Content created by Ali Uren Founder of Kiikstart
So you have taken time to review the business holistically as part of transformation and change but what happens next when you find skill gaps, threats or risks? What are the questions to ask early on so you make the right decisions about the next steps in terms of organizational innovation?
Remember we are talking about skill gaps, threats and risks across every part of the business, not just the usual focus areas found in a traditional risk plan.
Key areas that are included within a contemporary holistic risk plan, or innovation capability plan as I refer to it includes the following:
- Marketing and communications
- Strategic direction in the coming, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months with a focus on mission
- Collaborations and Partnership
- Workforce Capability and Capacity
- Learning and Development plans including Business Development
- Make up of the workforce from a diversity and inclusivity perspective
- Processes and Systems
- Brand and Brand Reputation
- Organizational Cultures and impact on workforce reality
- Employee end to end experience from talent exploration right through to exiting the organization
- Client /Member end to end experience
- Technology usage and vulnerabilities
- Future plans for innovation
- Changes in customer actions and behaviours
- Technology changes within and beyond the industry
- Trends from a local, national and global perspective
Below are six insightful and useful questions I work through with clients and their teams to create a response that will deliver the desired change project outcomes and impact.
Note these questions are worked through in the early planning stages of a transformation and change project with each question creating space for different thinking that leads to a well thought out response – not panic.
6 QUESTIONS TO HELP DESIGN YOUR RESPONSE AS A PROJECT TEAM
1. What is the root cause of this skill gap, threat and risk?
Why does it exist within the organization and workforce? This needs to be handled with diplomacy but also truth and an open, supportive dialogue.
2. How long has the skill gap, threat or risks existed?
If this can be identified, why did we not take action before? It’s essential to allow time for the team to think and reflect on these roadblocks – name it and claim it as a united team.
3. What is the consequence of not taking action now and to whom?
Its important the cost of inaction is discussed openly as a team so informed, balanced decisions are made in the early stages of project design about how to move forward.
4. What benefits, sustainable outcomes and impact will there be if we take action now?
Making change can be confronting so it is useful to identify the benefits to get workforce commitment as early as possible.
5. Describe the first steps in terms of the most important action and when you would need to start.
Identifying the first steps helps make the process not so overwhelming.
6. What does great look like in the next 6, 12 months or 18 months – what could we become as a business and workforce from taking this action?
Being able to visualise and describe the outcomes and impact at certain points in time is key to maintaining focus, buy in and momentum.
WHY DESIGN OUR RESPONSE RATHER THAN JUST TRY TO MANAGE THE RISK?
There are a number of reasons why we need to proactively be prepared for challenge, change and crisis rather than just try and manage the risk during times of organizational wide transformation and change.
- Because it is so much harder to respond when challenge/change or crisis is on your doorstep.
- We make reactive responses and lack the force of proactive planning based on deep, creative thinking.
- Staff won’t necessarily have the talent and skill required to formulate a plan and implement it in enough time to get the outcomes and impact you want or expect.
- It is often too expensive and resource-rich to fight the challenge/crisis when we have little response time.
- Staff are panicked, making it hard to make smart, strategic decisions that are also creative.
When we are under pressure our ability to be creative and forward-thinking decreases, which is not helpful as it is when we need to be at our most strategic and visionary.
By imbedding regular skill gap, threat and risk reviews into our day to day operations we de-risk the risk. While also creating models and workforces that have the confidence and insights needed to prepare well in advance as part of transformation and change.
There is sustainable change in mindset and behaviour as people become in control rather than always being reactionary and blowing their adrenal glands in the process!
The lesson from all this – as a final takeaway. Make a Conscious Decision to Disrupt Yourself Before It happens. Your workforce will thank you for being forward thinking as will your bottom line.
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