The Equation of changes

Interchanges

Tony Robbins once said: “Change is inevitable. Progress is optional.”. This quote addresses probably the biggest challenge an organization might face. Market,competition, consumer – they are all evolving and you can’t control them. On the other hand, your personal evolution is your personal choice. In order for you or your company to be competitive you must keep or even exceed the pace of market dynamics. While it’s sounds as a common sense, the reality is fearsome. Do you know why? Well, the majority of people and even you yourself are afraid of changes. You don’t know what will come up next but you already know that embracing the changes will take a huge effort from your side. Here is how successful changes look like.

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Now imagine that you run your own business or a part of a huge enterprise. There is a big potential that you observe with a new growing demand but your current organization design was built in order to satisfy other business needs. You have a group of consultants and some remarkable people who produced you super-duper quality solutions. One part of the equation is already on the table and here is when the pain starts. I would say that 90% of people tend to believe that once solutions are prepared the deal is made. It’s time to open champagne and celebrate…but actually you are miles away from success. And here is why.

It’s Human2Human world, and if your company is not 99% automated or digitalized manufacturing, in order to have changes happen, you will need to sell them to your employees first. You have to build acceptance. With direct reports or senior management it’s more or less easy, since they all will have business acumen and e2e business effect understanding but what will you do with employees of lower bands? People who are actually manufacturing the product you’re selling. For them your story of $$$$ deals and the positive impact sounds the same as news about billionaires – no connection with their regular life. We forget that the motivation of each person might be different and the factors to inspire them can be different from our direct reports. So, do we have a remedy for this?

Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems and increase users’ self-contribution.

Just think of it. Each and every person loves games: sports games, video games, board games, cards, you name it. There is probably not a single person on the Earth who will ever say: “I hate games because they are entertaining”. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?

The average age of someone who plays video games is 31 years old. In fact, more gamers are over the age of 36 than between the age of 18 to 35 or under the age of 18. This means that most of your employees are probably already playing games. All you need right now is to set up the approach that will also spread a necessary mindset to accept the changes you are proposing OR even make them want these changes to happen.

I was delivering BPI training to my team and I prepared a 30 minutes game on e2e business process using paper planes. The idea is not mine but here is my simplified version of this game.

You have two teams that should purchase paper to produce paper planes and launch them.

  • When a plane passes a certain distance, it will generate revenue.
  • Each plane that was produced represents “cost”.
  • Every time a plane fails to reach the control mark will be considered as a process waste (the waste of money).
  • The team that generated the highest revenue and profitability wins.
  • 3 rounds 1 minute each. 2 minutes between the rounds to make adjustments in the purchasing approach, the plane design and the roles within the team.

Each round the teams were changing their approach and in the 3rd round they were much more effective. One team went with Kanban after the second round and it was amazing to observe such a change.

Here comes the most important conclusion – each and every team had a clear understanding that they needed to change in order to be better. They got BPI tools prior to the game and started to use them in practice after the debriefing took place. It was so natural that I almost had no influence on them and I was just their referee.

Now think for a moment that you will set up a Game League that will take place each 2nd Friday. You will use 30 minutes to give your employees new tools and they will use them to win the Game. Each new Friday they will google, read and learn new tools which will help them to win the Game. The mindset that you need to accept changes will become a part of their regular activities. They will transfer their new knowledge into their daily work as they already have proven the results after a Friday Game.

And one more important thing – they will be happy to do that)

I encourage you to explore the gamification approach further in order to spread changes in each organizational layer. Don’t use a cliché approach to send “The announcement on Changes” e-mail and wait for benefits to appear. This won’t happen. You need to promote them, lead by example and communicate with your people. Here is a good resource about BPI games you can use:http://www.leansimulations.org/p/huge-list-of-free-lean-games.html

Cheers.

 

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