According to a Harvard study, and based on our experience, more than 75% of change processes fail for largely two reasons: 1) The workforce that must live with the changes doesn’t own the process of change; and 2) Leadership loses interest or changes direction. Over 30 years, we have watched companies restructure, centralize, decentralize, outsource, change out their leadership, implement new technologies, or redesign business processes, and fail for these reasons.
Our Approach to Change is Built on a Culture of Trust–With a 90% Success Rate
In working with our clients, we took a different approach. We started the change process from Culture-First, by building strong, trust-based relationships first, before tackling the process, technical, or structural change. We have an 85% plus success rate. We learned that people take care of what they own, and that if they own the change process, it will succeed. Ownership is a central principle of The Collaborative Method℠. To meet our clients’ needs, we developed a full suite of services that enable companies to create sustainable collaborative leadership cultures.
What differentiates The Marshall Group from other consulting organizations is our Culture-First, award-winning methodology, tools, and processes. To become collaborative in your work-space, organizational change processes need to be collaborative themselves. Leaders need to learn and practice collaborative behaviors and skills. Teams, whether virtual or in person, need to learn new ways of working, with collaborative Operating Agreements and governance.
“You get speed, innovation, and sustainable results by building leadership cultures based on trust and ownership.”
The DAO of Collaborative Leadership Cultures That Build Trust(c)
F or over 30 years, we have found that organizations are able to achieve superior and sustainable business results and high trust, when there is a culture of collaboration. We have also found that this tDAO of collaboration result in a 90% or better success rate in change processes:
- Provides Direction: Provides clear direction on business values, vision, mission, and strategy
- Ensures Alignment: Engages all stakeholders to ensure there is understanding, agreement, and a continuous two way communication process
- Builds Ownership: Builds ownership among the workforce of the strategy, results, and work processes
Collaborative Leadership Cultures are Built on 5 Imperatives
- Culture-First: Organizations get optimal results when they invest in creating a trust-based culture first. This is done by giving the workforce ownership in the change process, and creating a collaborative way of working–or a new operating system for how work gets done.
- Trust, Not Fear: In order for the workforce to realize its full potential, to be innovative, and to optimally add to the bottom line, there needs to be a culture of trust rather than fear. Collaborative cultures engage the productive energy of the workforce, and enable them to innovate, learn, and grow.
- Leadership is Situational: Leadership today is based less on one’s title and more on one’s credibility, ability to engage others, and the ability to facilitate, influence, and collaborate with others.
- Workforce Ownership: People take care of what they own. They don’t wash rented cars. If the workforce owns the company’s vision, mission, values, and strategy, they’ll take care of it.
- Virtual Organizations: More and more, work is being done virtually. Virtual organizations tend to be flat, with work being done by virtual teams operating in the cloud or other virtual work-space. People work across boundaries of all kinds. The virtual organization is powered by a collaborative culture built on trust
Collaborative Leadership Cultures Use These 7 Principles
- Ownership: Both leadership and the workforce own the direction of the organization and its work processes; “We” is more important than “Me”
- Alignment: Everyone in the organization understands and can support the organization’s values, vision, mission, and strategy
- Full Responsibility: Leaders are fully responsible for oneself, one’s team, and success of the organization
- Self-Accountability: Individuals and teams hold themselves accountable for own behavior and are accountable for business results
- Mutual Respect: The culture builds the self-esteem and self-worth of each individual and team, and honors the contributions of each for the good of the whole
- Integrity: The organization, its leadership and workforce operate in an honest and principled way; they walk the talk
- Trust: There is a culture of trust, where you can speak your truth without fear, and where there is a focus on learning, openness, and transparency