“We very recently handed over our entire IT processes to a large outsourcer. I wish I would have read Ian’s book before we started as it would have made our life considerably easier.”
Robert F. Walters, former CIO, J. Hancock, USA
“You can actually measure the success of a strategy by looking at what the whole company is focused on (or not). The approach Ian suggests makes this simple concept accessible by involving everyone in the building of a common understanding, with impressive results. The most refreshing business book I’ve read in a long time.”
Jeremy Locke, Marketing Director, Capita, UK
How do you really deliver results on all the initiatives and projects in your company? The answer is Adoption.
Through Adoption, everyone in your company ensures that your strategy gets implemented and you obtain visible results from your initiative.
We put this succinctly: R=IA2 (Results = Initiatives x Adoption[squared])
Maximising Results by successful Adoption of the transformational changes driven out of the Initiatives. In other words, it does not matter how many initiatives (projects, exercises, and programmes, whatever) you throw at people if no one adopts the results of them. Typical initiatives include Six Sigma, software implementation (SAP, Siebel etc), Cost Reduction, Sarbanes Oxley and outsourcing programmes.
While this may sound obvious, the corporate landscape is rife with these initiatives in progress, where little or no thought has been put into how to make sure that the rest of the organisation actually adopt and own whatever improvement is advocated. Little surprise then that the adoption rate (and hence the success rate) of initiatives is pitifully low in many companies.
Gaining adoption is a challenge, not least because it involves changes in behaviour and attitudes. Inspirational leadership helps kick-start adoption throughout the company, but it cannot sustain the necessary continuous improvement required for companies to stay competitive. Adoption has measurable results, as the dramatic benefits obtained by the success stories reveal.
Adoption means communicating the changes required of people – and getting people to make the changes. The approach we are suggesting is applicable to virtually every initiative and it is achievable as it makes change as painless as possible. This is where a common language is required – an operational language which can describe the changes in activities, behaviour and results that are expected.
This language describes activities, roles and measures, and is managed through the use of a Common Operational Platform. It manages processes, documents, resources and metrics – and the relationships between them. This is made possible by current IT infrastructure and software. Use of this Intelligent Operations Manualenhances accountability and serves to further adoption. And once the IOM is in place it can be applied to other initiatives and therefore increases their return on investment.
Whilst this may seem interesting in practice, most companies already have a range of initiative s at different stages. Therefore the book takes 5 typical initiatives (outsourcing, compliance, Six Sigma, software package implementation, and rapid growth) and considers the most effective way of implementing the IOM alongside them depending on the phase of the initiative.
From the experience of countless client engagements we have identified 7 simple steps to develop and manage the Common Operational Platform. These steps build on on the principles of Adoption, but sets them out in a practical blueprint for action.