What's your Scale
Improvement efforts are, by nature, forward-looking. But how often do they take into account current circumstances and do they actually share a similar trajectory to the business?
It’s easy enough to aim for something and set about achieving it. Most competent leaders have this as a natural ability. However, when taking the helm of a larger team, such as that within your organization, it is crucial to consider where the business is going as well as where your business currently is, before embarking on major improvement initiatives.
Any improvement needs an orientation centered on both the outcome as well as the people executing it. What skills are currently present? Perhaps more importantly, what skills aren’t present? Does the size and output of your team match up with the cost and complexity of the improvement initiative?
These considerations need to be addressed. In a practical sense, this can be done through acute mentorship and coaching. By giving your team the right tools and skills prior to expecting results out in the field, you are providing them with the best chance of succeeding. Alternatively, should it not be cost or time effective to reinforce the capabilities of the team, then you may need to consider dialing back the parameters of the improvement initiative. In a sense, you may have to “meet them where they are”. It must be noted that this should not be seen as a negative. In fact, ensuring that your plans conform to your capabilities is key to securing positive results.
They say that timing is everything. When it comes to improvement at scale, it can be said that placement, context and capability are just as important. This is why it pays to be strategic when deploying improvement initiatives. Your decision to deploy should be based not only around your desire for improvement but also the answer to the question: “Is this the right move for this team, right now?”.
This is not to say that the initiative shouldn’t go ahead, but rather that a strategic overview is required to ensure that any foreseen gaps in capability are budgeted for.
On the ground, this could mean running training courses, facilitating professional development or just building up hard capacity.
The concept of scale forces us to contemplate the organization as it is, right now, and contrast that with what we require from the improvement initiative. Have you considered this yet? How far away are you from being ready to deploy an improvement initiative?