In all enterprises, it’s the business model that deserves detailed attention and understanding. -Mitch Thrower
I was with a senior executive the other day and she was lamenting on the fact that her organization was heavily silo focused and as a result the transformation of the business was proving very difficult. Her frustration went like this: “It is hard to get people focused on transforming the way we do business because everyone identifies with their departmental objectives and not the overall business.”.
Score one for “silo focus”!
So in their next weekly meeting the executive Committee was searching for a way to shift people’s thinking out of silo-mode. Their logical solution was training and they turned to the Head of HR to put together a training course. “We need to teach people how to behave more like one team.”
Score two for “silo focus”!
Training is important but not sufficient for implementing organizational change. As you all know, there is a burst of new behaviors following most training courses but they soon die out as old habits come back. Why? Is the training poor? No, the culprit is not poor training. To shift behavior we also need to change business processes, which significantly drive how employees behave.
So the key question to this Executive Committee is:
what changes are you going to make in the business processes?
The solution in this case is to redefine the way business is done from separate departments to Core Business Processes. And in this particular company the entire business revolves around two core processes: Procure-to-Pay and Claim-to-Pay, since their business model revolves around flexible outsourcing and servicing client claims. Both these core processes run horizontally through all the functions. By redefining the business as having two core processes and then building the training around these core processes, employees begin to identify with the needs of the various customers instead of just their function.
With a new understanding of Core Business Processes, employees can now focus on improving the flow of work through the business (eliminating waste, increasing end-to-end speed, etc.) instead of being only focused on functional issues.
Want to transform the speed and performance of your organization?
Define the Core Business Processes that determine your business model then focus all employees on understanding and using their functional and management skills to improve these processes.
Tight Lines . . .
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