Creating value for people is to create value for the organization, not the other way around. That is really how I see it even in an ERP-implementation or with IT-sourcing. But, let’s take a closer look.
A few years ago I had this client assigned to leading a large change project. Let’s call him Peter. The assignment was vague and stakeholders had contradicting views on what should be achieved. Peter was about to panic when I asked him to calm down sit down with me in a gloomy HQ conference room.
This is what I did to help Peter to sell a completely new approach, take back the initiative and unite the stakeholders.
- Identify “what good looks like” – paint the picture of where we want to be.
- Simplify the message by crafting a storyline that people (actually) can relate to
- Break it to the main stakeholders gently – Start with the simple stuff to get traction and momentum – wait with the hard stuff (only detail things that need to happen early)
- Find good examples from other corporations where they faced similar challenges and what they did to tackle them
- Plan for an early pilot or a proof of concept (POC) to make the first steps look reasonable and easy to understand – present sketches and do not work for perfection
- Identify and describe the pain to the people we solve the problem for – if we can make them validate the problem – we will get the buy-in for what we can do – to make it happen
Why did all this work?
I helped Peter by understanding him and his challenge to unite his stakeholders. I helped him to break down complexity into pieces and put the focus on activities early on the timeline. The pilot did exactly that. By only promising a low complexity pilot very early and not describe a flagship in the distant future made it easy for the stakeholder to buy the direction we wanted to take. They could almost feel the pilot. They loved it. Peter loved it.
What I did for Peter from a people perspective
I gave Peter the tools and confidence to facilitate exactly the right discussions with the stakeholders. The steps above made the scope clear and most importantly; the first few steps created results.
This is what makes it fun to work with people. Making Peter the hero and making him grow is a sustainable way of growing the business. It’s also something that tends to make the business come back. To pay it forward. Peter knows how I work and often talks about how much pain he avoided through this approach.
Creating value for people is to create value for the organization, not the other way around. Value creation starts and ends with people. That is why connecting with people and creating value for people is our core business.
Håkan Liedman & Martin Steffen