ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - July 2000

Issue Highlight - WWW
- Friends of mine showed me a letter recently that I thought you might find interesting. It might be a sign of things to come in this New Economy:

In This Issue...
Is Anyone Out There?
Increasing A Good Idea's Profitability
Internal Audits
Every Summit Beckons A Conqueror
Finding Your Way Home In The Workplace

Peter Block Column
Views for a Change

Heard on the Street
Sites Unseen

Views For A Change
Consultant Q&A

David Farrell Responds:
   "This too, shall pass!" Those of us who labor in the fields of change and innovation hear similar reactions often. And, all too often those comments prove to have some truth to them.

   Today more government employees recognize that efficiency and effectiveness are a matter of survival, or at least a key to the continuation of adequate funding.

   New political appointees, often feel the need to put their personal stamp on the organization, obliterating many previous initiatives. Some key strategies have proven effective in mitigating the impact of these dynamics.

   Where possible, escalate the sponsorship to a higher level.

   Explore opportunities to seek sponsorship at the state level, or if that is not practical, find like-minded directors in other agencies so that the "critical mass" of organizations is larger, the experience more diverse, and the initiatives less susceptible to elimination.

   But, seek sponsorship from key career level employees, not just department executives.

   Capitalize on the inspirational potential of the incumbent while you have him or her, but you simply cannot count on the successor having the same values and priorities. Identify key career employees, management and non-management alike, who will survive the periodic changes, and nurture their commitment to the process.

   Don't just implement-institutionalize and internalize.

   Lasting results from improvement initiatives require conscious attention to the implications of change in the very culture of the organization and the change process requires continuous management. It is axiomatic that if the desired behavior changes are inconsistent with the present culture of the organization, you have to change the desired behavior or change the culture, else the effort will fail over the long term.

   The implementation process for a significant change initiative goes through a number of very discrete and observable phases of support: Awareness, Understanding, Positive Perception, Installation (pilot projects), Adoption (compliance achieved), Institutionalization (policies and procedures) and finally Internalization (establishing the culture, achieving the vision, affecting values and beliefs).

   Begin with a vision of the future state which is clear, inspiring and actionable and communicate that vision early and often. Widely publicize positive outcomes. Build an image of the organization with employees and public alike, creating an expectation of continuous innovation as a hallmark of its culture.

   Make sure that the organization's administrative systems are aligned with support and reinforce the desired culture. Examples include the organizational structure; management development and leadership behavior; communications systems; compensation, benefits and rewards; education and training; and performance management systems.

  Measure outcomes.

  Initiatives that clearly demonstrate measurable improvement over time, rather than simply reporting anecdotal data are less vulnerable. A range of measures that address the interests, including "enlightened self-interest," of all (elected officials, appointees, employees and the public) can serve to mitigate the risk of a shift in priorities with a new regime.

John Runyan Responds

Question for the Consultants

July 2000 News for a Change Homepage

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