just a coaching conversation about how to customise and apply these ideas in your organisation please contact me Tim@AdaptConsultingCompany.com or phone +44(0)7797762051



Tim HJ Rogers MBA
CONSULTANT PROJECTS PROGRAMMES AND CHANGE
Mob 447797762051
Tim@AdaptConsultingCompany.com

ABOUT TIM: Tim's background includes BUSINESSS responsible for the incorporation of the Post Office and Ports of Jersey and Operations Change and Sales Support Manager for NatWest and RBS International his COMMUNITY INTERESTS include Jersey Policy Forum, hosting TEDx events and he is a Former Chair of Pharmaceutical Benefits Committee and member Public Accounts Committee, and SPORT INTERESTS Triathlon (Commonwealth Games 2006) & Ironman (2006-2016) and Rowing (World Champs 2009, 2010, 2016)

A Guide to strategy, projects and change

Every organisation is different and there are lots of models, guides and articles about strategies. For example Porter suggested 4 strategies "Cost Leadership" (no frills), "Differentiation" (creating uniquely desirable products and services) and "Focus" (offering a specialized service in a niche market). He then subdivided the Focus strategy into two parts: "Cost Focus" and "Differentiation Focus."

There are also lots of models, guides and articles about projects and project management. The two main methodologies are agile (for example Scrum) and waterfall (for example PRINCE2). The main difference between agile and waterfall is that waterfall projects are completed sequentially whereas agile projects are completed iteratively in a cycle.

And finally there are (you've guessed it) lots of models, guides and articles about change, the most famous being the 'change curve' derived from the work of Kubler-Ross, which describes the journey that individuals typically experience when dealing with change and transition. This journey consists of a number of stages that people go through: shock and denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

This paper is about how these elements may be joined up into a programme. It is not therefore a deep exploration of each element (strategy, projects and change), but a rough guide of things to consider when bringing these elements together. This is not an exact plan or a precise order, which will inevitably be different according to circumstances. It is however based on real-life experience and successes in operatonalising strategy and delivering progress in public sector, technology, retail and medical businesses.

If you are interested in strategy, projects and change please contact me Tim@AdaptConsultingCompany.com or phone +44(0)7797762051

Step 1 - Translating the Strategy into Plans

Because this is an exploration of how the pieces fit together I will not talk about the process of strategy formulation but instead start from the point that a strategy exists and it is your job to see that it gets delivered. As a Consultant/Project manager this is often the case.

At this point it is important to understand [1] where are we now [2] where do we want to be [3] how to get there. The strategy will address these points in summary, but this now needs to be broken into sub-elements so that we can understand what needs to shift, change, progress, develop. For simplicity I will use the McKinsey 7S Model, but there are many other ways to do this.

It is important to create a "to do list" for each element

  • Strategy: this is your organization's plan for building and maintaining a competitive advantage over its competitors.
  • Structure: this how your company is organized (that is, how departments and teams are structured, including who reports to whom).
  • Systems: the daily activities and procedures that staff use to get the job done.
  • Shared values: these are the core values of the organization, as shown in its corporate culture and general work ethic. They were called "superordinate goals" when the model was first developed.
  • Style: the style of leadership adopted.
  • Staff: the employees and their general capabilities.
  • Skills: the actual skills and competencies of the organization's employees.

From this you will have lengthy lists of major tasks, some of which are dependant upon each-other and need to performed in the correct order, whilst other elements can be done independently. Rather life following a recipe.

Step 2 - Translating Plans into a Programme of Projects

As stated above, this is not about projects and project management or how to do Agile or Waterfall. I will create a separate guide for each. This is about how strategy is linked to a programme of delivery and how that programme provides oversight and drive for the successful delivery of projects and in-so-doing the delivery of change and the goals of the strategy.

Too often I see organisations where it is really hard to link what is said (strategy - thinking) with what is done (projects - actions). Moreover it is often the case that organisations are unclear on focus and priority and over ambitious on delivery. This is typically the case where are more than 20 major projects and no consensus on their priority for scheduling, funding and resources.

