Saturday 3 October 2015

Working with MadAbout

I regularly work with colleagues at MadAbout - people I’ve known for over 15 years(!).

Our collaboration brings together a focus on:
  • Applied Behaviour Analysis, and
  • End-to-end system/process view using Lean and Systems Thinking techniques.
It’s a match made in heaven - ticking all the boxes in the wider Socio-Technicial Systems Design approach to transformation - it’s worth a google.

As is often the way, we turn to three key models for analysis, review and solution building:
  • "Purpose to People” - see previous blog for the model
  • Understanding Behaviours - guiding the whole team towards "what good looks like”. (See my next blog soon)
  • Service By Design - designing the ideal customer experience - from first contact, understanding client need, to problem resolution right-first-time.
It’s a great framework covering:
  • The technical details of the whole end-to-end process for the service
  • The behaviours of the teams undertaking the work (remembering Deming’s view)
  • How the whole organisation works together to ensure the service is delivered to 000’s of customers
  • The people and behavioural aspects of the management team
The result is a rich picture of how the organisation is performing, revealing insights into what’s really happening, and leading to an array of solutions - from quick wins to long-term strategies.

Want to know more? 07775 595 595 

Working with:

Sunday 5 April 2015

Change Readiness: DVF > R

Why don’t some people want to change? Even when ‘we’ know things can be improved, often dramatically, we still seem to puzzle with those that seem less enthused.

And of course, we never truly know what drives the behaviours, unless they tell us. But that doesn’t happen particularly often in the work environment.

So, what can we do?

This is a particularly useful little tool that may just help ‘oil the cogs’ of change, and help you appreciate what might be happening to the people you’re working with.

To overcome Resistenance to change - R - we need to: 
D - understand how Dissatisfied they are with the current state - where is their pain? 
V - paint a clear Vision of the future - what does “good” look like? 
F - prepare the First steps - even Everest is climbed with just one step at a time.

Although as consultant you may never explicitly state this equation, helping your change sponsor / leader / CEO understand these key areas is vital if change is going to happen. It’s all part of change readiness - and all part of the initial relationship building around “What’s really happening in your business?"

Friday 27 March 2015

Systems Thinking, and why lean tools don't work on their own

This remains one of my favourite stories about how systems work together.

We all know about the "5 Whys".

But how do you know how many times to ask "Why?" if you don't fully appreciate the system in which you are working? (Clue: it's not always 5 times...)

The Lincoln Memorial story explains it beautifully.

Initially, the authorities had a problem where the facade was deteriorating rapidly.  They were concerned.

It would be easy to dive straight into solutions requiring builders, scaffolding, repairs - all costing $$$.

But the solution wasn't there.  The root-cause was the timing of the evening illuminations which attracted bugs.  I small change to the timing, and the results were enormous:
  • Less bugs meant less spiders.
  • Less spiders meant less birds.
  • Less birds meant less droppings.
  • Less droppings meant less washings.
  • Less washings meant less deterioration of the stone on the outside of the memorial.

In the real world, the issue can often boil down to a consulting dilemma:
  • take "the brown envelope" and assist in the multi-million $ repair program, or
  • find the clever, simple, solution that is far more powerful and effective
I find this decision easy.

Want to know more:
 - about Matt Arnold
 - give me a call on 07775 595 595
 - email on