...for clarity to arise. This blog details the biggest 2013 trend we witnessed from a business perspective.
As this year winds down we turn to ramping up for 2014 instead. I state it this way because organizations still cautiously invest but with a desire to better understand the business impact of the investment, how it affects internal and external customers, and of course ROI.
Additionally we are seeing more and more actual decision makers (not influencers but check signers!) getting involved earlier in the process of evaluating. Not only to make their own requirements known but to learn more intimately what the business units are requiring, and if they are keeping the focus on the customer(s) as well as the competition.
That said, a shift towards improved decision making is desired…no, demanded. This requires the many key ingredients we all know so well, like good data, timely data, analytical tools and skill sets to pull analytics into a format understandable to all stakeholders.
Some would say these are fundamentals…and right you are! But "Where's The Beef?" as that famous Grandma said in the Wendy's commercials decades ago. The so called beef is in facilitating highly effective planning sessions. That is relationship building or creation between lines of business, Senior Management to middle management to the front line executors of your strategy. We hear a lot, "we have great people doing great work but business unit A doesn't know or understand the practices of business unit B, C, D etc. We all do similar things and yet have different names for them".
We have been engaged to facilitate planning sessions. Of course we have a highly successful methodology (more to come on that soon) and being third party enables us to be objective and non-emotional facilitators. We collect all data points, push participants to speak their mind, have key business unit leaders, executives and maybe a key stakeholder (think receptionist to an active board member). No wrong answers only transparency of ideas, needs and desired states. Every single time the biggest "ah-ha" moments comes when the participants realize their needs are very similar to other units and they had no idea…(think 80/20 rule). CLARITY is gained and now a road map can be derived properly prioritized with stakeholder buy in. Budgeting and engagements roll out much easier and result are achieved sooner.
If your business needs clarity on how to plan and prioritized process improvement to gain more clients, market share, or organizational efficiencies then maybe this facilitated planning session is for your organization!
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