I have often said you can do 100 things at 1% (and dissipate your efforts) or 1 thing ar 100% (and put all your eggs in one basket). In truth there is probably a sweet spot of 5 - 10 projects that can be properly delivered in one year depending on duration, funding and resources. Beyond that you increase complexity, confusion, challenges of communication, co-ordination and collaboration and overall increase risk.

Getting the Board, Executive or Senior Management Team to agree the definitions, deliverables and priorities of each project can be a major task. I have been in boardrooms where executives have completely differing views on the purpose, scope and outcome of a project and are unable to prioritise as a result. Left unaddressed this creates uncertainty with inevitable impact on the project delivery and the allocation of resources (time, money, effort).

From this you will have lengthy lists of projects, and some form of ranking and sequence. You'll also have an idea on Priority1 "must do projects" and Priority2 "would like to do projects" and Priority3 "coming soon projects".

What is critical at this stage is to ensure that recognition and reward systems, performance appraisals, departmental goals and personal development plans reconcile to these. I have seen projects (and organisations) fail because the people and processes are incentivised to incongruent goals. You cannot expect people to commit to Project X if their boss has made Task Y their key priority or indeed recognition and reward is aligned to Measure Z.

Step 3 - Assemble the Programme Office

In simple terms the Projects or Programme Management Office [PMO] will be the central hub for tools, templates, training, co-ordination and communication for all projects. There is no single correct truth of what is included in the scope of a PMO and the extent to which elements are centralised or decentralised. Some PMOs are very hands-on involved in strategy, resources, funding, budgets and discussions with managers, staff and delivery teams. Other PMOs are simply a central point to consolidate and distribute project progress reports.

One analogy I have used is Air Traffic Control ATC. ATC does not fly planes, but does ensure that they

  1. Have a clear understanding of destination and route. - A project "idea" has a clear purpose, scope and benefits
  2. Have a agreement on destination and desire. - A project has a business case, plan, budget etc.
  3. Have a flight-plan and inventory of passengers, crew etc. - A project has an idea of roles, goals, controls, etc.
  4. Have pre-flight checks and permission to take-off, avoiding other planes or obstacles. - A project which is ready (people, funding, schedule) is authorised to proceed avoiding crash into another or other critical activities like quarter-end reporting or major campaigns etc.
  5. Have a safe flight with necessary updates on progress, weather or obstacles - A project submits progress reports on their journey and receives updates on possible issues, diversions etc.
  6. Have a safe landing (at the right place, time, and avoiding issues) - A project reaches conclusion its arrival is scheduled and the resources to accept the outputs and outcomes are prepared.
  7. Have process for disembarking and handling arrivals at the new destination - A project has a closure and hand-over to business as usual

This analogy has been useful in differentiating between what happens with in the project (the plane with its captain, crew, passengers, resources and destination) and the oversight and overall co-ordination that happens in the Air Traffic Control ATC tower. ATC does not tell the captain how to fly, nor does the captain take responsibility for what happens outside their aircraft. It is the same between PMO and Project Manager

To stretch this analogy a little further (and beyond the realities of what Air Traffic Control do at most airports), we might also imagine that ATC also runs a "flight school" to train pilots and understand their roles and responsibilities, with appropriate tools, templates, techniques etc.

At this point I will resist the temptation to go into the processes and artefacts of project managerment (perhaps another guide) and conclude by making the point that it is important to have the necessary eco-sphere of roles, goals, controls, checks and balances to ensure smooth operation of international air space, and delivery of projects alike.

Step 4 - Assemble the Talent Academy

This may or may not be an element in your approach, but I have long thought that the role of Project Leadership goes beyond delivering on-time, on-budget, to-specification with low-risk and high-communication and should additionally improve the competence, capacity, drive and desire of every participant.

Creating tools, templates and training via a Projects or Programme Management Office is useful, but at times it is akin to buying someone tools and then assuming that they are a plumber or electrician. As well as the process and artefacts there is a need to work with, support, engage and empower the people.

