Computers have transformed almost everything around us. One of the things they make possible is the acceleration of change, and therefore results, at scale.
There are two components required to ensure programs get off the ground and accelerate outcomes.
- A sound “technical” solution &
- A compelling “cultural” solution
Both solutions must work together. Ours are designed to fit like a hand in a glove.
The “Technical” Solution: Practices, Tools, and Metrics
The technical solution is the array of process maps, software tools, knowledge, templates, and metrics that enable users of the overall solution to perform their job functions, measure performance and continually improve it. Sente has over 200 integrated process maps that we can tailor for the customer’s specific environment or situation. They ensure the solution is well integrated into existing enterprise processes to enable speed and competitiveness. They also ensure that the solution will work as expected. That it has strategic coherence, or that the steps actually lead to the result. So many times I’ve reviewed process maps that couldn’t possibly produce the intended outcome. You might as well have stuck a step “and then a miracle occurs” into the map because that’s what would have been required to produce the outcome. Sente’s practices have strategic coherence. They lead to the intended outcomes and are supported by our software, Scireo.
The technical solution also requires a complete set of metrics to produce the incentives necessary to drive the changes in behavior necessary to produce intended outcomes. The metrics must be both leading and lagging indicators and must include operational, technical, and financial metrics.
The Cultural Solution: Narratives Targeted at Roles and aimed at Outcomes
The cultural solution is required to give meaning to the solution, which is more important than ever because the pace of change of technology has produced a crisis of meaning with so many new solutions. Years ago it was clear when a new typewriter came on the market, for instance when new electric models replaced old mechanical models, what it was used for and we could anticipate how to use it. By looking back to recordings of old television shows it is clear to see how show producers were trapped by their previous practices with radio produced television programs that were not much more than radio programs with moving pictures. Today, during the 4th Industrial Revolution, when the tools are significantly more disruptive than typewriters or television, the crisis of meaning is greater.
Our cultural solution includes:
- Detailed communications plans targeted at specific roles and the interim and ultimate outcomes they are responsible for producing. The narratives bring meaning and relevance to the practices, tools, and metrics that make up the “Technical” solution.
- Fundamental narratives, that have been developed and perfected over the years, are used to tailor specific narratives using language the listeners will have a background with and which are aligned with core company narratives including, mission, vision and core values/behaviors.
- Templates for communications tools that can be used in various communications channels, like newsletters, powerpoint templates, etc.
- Governance Practices for continually aligning the “technical” and “cultural” solution with the outcomes specified by executives
The truth about the effectiveness of anything is in the results it produces. The same is true about communications and narratives as well. As the project starts performance is measured and our experts tune the practices and narratives so people are mobilized into action. We can gauge the effectiveness of our narratives early on with metrics we have for measuring process adoption and performance, which we call Accountability Practices. As narratives and practices are tuned they produce a virtuous circle of trust-building across teams which results in collaboration, sharing, speed, and cost-competitiveness.
The Great Thing About Computers!
Computers are exceptional tools. There are fundamentally four different categories of tools and computers fit of them: tools for communicating, tools for coordinating, tools for producing, and tools for learning.
What this means is that software tools can be used to produce change at scale and with the consistency required for today’s global competitors. Without our software capabilities we wouldn’t be able to produce change at scale. Sente’s technical solutions have to fit hand in glove with the cultural solution and are why we claim our approach is “Human-Centered, Technology Enabled”. Software tools that measure behaviors and incent certain behaviors with metrics are accompanied by narratives that make the meaning of the metrics and need for change clear.
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