Sunday, 28 November 2010

Do PIGS choose Big Cuts or Happiness?

The old joke was, "What's the difference between Iceland and Ireland?" The answer: "One letter and six months", proved inaccurate but only in timescale. Last week Pentacle (Eddie Obeng on the left and Toby Scott below) completed the delivery of the Leadership4Growth programme in association with  Duke CE  and Enterprise Ireland.

The programme, aimed at organisations associated with the built environment, was a practical programme to help Irish construction and related organisations get up off their knees and thrive again. In the wider context hunting down the PIGS began with a G not a P - Germany leading the bailout of Greece. In parallel in the UK starting with a bonfire (of Quangos) the solution to the BIG Cuts (which for some reason the journalists insist on constantly describing as 'Painful') is to get an even BIGGER Society. The question of “How much growth is enough? - If you can't grow as fast as the BRICs then how much growth is OK? – And anyway does growth make the citizens ‘Happy’?

To be honest all this focus on austerity, cuts and innovation is desperate, worthy but probably pointless - the chances of successful change execution and delivery, if anything like the normal averages, is very, very poor. Less than 25% of change activity delivers what was expected when it was expected at the cost expected. Even less than that number actually delivers the benefits originally envisaged. Or put another way, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and most of Thursday are spent but are not an investment because a real investment has a return in terms of benefits.

The goal is not to have a vision or strategy - the goal is to make it reality without wasting all the resources and benefits you hope that the vision or strategy will add.

Pentacle's Professor Eddie Obeng, ever the pragmatist, has been working hard to deliver ideas, concepts and most importantly approaches frameworks and tools to help. To support this he has written a series of articles aimed at the current economic challenges.

In addition to releasing a new edition of the World After Midnight podcast Eddie has written and published

Necessity is about to become a Mother Again - To help you understand that not all innovation comes from the same sparqs and that you can select the best way of delivering innovation.

Big Cuts, Big Society, Excellent Execution and Happy Citizens - is a pragmatic but light hearted take on what would happen if the crises were being managed and delivered by Programme and Project managers rather than politicians and civil servants. It is a guide to what you should be doing yourself.

ESP - 100 Percent Perfect Projects - is a summary of the Breakthrough approach pioneered by Prof Obeng four years ago which enables delivery of huge benefits without waste. Basically it explains how you can deliver real change even though you have no money to invest by eliminating all the waste of change

The Blueprint for Transforming Strategy into Reality - How to organise for really BIG change

If I Knew Then What I Know Now… - To remind you that 21st century change in the New World is more closely aligned with sailing than driving and that the only way you can be really certain of success is to keep on track through reviews

Development. What a Monumental Waste of Time – Is a new take on developing organisational leaders for these difficult times. Moving away form the 20th century ‘Talent’ based thinking to a more appropriate solution.

So if PIGS could choose, And if the PIGS had read the articles would they choose BIG Cuts and Happiness? Webmail us here or joining the Pentacle LinkedIn Group.  We think that they would.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Putting the human back into Business

Do you remember, not very long ago, when every customer counted and every touch point and experience was unique and personalised?

No. Neither do I. I think it is a myth brought on by watching too many heart-warming period dramas as a child. It may have been true at the corner shop, but was rarely if ever true of larger organisations.

What we recognise at Pentacle is that the environment in which organisations operate has become more complex; this may be due to globalisation, speed of communication or international competition. The more complex their environment becomes, the more those organisations are forced to adopt inflexible processes and one-size-fits all solutions that suit the organisation but rarely satisfy the consumer. They become "inhuman".

Nowadays, consumers are searching for authenticity and genuineness. These attributes do not come out of a tin marked "Humanity"; they are created by embedding a culture that places the consumer, or final user, at the heart of decision making. This means giving individual staff members autonomy and delegating power to the person who has the greatest expertise; usually the person closest to the customer.

At Pentacle, we are educating and enabling organisations to create and deliver authenticity to their customers by helping their employees to increase their capacity to manage complexity without becoming slaves to process or getting caught in the headlights of change.

We are helping companies to put the human back in their business.