Imagine teaching a four-ton elephant to dance. The agility required is not natural considering the animal’s physical structure. This parallels a large organization’s ability to respond immediately to change and new challenges. The challenges can include both lingering and urgent issues, such as mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, system transitions, and major events. With large corporations divided into departments and multiple reporting layers, communication can be stymied. Stymied communication delays and inhibits idea generation, prioritization of ideas, and ultimately execution.
Lack of collaboration between departments leads to uninformed or conflicting decisions. Although good ideas may be developed in organization silos, the idea’s originator may not be able to organize an action plan to ensure successful execution. Organizations with ingrained reporting structures experience difficulties when trying to actualize change, as shown in Diagram A. The waiting game for approval leads to delays and status quo results.
How can large organizations rapidly solve problems spanning multiple departments?
Many organizations hesitate or give up in their attempts to teach the elephant to dance, but when great organizations face the challenge, they don’t hesitate or stop.
Great organizations accelerate, collaborate, and execute. Organizations need a defined and collaborative method for rapidly addressing complex issues. Trenegy has established the ACE Method (accelerate, collaborate, execute), allowing organizations to pull together to respond to complex challenges in days instead of months or years associated with traditional problem solving.
The ACE Method assists larger corporations in quickly finding an effective solution for urgent problems, offering speed and skill in responding to client needs. An ACE Method initiative typically takes two weeks, including the preparation, workshop, and the presentation phase. The core of the Ace Method is the two-day workshop designed to bring the organization’s experts together to define a roadmap for action. The workshop starts with a simple concept challenge and ends when idea synergy is reached and final action plans are developed.
Each concept challenge follows an iterative process flow, as shown in Diagram B. During the brainstorm phase, individual teams work together to generate ideas. Each feedback session is used to gain ideas from other groups and eliminate infeasible ideas. For each chosen idea, the team develops a charter. This allows the participants to weigh the practicality of the initiative and its overall effect on the organization. After repeating the brainstorm and feedback sessions, final charter prototypes are ready to be presented, discussed, and developed into a roadmap for implementation. Charters present action steps, while roadmaps prioritize initiatives and set the timing of implementation. The final concept challenge is important, as it considers all dependencies across charters and gives a realistic timeline of action steps to execute.
The ACE Method protects good ideas from being stifled by functional barriers and denied action, as illustrated in Diagram C. The versatility of the ACE workshop allows teams to address diverse issues rapidly. For instance, in a merger of two companies, each with strong independent silos, the new, single company would need to unify its departments and processes. The ACE Method workshop allows the companies to brainstorm the structural, procedural, and cultural changes that should be made as a result of the merger. Once the main action steps are identified, they can be developed into action plans via the charters to include the recommended steps, benefits, costs, risks, etc. that are associated with each one. After completion of the charters, roadmaps would be created to include dependencies, such as overlaps in the charters and the order in which to execute the steps.
The Trenegy ACE Method workshop can be held at an off-site location or at the place of business. An off-site environment separates the participants from the everyday work environment, providing freedom from the normal constraints of the office, including distraction and stifled creativity caused by daily routine. Trenegy also offers an ACE workshop solutions center in northwest Harris County where the workshop can be held off-site, allowing for accelerated results.
The ACE Method ensures effective and rapid solutions. Delayed action only stunts future growth. Clarifying the present issues and clearly laying out an action plan gives organizations the freedom to move forward quickly and confidently.
If you are leery of an elephant’s ability to dance, see below for proof:
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