Without this essential step the strategy is a menu for people that do not want to eat. And a project plan is a recipe for people who do not want to cook.

The common refrain is "we need hearts and minds" with the emphasis on recruitment rather like that Lord Kitchener poster "Your Country Needs You" used to recruit people, ostensibly to the trenches for a heroic, tragic and fifthly death. This leads to the subjugation and demoralisation of people who are overworked and conflicted beween their day-job, the additional and ever changing demands of their bosses and the requests of the projects.

There are a divergence of views here which I should acknowledge, but mine is that it is often useful to differentiate between those that "run the business" and those that "change the business". I do believe that there are different skills and often different personalities in war or in peace, in projects or in business-as-usual, in change or in steady-as-we-go.

A Talent Academy goes beyond training and development of employees and seeks to find, support and develop people into their ideal roles. In this case, somewhat simplistically "run the business" (managers and supervisors) or "change the business" (innovators and change agents).

It is critical that these people co-operate, collaboration and communicate for projects outcomes and outputs to become part of every-day operation. In some organisations they rotate people so that they have experience of developing processes, products and services as well as real-life experience of using these. We must avoid installation without implementation: You have the "thing" but none of the benefits are realised. You may win the war (deliver the project), but you have no plan for peace (operationalise and capitalise).

There has been so much written about education, engagement and empowerment from training, through facilitation, mentoring, coaching that I will suggest that the reader spend some time looking at this vital aspect and what is necessary and useful for their people, projects, progress and performance.

Step 5 - Create The Change Team

The Change Team may be the cadre of "change the business" folks who under the stewardship of Project Managers and/or Scum Masters are the workforce for delivery. They may be the SAS who go in first, to be followed by the infantry and eventually the politicians.

In some business there may be a discrete mergers and acquisitions team, or a project delivery team. Whereas other organisations rely upon volunteers or the goodwill over overstretched employees to find some extra time on top of their daily cores.

The concepts of Programme Management Office (a person, team or function providing oversight and co-ordination) and Talent Academy (a person, team or function providing training, coaching, support) and a Change Team (a person, team or function supporting the delivery) may overlap somewhat, but I do believe consideration needs to be put to these elements. We say "people are our most important asset" yet this is often the least well maintained and cared-for asset, leading to overwork, breakdown and failure.

If you are going to rely upon business-as-usual team to deliver projects as an additional added element to their day-job then there will be a need to protect the people and their time. This can be achieved by dedicating a day or time for project work or a location at which they can be undisturbed by business-as-usual tasks.

The co-ordination and management of tasks and the development and support of people is the most critical element of strategy, projects and change. Creating the environment where success is inevitable (purpose, premises, processes, priority and participation) is key role of management and leadership.

Step 6 - Deliver the Programme, Operationalise the Strategy

With all these elements complete and properly integrated it should be possible to "switch-on" the machine and Deliver the Programme, Operationalise the Strategy. I use the machine metaphor not to undermine the importance of people it is, after all, the people who design, build and operate this machine. However I do feel that it is the processes that should work 24/7 and not the people.

The role of people is not to be a cog in the machine, constantly under pressure to perform, but to be the architect and operator to innovate and build new faster, cheaper, better processes leading to improvements for people, products, profits and the planet.

Conclusion

This has been a look at strategy, projects and change. It is not a definitive guide, nor a sequential check-list, but hopefully useful to indicate themes and share experience.

