Enterprise Alignment Technique: Thriving In Uncertainty
We have entered a longer period of uncertainty and volatility that is expected to last 18 to 24 months. Will your organization survive … or thrive?
Lead in uncertainty
This period of uncertainty will test the skills of even the most experienced leaders. In response, the Blake project has developed a program to help you overcome this period of uncertainty so that:
- Your organization thrives (not just survives)
- Your employees feel safe, heard and have a feeling of solidarity and appreciation
- There is a realignment around your core business to drive the journey forward
- Organizational performance
- Individual self-realization
- Stakeholder value
In times of change and uncertainty, most of us feel overwhelmed, fearful and stressed. Managers avoid decisions. Investments are put on hold and resources are hoarded. When doubts and fear determine behavior and personal goals, leadership's ability to lead the organization to success has stalled.
Our program enables executives to act strategically and pragmatically, leading with compassion and emotional consistency. It provides managers with advanced features to keep their teams focused and productive in times of uncertainty, enabling their employees to develop priorities and make decisions based on corporate values with the most up-to-date information available.
We believe that this period of uncertainty is an opportunity for your company to be successful with more innovation, stronger stakeholder value and higher workforce performance.
Our Business focus: success in uncertainty Program contains the following key elements.
Studies by the Academy of Management and the Center for Positive Organizations have shown that organizations with compassionate leaders work better together, generate less sales, and employees are more trustworthy, connected, and committed to the company.
Times of uncertainty can lead each of us on a path of stress. For some this can manifest itself as avoidance, for others it can be harsh words or less than health indulgences like overeating or too much alcohol. When an entire organization is stressed, productivity is sacrificed. While you cannot control the external environment, you can rely on compassionate leadership to keep your teams focused and your employees feel connected and valued.
Dr. Susan David of Harvard Medical School explains: “When people don't acknowledge and respond to their emotions, they show less well-being and more physical stress symptoms such as headaches. Avoiding our feelings is costly. On the other hand, with the right vocabulary, we can identify the real problem – have a messy experience, understand it more clearly, and create a roadmap to address the problem. “We have been using the coaching techniques developed at Harvard / McLean Institute both personally and with clients for years, and our experience shows that these techniques help achieve emotional stability even when we are controlling the long-term effects of a global pandemic.
One thing is certain, we are in a common state of "strategic ambiguity". The Covid 19 pandemic and the resulting economic pause and almost certain recession mean that it is not clear where we are going and we are not sure when we will get there. As leaders, we need to help our organizations get out of strategic ambiguity and become clearer as quickly as possible. There's no way of knowing where we'll be in 12 or even 6 months. However, we can clarify in the next 30 or 45 days. The key is to get your teams and managers involved in developing immediate priorities and longer-term strategies.
The traditional crisis management framework describes three phases in which executives must be on the road to success during a crisis:
However, those who rely on this old model of Covid 19 crisis management are constantly in a Groundhog Day-like cycle of response and recovery that is never able to break the cycle and reach the point of prosperity . That's because:
1. An 18-24 month horizon for exiting the crisis means that organizations are in response mode for 18-24 months. Many organizations simply don't have the resources to survive such a long response time.
2. Experts believe that hot spots with Covid 19 intensity should occur in the United States and around the world until sufficient immunity and a well-distributed vaccine are available. When the hot spots appear and decrease, companies are always in reaction and recovery mode. This constant response and recovery cycle leaves few resources for companies to focus on thriving.
We propose a new model to thrive in uncertainty. This model is based on proven techniques and enables thrive in answering, building, learning and sharing. This model includes short-term strategies and promotes success through teams working in sprints. A constantly changing operating environment is assumed and the ability to increase sales, develop innovations and offer added value to everyone involved.
Covid-19 is in a time of technology transformation that is already challenging for most companies. It's not uncommon for a company to manage multiple transformation projects such as cloud transformation, digital transformation, artificial intelligence, and workforce transformation at the same time. The results of these projects are crucial for the continued success of the organization. This model allows you to prioritize the projects that best support your company's continued success, while providing a process to realize the benefits of the projects, possibly faster than originally planned.
Investigations by Dr. David F. Rico has shown that companies using these techniques made profits between 38 and 100% for deadlines, 25 to 80% for productivity, 83% for customer satisfaction and 74% for team morale. Although our approach is new, the techniques we use do deliver proven results.
In times of uncertainty, a strong brand with a strong common goal helps workers and ecosystem partners to stay inspired and focused. Corporate values will guide decision-makers as the pace of decision-making increases and spreads out and the impact is more weighty. The business core of image, culture and vision signals to all stakeholders that the organization is part of the solution.
If your corporate culture is aligned and integrated with your business identity, your employees are more likely to make decisions and take actions that deliver on your brand promise.
However, before you delve deeper into business direction, it is important to evaluate whether core business elements need to be refined to meet the challenges of the current situation. By using an evaluation process that involves everyone involved, your employees, customers and ecosystem partners have the opportunity to renew their commitment to the purpose, mission, vision and values of your company.
Our business alignment process will:
- Ensure that important voices are heard when we learn from success, uncover collective strengths and discover components of your company's identity that are still relevant and uncover new topics.
- Put together and share emerging topics and stories that represent the positive core of your business in this new environment.
