I’m going to share with you today something that has the potential to change how you work and transform the results you get.
PLUS it’s totally awesome and simple. I’ll give some context first.
I have worked in Operations for Advertising agencies for over 20 years.
Working in operations you have to have a birds-eye view of the entire organisation and you are the master of bringing all the jigsaw pieces together to build a high performing business. A challenging but a very exciting and varied role.
In this role, I noticed most organisations fail in being able to change behaviour to align and introduce new initiatives for the business, whether small or large changes across roles, departments, services and ways of working.
A typical conversation looked like this:
“We need to work faster and save money”
“Can you introduce a new process or streamline the layers”
“Come back and tell me what you are going to do in 2 days”
The ideas are presented back and the response is…
“Great go for it and have it done by the end of the month as we have a pitch we need to say we can do this for”
So full implementation starts and this new way of working begins.
It starts off well but within a few weeks you see old habits start to creep back.
You rally around trying to keep momentum but, as this change was imposed on the team, they do not fully understand why it’s happening and cannot see the long-term benefits, so they default back to their existing behaviours.
So this is now the awesome bit….
Introducing the four dimensional blueprint for business success for ALL change initiatives.
The Critical Alignment Model
This model was created by Sharon Pearson the founder of The Coaching Institute and my mentor who I credit along with her team for transforming my life.
This model was designed after extensive research into what needs to be attended to in all businesses for sustainable success. The research highlighted a pattern of four dimensions that all leaders need to address to achieve their goals faster and easier than ever before.
The beauty of this model is it stops the hamster wheel of ‘doing’ and wondering why you seem to have the same recurring problems year-on-year.
The many other benefits of this model:
- Builds trust, teamwork and alignment
- Saves you time and money
- Drives collaboration
- Creates a leadership team of critical, strategic and consequential thinkers
- Turns words into action that lasts
- Enables consistent business growth and progression
It really is transformational.
To begin we are going to review the Environment stage and next week I’ll explain the second phase – Structure.
So how does it work?
At the heart of the model is ‘Purpose’. You must always start by knowing what your purpose for change or for a project is, otherwise you can end up dancing around in the small details without being able to see the bigger picture and the direction you want to head in.
Then you begin in ‘Environment’ – this is the step that is currently missing for a lot of organisations.
You start by bringing together your key decision makers to align on the vision for the change. You then begin identifying what ‘needs’ to be in place to achieve the vision and then move onto comparing this to the realities of today.
The areas you are looking to identify the first level of gaps to address are:
- Your culture
- Your values
- Your beliefs
- Your attitudes
- Your standards
- Your expectations
To achieve the vision of expanding the companies services into data, you all ‘need’ to believe the right thing to do is hire the roles and build a new department.
However, you identify that some of your team believe that this is the right thing to do to grow new services and revenue. You also find out that a lot of your team believe this is going to put too much pressure on the business to maintain the quality of service, so it is a risk and they think an acquisition is a stronger strategy.
If you don’t address the gap between these beliefs then it can potentially cause the new department to fail.
The magic is in the gaps
The ‘Environment’ thinking allows you to discover how to close the gap of where you are today, to be closer to where you want to be tomorrow. It reveals the focus of where your change work needs to start – and it’s very often not where you think.
This is where the magic is. Building a team of future-fit leaders who can think at the right level to make change work.
Your leaders will feel they have ownership of the change to build the momentum that is required to deliver it.
You may be thinking ‘We just don’t have time to do this level of in depth analysis and bring everyone involved. We just need to get on and DO it.’
I can tell you now that ‘just do it’ costs businesses millions of pounds every year in lost hours, talent leaving and clients not sticking around.
Stop letting money fly out the window and invest the time and thinking up front to make sure you have sustainable growth and be a business that is still around in the next ten years.
The more you use this model, the more it becomes how you see the world going forwards, and you become faster at seeing the gaps to elevate your business to the next level.
I look forward to seeing you in the next article for how to build the structure for change to work.
I have created a very simple guide that takes you through this exact process and a case study to show the power of the thinking and it is currently available for FREE from my website. Grab your copy here.
If you would like know more about how I can bring this model to life within your organisation please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanna Howes is an international award-winning high performance coach and bestselling author based in London. She’s been featured on NBC, FOX and MSP News Global. If you want to lose the limits that are holding you back, book in for a free introductory call right here.