If you are interested in strategy, projects and change or would like checklists, templates, tools or training in any of the above elements or perhaps just a coaching conversation about how to customise and apply these ideas in your organisation please contact me Tim@AdaptConsultingCompany.com or phone +44(0)7797762051



Tim HJ Rogers MBA
CONSULTANT PROJECTS PROGRAMMES AND CHANGE
Mob 447797762051
Tim@AdaptConsultingCompany.com

ABOUT TIM: Tim's background includes BUSINESSS responsible for the incorporation of the Post Office and Ports of Jersey and Operations Change and Sales Support Manager for NatWest and RBS International his COMMUNITY INTERESTS include Jersey Policy Forum, hosting TEDx events and he is a Former Chair of Pharmaceutical Benefits Committee and member Public Accounts Committee, and SPORT INTERESTS Triathlon (Commonwealth Games 2006) & Ironman (2006-2016) and Rowing (World Champs 2009, 2010, 2016)

Sunday, 6 December 2020

TEAMS, TRIBES, CULTURE AND ENEMIES




 
 
In a recent coaching session a client talked about teams, membership, motivation and managing the perception of people inside and outside the team.

It is interesting to think about who is your "Team". Is it your peer-group of equals? Is it the people for whom your are the leader, manager, boss? Is it the community, club, clique, company, or profession to which you belong or identify?  Is the team vertical (includes those above and below in the hierarchy). This may be a simple answer, or you may find you have several relationships with different teams with similar or dissimilar aims, objectives and expectations.

What unites a team (goal, values, location, education, profession culture) also divides or separate it from others. So whatever we do to unite against a foe, enemy, rival may create an unhealthy simplification, conflict and personalisation against the other team(s) even within the same organisation.

We need to be wary of the cult in culture and focus teams upon the process and object (which we can change) rather than the personality and belief (which present moral or ethical issues). This is often a challenge of the conscious (thinking data, facts) over the unconscious (mind, experience, bias) and demands critical conversations within ourselves as much as with others.   

An interesting question is: Are you changing "things" to suit the community or the community to suit "things"?

If you are interested in people, projects or change get in contact. We love what we do and will happily have a coffee and a Zoom call to talk about what might work for you or your organisation.



Tim HJ Rogers
MBA (Management Consultancy) & Change Practitioner
PRINCE2, Agile and Scrum
CONSULTANT MENTOR COACH
Mob 447797762051
Tim@AdaptConsultingCompany.com

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

ARE YOU RESPONDING OR REACTING TO COVID?

Chamber

ARE YOU RESPONDING OR REACTING TO COVID?

At this time of covid and economic crisis it is useful to rethink our priorities, projects, processes and how we look after our people.

by Tim Rogers Adapt Consulting Company

I was amazed by one firm who said they have stopped all projects: those that save money; those that make money; those that meet regulation or underpin services. This type of paralysis can only create anxiety at a time of uncertainty which cannot be good for people, products or profits.

I accept that it should be a time of reappraisal, but that should be as much about the things you remain committed to, and your plans beyond covid as it is about the necessarily flexible and agile response to the ever-changing rules, direction and guidance.

It is perhaps useful to think about why projects (and the strategies they underpin) fail. This is not to say that businesses should stop projects because by definition a project should be delivering a benefit. The task should be to eliminate anything that undermine that benefit (which may be the lifeboat for your people, customers or business)

  • Scope Creep
  • Over allocated Resources
  • Poor Communications
  • Bad Stakeholder Management
  • Unreliable Estimates
  • No Risk Management
  • Unsupported Project Culture
  • The Accidental Project Manager
  • Lack of Team Planning Sessions
  • Monitoring and Controlling

My nearly 30 years of experience in projects and change has taught me to ask the following questions and where-ever the answer is NO I know that that is the missing ingredient that I have to deliver to help the people, process, and performance .

  • I know what is expected of me at work
  • I have the materials and equipment I need to do my job right
  • I have the opportunity to do what I do best every-day
  • In the last 7 days I have received recognition or praise for doing good work
  • Someone at work encourages my development
  • At work, my opinions count

As a consultant I often give advice, as a coach my role is to listen and support and be the sounding-board for people to create or innovate their own goals, paths and tasks. This however is always a little harder with teams because of the number of people and interests which need to align to be able to achieve the best outcomes. Peter Hawking suggests the key steps to team coaching (and performance) are

  • Commission. Are we clear about what our stakeholders are requiring from us?
  • Clarifying. A great team creates its own sense of collective endeavour- what are we here to achieve
  • Co-creating. How do we work together in a way that is generative?
  • Connecting. What we do when were not together as when we are together. How do I carry the sense of the whole team with me.
  • Core learning. How does the whole team develop and learn, not just the individuals within it?

