Innovation isn't for everyone

This is the second of a two-part series on the need to assess the cultural profile of an organization, and its impact on the selection of the most suitable change or transformation approach. (Part one: ) There are four distinctly different Change Quadrant profiles, delimited by the intersection five change agents: resistance, culture, empowerment, urgency and momentum. These agents help managers evaluate the nature of the organization, the type of change being considered and the transformation approach most likely to facilitate successful results.

Selection of a suitable approach depends in large part upon the nature of the required change, and the level of operational maturity reflected in the organization’s processes. Three related, but distinctly different process approaches, address specific aspects of process transformation. These methods are tiered and should be implemented sequentially.

The most fundamental approach is Business Process Management (BPM), which focuses on effectiveness and the ability of processes to accomplish what they were designed to do. BPM is a ‘fire-fighting’ method designed to eliminate problems and ensure that processes work. Success is essentially evaluated in an objective go, no-go manner.

Once teams ensure processes are functionally capable of accomplishing their work, Business Process Improvement (BPI) methods can be applied to address how well they work. The goals of this stage are to improve output quality and process efficiency. Since the nature of these assessments is now more subjective, it’s very important to capture performance metrics and benchmarks that define user expectations of 'how well' that are well enough. This provides a clear, accountable way to eventually measure and demonstrate success as a level of acceptable achievement.

Both BPM and BPI address different aspects of existing processes used to achieve desired outcomes: effectiveness and efficiency respectively. In essence, they strive to improve the means to the ends. Business Process Reengineering (BPR) originates from a completely different perspective. It focuses on the ends to be achieved, without regard or requirement to maintain any aspect of the current means. This freedom to ‘think out of the box’ gives teams room to explore other ways to achieve those ends in different or more productive ways. Techniques that have evolved to help stimulate and facilitate innovative ideas and flexibility include Design Thinking and DevOps systems development.

BPx methods provide the means to analyze, identify and improve process and operational productivity. However, they also get progressively more complex and comprehensive, requiring transformation teams with the cultural support and change profiles needed to consider more robust transformations and parameters. Teams with profiles in the upper left quadrant tend to be more reluctant to take on change, and need more structured or system-based solutions to be successful. Those in the lower right quadrant tend to be more experienced and comfortable with change, require less structured guidance, and are more willing and eager to try various methods and new perspectives. Corporate management needs to assess and determine the level and type of change required, the change profile of those being asked to implement those changes and the approach best suited to increasing the likelihood of success.

Partisan Consulting is committed to providing an unparalleled level of tactical consulting services in operations management. Our proprietary tools, methods and decades of field experience allow us to quickly establish a detailed, holistic understanding of each client. We have resources available on a project or retained outsourced basis.

TOPO is a software-as-a-service, business analysis engine developed by Partisan Consulting, Ltd. Users are given the means to fully interact, understand and work within a touch-enabled environment of 3D process models, integrated operational data, facilitated analysis and auto-generated standard operating procedures. To learn more, please visit our website at, or the TOPO Business Analysis Engine page on Facebook.

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