Is Your Organization Stuck in the “Slow Change” Lane?

Change management tops every organization’s “do better” list in today’s globally competitive, cost-constrained world. But in spite of investment in training, communications, and consulting support, executives are usually disappointed with results from formal change and improvement initiatives.

At the same time, rank and file employees asked to adopt changes and make improvements happen have never felt more overworked and underappreciated.

The Team Engagement Gap™

The Balanced Scorecard, Lean Six Sigma, BPM, collaborative software tools, and ongoing employee training are all valuable contributors for managing change and building a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.

But even these methods can’t overcome ineffective meetings, lack of commitment, and poor follow-through on action plans. At the heart of these problems is what we call The Team Engagement Gap™.

Engagement Gap

Lack of effective team engagement occurs at every level in change and improvement efforts: From leadership teams that find it impossible to make decisions, to cross-functional teams that can’t get beyond silos, and to frontline employees that are disempowered by the overly-complex methods and bureaucracy in the way of sharing and acting on good ideas.

The DNA of Faster Improvement

For more than two decades Leap Technologies has invested in demystifying the psychology of change management and the science of continuous improvement. From our benchmarking efforts of the GE Work-Out method for breaking through bureaucracy to the Toyota Production System for Lean operation, we uncovered a simple truth: Speed and simplicity are the engines that drive sustainable change and improvement at the frontlines of organizations.

Through research and participation in thousands of change and improvement engagements, we codified this simple truth into five principles for building cultures of speed, simplicity, and results.

Simplify the change process to engage more people.

Faster improvement, particularly at the frontlines, is a numbers game. Employees today, have little patience for complex methods that make it difficult to share what they already know to be true. Willingness to invest discretionary effort on improvement initiatives is directly related to the ease of participation.

Use “sprint” timeframes to keep employees motivated.

Motivation to change on the frontlines of improvements efforts is highly perishable! To maintain enthusiasm and energy for doing the hard work of making change and improvement, employees need to know there’s a finish line in place that is weeks, not months or years in the distance.

Empower employees with clear direction and support their ideas.

Too often, leaders make mistakes in not providing sufficient top-down context and rationale on the need for change, while nit-picking and second-guessing the practical know-how and wisdom of employee-generated improvement ideas. As a result, great ideas for rapid improvement stay buried inside employee heads.

Use teams to build confidence and accountability for action.

Individuals make change happen. But teams are essential for improving the quality of ideas which in turn builds confidence for individual action. Moreover, when individuals are members of a team, their commitment to following through on assignments increases dramatically.

Celebrate completions, not activity.

The success of change and improvement efforts ultimately rests in results achieved, not the number of teams launched or actions started. Results invariably improve when the standard of excellence is actions completed.

How Leap Toolkits Close the Team Engagement Gap and Speed Improvement

Leap Team Engagement Toolkits convert the principles for better change management and faster improvement into practical, action learning vehicles for teams. Each toolkit is designed with a unique Idea-to-Action™ Process that combines simple-to-follow meeting guides with templated posters and worksheets to guide teams from brainstorming ideas to prioritizing and converting ideas into concrete action plans. People are quickly engaged, get excited about new possibilities, and are more committed to the actions needed to produce significant and timely results.

Organized in “ready-to-go” packages and perfected through more than two decades of client experience, Leap toolkits literally “spring” teams into action, with no time squandered on learning theories and concepts. Teams learn to use Leap’s Idea-to-Action tools as they apply them, solving problems and advancing opportunities in the process.

This just-in-time, intuitively packaged design minimizes the need for extensive classroom training and team-coaching support, and frees up full-time change agents to tackle more complex issues and analyses.

Take a Look “Inside the Kit”

Leap’s suite of Team Engagement Toolkits are deployed individually or in combination to deliver better and faster results of any change and improvement initiative where employee engagement is critical to success. Take a closer look inside the toolkits, read about practical applications and actual case studies, and explore each toolkit in depth. When ready, contact us for a complete demonstration and discussion of options for getting out of the slow lane for change and into the fast track for improvement.