Breakthrough Approach

Jim_march_2006_002_3 A consulting firm called RHS&A. came up with an approach to organizational change which we used in much of our work at Gellman Hayward and have carried through to Project X.

Most people and organizations have a great reluctance to change. In order to help them change, one approach that really helps is the breakthrough approach. In order to help people have the courage to change, we need to start with a project that meets the following requirements:

      – gives bottom line benefit,

      – is within the resources available,

      – can be done in ten weeks or less and

      – is aligned with a larger strategy.

I have found it a truly amazing approach and one that has reaped benefits for many of our clients.

I was involved with a large mining company who had decided to embark on an IT strategy project. They had formed a steering committee and a working group and had invited me to make a proposal to help them. When I first got involved I noticed the head of IT was not on the working group and the head of mining operations was not on the steering committee. The Vice-president of Mines controlled seventy-five percent of the budget. My assessment was they did not have the support of a large pert of the organization likely because they had no confidence in the IT organization to deliver. My response to them was they were not ready for an IT strategy if they had no confidence their IT organization could deliver. I asked if I could have three months to work with the IT organization to test with they can deliver on a breakthrough project. We would then assess whether we should proceed with a strategy project. The IT group decided the breakthrough would be the moving of their data centre from an old condemned facility to a new modern facility. This project had been on the books for long time but was not moving forward. Not a perfect project but one they were ready to embark on and management approved. The move was made during the summer shutdown. Guess what the IT director did during the shutdown. He went on vacation!

My assessment was the director did not want the leadership role. The facility move was successful, and we gave the IT Director a less challenging role. The next step was to find a new director. They then embark of a significant strategy of improving their systems. Overall the results were quite profound and within the capability of the organization.

As a reference take a look at some of the information RHS&A has on their site.

More on the breakthrough approach in later blogs

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