Engaging Leaders Webinar Discussion Summary

In our July 30 webinar on Engaging Leaders, an anonymous process leader described his organization–a multinational manufacturer that is organized by country–and a problem with process fragmentation as each country does work in its own way. There is an enterprise process model and process owners, but they have little power. The process organization reports to IT.

How would your advise him to engage executives in global process thinking?

Here are some questions and comments raised by webinar participants that point at ideas to raise attention to global process management with executives:

Linking Process to Business Results:

  • Do you have any big process ‘successes’ to leverage?
  • Does the CEO believe that process improvement will result in improved business performance, namely financial results?
  • We never sell process. We articulate fragmentation. We translate business problems into process problems that elicit process solutions.
  • Do your larger customers operate in the multiple countries in which you operate?
  • Are there point-customer-process teams that can face off against individual major customers?
  • Have you tried to create a global team that includes local representatives to work on and implement the global customer interface process?
  • Sounds like there is a need for a ‘true north’ concept in your organization. You mentioned that creating a consistent customer experience is a key need that management has identified. Have you considered mobilizing your efforts around creating a consistent customer experience? How about identifying core processes that deliver the key moments of truth and begin building the regional/global models around key customer moments?
  • Digitization may not necessarily be the solution to the customer experience problems. Define the problems first (i.e., the improvement opportunities) and let this problem-solving direct the solutions to be implemented. It may not necessarily be one of digitization.
  • How about selling a vision of results, or a culture that is really customer-focused. How you do it, through process – doesn’t need to be sold at this time. What’s in it for country leadership?

Linking Process to Compensation:

  • Could process performance be included in executive’s targets (in their own performance agreements)?
  • Have you considered tying country GM’s incentives to the adoption of process management?

Organization:

  • The process department is sitting too far down in the organization. Business process also should not ‘belong’ to IT.
  • The focus needs to be end-to-end processes with sub-processes that have sufficient detail and a responsibility (RACI) tie-in.
  • Any thoughts of moving the process discussion out of the IT organization? Would it be better received?
  • In my view, your office needs to be removed from the depths of IT – institute a Chief of Transformation Office, or report there if one exists.
  • Why is process under IT? What is the relationship of the IT organization with country GM’s? Maybe part of the resistance is that GM’s perceive they own their processes and don’t need IT to tell them how to run a better process!

Building Momentum:

  • I’ve seen other organizations deploy a middle-out strategy, finding pockets of process support and building and leveraging local support
  • Have you done any formal process communication and training?
  • Are improvements showcased to explore portability in other areas?
  • Can you take top management to visit companies that have been successful with this?
  • Is the phrase ‘way of working’ more palatable than the word ‘process’?
  • In my fragmented organization ‘consistent customer experience’ only gets lip service – ‘don’t tell me how to manage my shop!’ How do we get beyond this?
  • Doing anything globally is a daunting exercise. I recommend starting with a couple of your key countries with more progressive GM’s, to identify their top strategies and use the process framework to implement the changes required to drive business results and demonstrate value of process management!

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