Case study: Creating a condition of readiness
You can create the best strategy, have the best people working on deploying it, and, yet, still have results fall short. The breakdown often happens between strategy development and deployment. To help overcome this breakdown is to create a condition of readiness to help improve communication, promote transparency, and lead to operational excellence. This gives everyone the opportunity to fully understand what's being asked of them and negotiate their needs (i.e. timelines, resource investments, etc.). Then, once everyone agrees on the outcome, and the benchmarks they'll be held accountable for, the work can begin.
Let's explore this concept in a case study.
A cement manufacturer sees an increase in demand for a cement mix that will cure in the walls of oil drills. The executive team want to take advantage of this opportunity to expand their business in 2023, so they create an organizational goal to create this new cement mix product by the end of 2023. Instead of creating a strategy document that gets passed around the organization, the executive team implements a condition of readiness to ensure their teams are prepared to implement.
Step 1: Select an executive sponsor who will be in charge of keeping the team on track and working towards the ultimate goal.
Step 2: Bring together the team leaders - sourcing, product development, sales, etc. - to review the objective and the work that will need to be completed.
Step 3: Begin to negotiate the timeline and resources (i.e.: the sourcing team needs to put another project on hold in order to focus on this project). Ultimately, the teams will come to some sort of agreement and a project plan can be developed.
Step 4: Executive sponsor reports back to the executive team with an update on the project work. And, the other leaders begin to prep their teams.
Step 5: Confirm that the teams are ready to get started by having detailed discussions at every level of the organization to make sure everyone understands the goals and requirements. This open line of communication ensures that you've created a condition of readiness and have set your teams up for success.
Step 6: The work begins, and the team leaders and executive sponsor provide updates and hold each other accountable with open-ended questions and benchmarks.
As the work to develop this new product comes to a close (on time), the sales team finalizes the first orders, the sourcing team acquires the necessary materials, and the production line begins to mix up the orders. The coordinated effort all goes back to the initial planning and how the executive sponsor and team leaders created a condition of readiness.
What steps are you taking to create a condition of readiness at your organization? Are you letting your strategy document speak on your behalf, or are you taking proactive steps to ensure your teams are ready for the work?