- Strengthen your company's values by defining the behavior of the company, particularly in terms of stakeholder experience (customers, employees and ecosystem) and front-line decision making.
- Evaluate your current brand ecosystem (image, culture and vision) and develop an action plan for the realignment if necessary.
- Increase collaboration in the C-Suite and the organizational focus on the business strategy.
This program begins with a two-day online or face-to-face workshop, followed by regular work sessions to re-evaluate the external environment and adjust immediate priorities. The program enables your organization, your employees and stakeholders to be successful in this time of uncertainty.
Module 1 – preparatory work
Developed to show participants how the Covid 19 crisis affected them. It encourages participants to become aware of how their way of being in the world may have changed and provides an easy way to assess stress levels.
At the end of this module:
- Understand the importance of and am better able to take care of yourself first
- Understand better how the crisis affected them
- Are better able to experience self-compassion
- Have an expanded emotional vocabulary
- Understand the effectiveness of journaling as a means of creating emotional stability
Module 2 – Personal Orientation
Allows workers to share their Covid-19 experience with their colleagues. With the preparatory work, employees can understand how their new way of being can affect the presentation at work. It encourages individuals to better understand what support they may need and how they can best support others.
At the end of this module, the participants have:
- Have a greater ability to be emotionally stable
- Understand better how the personal changes they have experienced as a result of the crisis can affect their "appearance" and work.
- More clarity on how best to support others' needs.
Module 3 – team alignment
Reveals the operational approach “focused teams” and encourages the teams to decide: “What do we want to be as a team now? What do we have to let go of? And what do we have to let come? "Finally:" What personal changes are required to support the new kind of team? "
At the end of this module, teams and team members will:
- Have a greater sense of belonging, connection and common purpose.
- They can better understand the value and importance of their personal “way of being” as this affects team cohesion and performance.
Module 4 – Brand and Strategy Alignment
Develop immediate basic priorities and follow the revised long-term strategy of the C-Suite. Ensures business alignment in the context of uncertainty to reaffirm employee engagement for the organizational purpose, as well as corporate values to inform decision-making and collaboration in the C-Suite, as well as organizational alignment to business strategy.
At the end of this module:
- Strategic priorities were identified: brand strengths, opportunities, aspirations and desired results
- The declaration on the social contract (how you define your responsibility towards all stakeholders) with a focus on the experience of the stakeholders was again confirmed or revised.
- The Moral Compass Statement (how values define the behavior of the organization) with a focus on empowering new decision-makers at the forefront has been reconfirmed or revised.
- The assessment of the brand ecosystem (assessment of the current image, culture and vision in the light of the current environment) has been completed and an action plan to be updated has been developed
- The teams understand better how to act in sprints and follow short-term strategies
- Team performance KPIs are created by the teams
Module 5 – Core Brand and Strategy Report Results
Providing and actionable summary of the core annual report and strategy, including the explanation of the provocative proposal, the organization's creed and the critical path forward.
At the end of this module
- Leadership has an actionable plan to align the organization and find a clear way to move forward with immediate priorities.
Module 6 – Navigating the River
Regular (every 45-60 days) all-day teamwork session that helps teams stay focused through strategic clarity, emotional consistency, and business alignment
- Encourage self-assessment of emotional stability and self-care
- Celebrate team success
- Provide an opportunity to connect
- Team self-assessment by
- Team New Way of Being, what's going well, what adjustments would be helpful
- Team operational performance using KPIs
- Team evaluation of the approach of focused teams, what works, what adjustments would be helpful
- Assess the current state of the external environment and set team priorities for the next short sprint
- Promote business alignment with an emotionally engaging video
At the end of this module
- Teams are more focused and productive
- Employees feel heard, connected and have a sense of purpose and appreciation
In addition to the six core modules, we offer two training modules to help larger organizations scale the program.
Training modules to support the scalability of the program for larger organizations
Module T1 – Personal Alignment Facilitation for Managers
The training session equips managers with the tools and skills necessary to simplify the personal alignment module for small teams.
At the end of this training module
- Managers can better set up and keep a secure “container” for the Personal Alignment module
- Managers will better understand the importance of taking care of themselves first
- Managers will better understand the importance of recognizing the insecurity in their teams
- Managers will be better able to model and promote self-compassion
- Managers ask people what they need more often
- Managers are more focused on what they control
- Managers promote and model self-care more often
- Managers have an expanded emotional vocabulary
- Managers can better quantify the intensity of an emotion
- Managers will better understand the effectiveness of journaling to create emotional stability
Module T2 – focused team leadership for managers
This training module gives managers the tools and skills they need to lead small teams using the Focused Teams approach
- Small teams
- Short sprints
- Learn fast
- Sharing wins
- To repeat
At the end of this module
- Managers are able to lead teams that operate in sprints and pursue short-term strategies
- Managers can better help teams learn quickly and share their learning
- Managers are better able to support employees on the front line when making decisions based on brand values
- Managers can better help teams identify surprise wins and share them quickly
- Managers have a greater ability to recognize and reward positive team performance
Please email The Blake Project for more information on how this program can help your organization thrive in uncertainty. You can also contact us directly at 813-842-2260.
Brand Strategy Insider is a service from The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy that specializes in brand research, brand strategy, brand growth and brand building