How do you get everyone involved?

4 May 2021 posted by Arno Schilders Organize horizontally Responsibilities Frameworks

The responsibility for having a (certified) management system often lies with the quality department, SHEQ, QESSH or a similar staff department. Of course we know that this is a management responsibility and that those involved should do this themselves. But how do you get the entire organization on board? How do you ensure that people take responsibility? And more importantly: how do you get management involved? Based on our vision, we have listed 6 essential principles for a successful change process.


1. Start with a tempting perspective

A shared perspective connects people and sets them in motion. Instead of indicating what is wrong or what we want to get rid of, it should be indicated where we all (really) want to go towards. The more this is formulated as a joint activity, the greater the support. You create involvement by involving people in advance - not by informing them afterwards. A good way to do this is through appreciative inquiry. You use the collective memory of the organization to sketch a desired future picture together.


‘Focus on where you want to go, rather than where you want to get rid of’


2. Sketch the complete business model

As an organization, make sure that you have a clear picture of all essential processes that are necessary to be able to deliver the desired products and services. In addition to the primary processes, also think of the management, support and improvement processes. In practice, I come across no more than 25 to 50 processes at a very large diversity of organizations. These core processes form the basis for realizing the tempting perspective. You should be able to capture them in one screenshot.


‘A picture says more than a thousand words...’


In my opinion, you "need" to sit down with the management team and determine with them what that business model looks like. This picture forms the basis for an inspiring way to shape these processes together. It gives access to the corporate philosophy and should be the first thing employees see when they look at the management system.


3. Focus on what's important now

We cannot of course design all these processes from the business model at the same time, and this is usually not even necessary. Therefore, ask management which processes should be addressed first and why. This is the "hook" that the organization can link to and focus on.

With this you give priority to what is really important and you give the working groups that are going to get started, direction on their assignment without telling them how to do it.


‘Making choices creates focus!’


4. Set frameworks

Instead of telling how people should organize their processes, management should provide frameworks within which people are allowed to move freely. The relevant MT member responsible for the selected core process determines frameworks and explains them to the working group. In fact, this is the assignment that the working group is given and against which the result can be verified later. This ensures that the working group knows exactly what the assignment is and what their latitude is. These frameworks create the necessary room for maneuver, necessary to arrive at creative solutions.


‘Each rule limits the options you had before:
  limit the rules, not the possibilities’


5. Create ownership

Provide ownership at all levels of the organization. You have actually already started with this in the first 4 steps. By formulating the tempting perspective together, sketching the business model together and applying focus within it, a lot has already happened in the joint process. In step 4 we also had the management set frameworks and in fact ownership has already been taken there. The next step is to appoint a process owner. This is someone who has a great interest in the proper functioning of the relevant process. Ideally, the process owner sits "as low as possible" in the organization, so that he knows exactly how things are going in practice. But also "high enough" so that he can oversee the consequences of choices. This person must be given the mandate to take decisions - within the set frameworks.


‘People want to change, but they don't want to be changed’


Of course, such a process owner cannot do this alone; he needs specific expertise from the organization. Therefore, make sure that the working group has all the expertise required for the relevant process. As a rule, a working group consists of 3 to 5 people, who play a key role in the process. In any case, make sure that all these disciplines are represented in the working group.


6. Facilitate the process

Implementing change in an organization requires specific expertise. You must be knowledgeable, be able to listen extremely well, ask the right questions and above all not be involved in terms of content (or emotionally). This expertise is often not available and it can also help that an objective person from outside offers this support. As a result, the organization is professionally supported and the working group members can perform optimally.


‘You can't pull yourself out of the swamp by your own hair’


Would you like to know more about how we approach this according to the RASCI method©?


Then get in touch!


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