Our experience, over many years, has taught us the dangers of pursuing ‘point solutions’ or functional change initiatives, in contrast to the benefits of integrated developments in the realms of strategy, process, structure and culture. Failure to take a systemic approach inevitably leads to disappointment: broken processes preventing the implementation of new strategies, process improvements blocked by structural conflicts, re-structuring resented and resisted, attempts at culture change deemed irrelevant because they do not address concrete work issues and so on…
Our approach to integrated development is informed by leading concepts in terms of lean thinking, systemic thinking, change management, leadership and organisation development.
The diagram below illustrates our approach:
Lean thinking, for instance, focuses primarily on process transformation, but cannot deliver optimal benefits unless it is supported by strategic commitment, well-designed structures and an engaging, effective and learning culture.
Development can start in any of the aspects illustrated, but has to lead to a benign cycle, strategically driven, in which:
- Optimised processes provide the basis for the design of enabling, rather than disabling, structures
- Appropriate structures create the context for genuine empowerment and supportive, stimulating relationships
- A culture of continual challenge and improvement increases the value-to-waste ratio in all processes.