Situation: A company has goals and objectives in place for the whole company. The challenge is that they need to focus top managers on effective processes and not just on their team’s objectives. In particular they want to increase focus on cross-functional processes. How do you focus managers on process?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Start by identifying all critical processes. Once this is done, build an in-house system to track these.
- Make contingency decisions dependent upon sticking with the processes.
- Consistent follow-through is essential – talk through the blocks as they arise.
- Don’t become a slave to your own system. Stay flexible and allow appropriate non-prescriptive behavior/solutions where it makes sense. This helps to feed creativity in the organization.
- Be an advocate/cheerleader for the new culture. Employees need ongoing encouragement as they shift focus to the new regime.
- Build an underlying culture to support your processes. This takes time and persistence.
- If you are growing, as you hire new people, select new employees who fit the new culture. This helps to create lead models for the rest of the group.
- By definition, growth means increasing infrastructure, which in turn means more restrictions and rules. Keep it fun. For example, create a wine penalty for missing deadlines.
- If you’re late on your deliverable you have to contribute a good bottle of wine, with your name and the month that you were late on a tag attached to the bottle.
- Contributed bottles of wine are shared at the company Christmas or holiday party.