This requires a style which is different from project management or consultancy. Goleman notes the following leadership styles, and I think it is interesting to reflect on what new combinations work best in this time of covid and economic crisis with many people stressed-out, anxious, uncertain and in many cases either physically or emotionally remote.

  • Visionary mobilize people toward a vision. Works best when a clear direction or change is needed. Most positive climate.
  • Coaching develop people for the future. Works best when helping people and building long-term strength. Positive climate.
  • Affiliative create emotional bonds and harmony. Works best to heal rifts in teams or motivate people in stressful times.Positive climate.
  • Democratic build consensus through participation.Works best to create consensus or get input. Positive climate.
  • Pacesetting expect excellence and self-direction.Works best to get quick results from a highly competent team. Negative climate.
  • Commanding demand immediate compliance.Works best in crisis or with problematic people.Negative climate.

Remote working is an opportunity and an issue. The Allen Curve is an illustration of how, in an office setting, people who are stationed within 10 meters of one another have the highest probability of communication. Employees who sit more than 25 meters apart have a low probability of communication. This will inevitably effect relationship, engagement and commitment and demand new ways of working.

We perhaps need to re-think businesses as large employers and instead as composites of many smaller teams or tribes. Our brains can only handle this much information for a certain number of people, which seems to be about 150 (The Dunbar Number) Within a group of about 150 friends, there will be different levels of familiarity. We might have just a few very intimate friends, perhaps 15 people to whom we feel close, and 50 to whom we speak regularly.

In agile / scrum projects the ideal size for a development is between 3 and 9 people, not including the ScrumMaster and product owner. Any smaller and the team couldn't accomplish enough each sprint. Any larger and communication becomes complex and cumbersome, because of the complexity of Communications, Relationships and Channels. I think in terms of different tribes or teams whether that is Squad A, Squad B, or Client 1, and Client 2.

The number of potential communication channels is calculated with the following formula n x (n-1)/2 Team of 2 = 1 channel Team of 3 = 3 channels Team of 4 = 6 channels Team of 5 = 10 channels Team of 6 = 15 channels Team of 7 = 21 channels Team of 8 = 28 channels Team of 9 = 36 channels

My approach is to blend and flex between consulting and coaching to create the right environment and circumstances for reflecting, thinking, engagement and commitment. When coaching teams you are coaching individuals and the connections in between. You must understand the person, their aims and talents. How best to direct their energy. You must also understand the team goals and process: What makes the boat go faster You must understand the relationships between each individual and their relationship with the team, goals and objectives. How can these elements achieve (and enjoy) more together than they could ever do apart: progress and performance. In sport performance we often think of this as flow.

The key conditions for flow are...

  • Knowing what to do
  • Knowing how to do it
  • Knowing how well you are doing
  • Knowing where to go (if navigation is involved)
  • High perceived challenges
  • High perceived skills
  • Freedom from distractions

What flow feels like...(which is surely what we want to create for our teams)

  • I was challenged, but I believed my skills would allow me to meet the challenge.
  • My attention was focused entirely on what I was doing.
  • I really enjoyed the experience.
  • It was no effort to keep my mind on what was happening.
  • I felt I was competent enough to meet the high demands of the situation.
  • I was not concerned with how I was presenting myself.
  • The challenge and my skills were at an equally high level.
  • I did things spontaneously and automatically without having to think.
  • At times, it almost seemed like things were happening in slow motion.

The aim to the connect the people to the task,to their roles and to each-other. People > Process > Progress > Performance

In a time of uncertainty this offers some stability, reduces anxiety, and creates the foundations for future success.


Whatever your challenges there is always at least one step that you can do to move nearer your goal.

Perhaps your next step is getting in touch.

Tim HJ Rogers
CONSULTANT MENTOR COACH
Mob 447797762051
TimHJRogers@AdaptConsultingCompany.com




References

Top 10 Reasons Why Projects Fail
https://project-management.com/top-10-reasons-why-projects-fail/

Key factors in team success
https://adaptconsultingcompany.blogspot.com/2018/12/six-questions-which-predict-team.html

Peter Hawkins Five Cs Model for High Performing Teams
https://adaptcoaching.blogspot.com/2020/09/peter-hawkins-five-cs-model-for-high.html

What is Flow in Psychology? Definition and 10+ Activities to Induce Flow
https://positivepsychology.com/what-is-flow/

Goleman Leadership Styles
https://www.toolshero.com/leadership/goleman-leadership-styles/

The Allen Curve and Why it Matters to Team-Builders
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/allen-curve-why-matters-team-builders-brian-mcelhaney-edd/?articleId=6642563104561594369


Dunbar's Number - How Large Can A Team Be?
https://www.teambuilding.co.uk/theory/dunbars_number.html

Idea size of scrum team
https://www.scrumalliance.org/about-scrum/team

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Are we too focused on leadership?

There are a lot of good lists out there about the differences between management and leadership

For example...

9 Differences Between Being A Leader And A Manager

1. Leaders create a vision, managers create goals.
2. Leaders are change agents, managers maintain the status quo.
3. Leaders are unique, managers copy.
4. Leaders take risks, managers control risk .
5. Leaders are in it for the long haul, managers think short-term.
6. Leaders grow personally, managers rely on existing, proven skills.
7. Leaders build relationships, managers build systems and processes.
8. Leaders coach, managers direct.
9. Leaders create fans, managers have employees.


However I wonder if we are too focused on leadership? Among my family and friends we do not feel the need to elect a leader. We do not feel we need to follow someone but instead we collaborate, communicate and cooperate. Indeed this is how tribes work, and the concept of a village working together for the benefit of all.

Leadership and management is an interesting concept that we accept in work and in politics, but it does not really serve us as well as just getting along together. We often get disappointed and elect a new one. Or in some cases find ourselves subjugated by them and the power (wages, work, reputation, training, housing, food etc.) that they command.

Them and Us is about this division, whereas without it there is only Us. It is not that I disagree with leadership qualities, I just think we should all have them, and share them.

As a result of the book Humankind [by Rutger Bregman] I have discovered Jos de Blok and his model anchored on the self-management capacity.

Useful link about Jos de Blok https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeOrNjwHw58

FAVI, led by its former Director Jean-Fran├žois Zobrist, developed in the 80’s a customer focused organization where the structure fades to assure full listening of the autonomous and responsible teams. An unusual management that promotes a constant search for customer love, trust in human being and innovation.


You may also have heard of Valve. Imagine a company where everyone is equal and managers don't exist. A place where employees sit where they want, choose what to work on and decide each other's pay. Then, once a year, everyone goes on holiday together. You have just imagined Valve.

Useful link about Valve: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24205497

It is well known that money does not motivate and indeed may de-motivate if it makes noble effort or charitable support cheap and grubby.


For my own part I started as a waterfall PRINCE2 project guy commanding people, process and technology. I am now much more in favour of Scrum Agile approach which is more bottom-up collaborative and favour an ask better questions approach [Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling by Edgar H. Schein].

I would be interested to hear from anyone who has worked in these types of organisation.


TimHJRogers
Helping people and organisations get things done

Adapt Consulting Company
Consult CoCreate Deliver
@AdaptCCompany +447797762051

Sunday, 12 July 2020

How Has Lockdown Changed Your Leadership Style?


I read this...

Overall, there is probably still a high sensitivity for some leaders who are looking for evidence or reasons to distrust, rather than trusting in the new ways of working. I have always focused on the analytical aspects of management and leadership, for example, working towards hitting a number, and focusing on growth... but... it is not all about focusing on the end results and forced me to change my style

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisoncoleman/2020/07/11/how-has-lockdown-changed-your-leadership-style/#11abb3eff10e

I have been reading this...

Humankind: A Hopeful History Humankind: A Hopeful History Originally published: September 13, 2019 Author: Rutger Bregman
 
What is fascinating about Rutger Bregman's book is the idea that 'leadership' is both new (in the last 5% of human history) and a dysfunctional result of property, ownership, and civilisation that simply did not exist when Homo Sapiens were nomads and equal. The unfair society is actually a result of.... society! 

I cannot recommend the book enough and whether you agree with the statement above or not, the book is worth a read. If you are interested in teams, team performance and concepts like scrum which is about facilitation rather than control then you will find this book interesting.

If you have a different perspective or experience please comment below. If you are interested in teams, team performance and culture get in touch.
 
TimHJRogers
Helping people and organisations get things done

Adapt Consulting Company
Consult CoCreate Deliver
@AdaptCCompany +447797762051

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

A NEW SCORE CARD FOR PEOPLE AND PURPOSE

Apparently more tha 50% of people doubt they will stick with their current employer beyond 1 year. A number may have lost their job, but a fair few are probably re-thinking their role, purpose and satisfaction with life and perhaps their current employer.

For many a short break from work suggests that we will simply return to the old ways of working just as easily as we do after a holiday or the novelty of a New Year's Resolution wears off. But for some at 10 weeks many will be finding new routines become habit and some of them have benefits people will be reluctant to give up.

I doubt people miss congestion of a population driving to school or work like cattle being herded from one pen to another. There may be a sense of tribal community perhaps at 5pm on a Friday, but overall I suspect the freedom to arrange your day is quite appealing for many.

For businesses the loss of visibility on team activity will be interesting. How will bosses cope with not seeing the busy ants outside their office? Will they be content that out there, somewhere unseen, someone is doing something great without being distracted or micro-managed.

Will we switch from paying for people's attendance and attention to actually value their potential, production and contribution.

It is much easier said than done. It requires a new style of Coaching Leadership and a new style of "employment". Perhaps instead of measuring tasks, production and profit we encourage people, performance and outcome.

John Adair talked about the alignment of organisation, person and task. Perhaps now we need to think about the alignment of self, family, community and organisation? Perhaps Ikigai hints at what should be the SMART Goals of organisations

I read a lot and am currently reading In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

I an impressed by the impact of Montessori education on the founders and wonder if we can take this an apply it in the work-place. Without doubt there are a lot of things that we can learn from Google, and perhaps a few we should avoid, but I do believe there is a need to better benefit from the talent of people.

In a previous article I wrote that I think we would benefit from our leaders becoming more like tribal elders, there to share knowledge and encourage others to collaborate rather than to guide or direct.

How we engage, encourage, reward and measure people is key. Maybe now is a good time to think about a new score-card for our people and purpose.



AUTHOR

TimHJRogers
Helping people and organisations get things done
https://www.linkedin.com/in/timhjrogers/
http://www.adaptconsultingcompany.com/

Adapt Consulting Company
Consult CoCreate Deliver
@AdaptCCompany +447797762051
#lean #projects #change #prince2 #processes #pmo

USEFUL LINKS

Coaching Leadership
https://intenseminimalism.com/2015/the-six-styles-of-leadership/

Humble Consulting: How to Provide Real Help Faster
https://www.amazon.com/Humble-Consulting-Provide-Real-Faster/dp/1626567204

Supercoach: 10th Anniversary Edition: 10 Secrets to Transform Anyone's Life
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7879981-supercoach

Ikigai
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikigai

Montessori education
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montessori_education

Famous People Educated at Montessori schools
http://www.dailymontessori.com/montessori-questions-answers/famous-montessori-educated-people/

John Adair
https://www.businessballs.com/leadership-models/action-centred-leadership-john-adair/

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives
https://books.google.je/books/about/In_the_Plex.html?id=V1u1f8sv3k8C&redir_esc=y

Leaders becoming more like tribal elders
http://timhjrogers.blogspot.com/2020/05/leaders-should-become-elders-to.html