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Beyond Performance 2.0: A Proven Approach to Leading Large-Scale Change.

Beyond Performance 2.0: A Proven Approach to Leading Large-Scale Change Scott Keller and Bill Schaninger (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2019)

Beyond Performance 2.0 is the second edition of a change management book by McKinsey consultants. Keller and Schaninger have drawn on over a decade of change management projects that they have led at McKinsey to create a process that is based on their successful projects and extensive analysis of data from many more change programs.

What do these authors prescribe "beyond performance"? They maintain that successful change management requires an emphasis on organizational health of the company that is equal to the traditional focus on financial performance. The authors define nine characteristics of organizational health, which include a clear sense of direction, leaders who inspire action in others, shared beliefs across all levels of the company, an understanding of what is expected of an employee, the presence of enthusiasm for the direction the company is going, and a few others.

They maintain that organizational health will prevent a company from acquiring diseases like Enron's financial machinations, Volkswagen's "dieselgate" deception, Uber's employee harassment scandal, and Amazon's dehumanization of its most vulnerable employees.

The prescribed program emphasizes initiatives that address both performance and health in a balanced framework which they summarize as Aspire, Assess, Architect, Act, and Advance.

Aspire. The performance side of this phase focuses on creating strategic objectives that are strong on mid-term, concrete results. On the health side, this phase includes setting goals that address the nine health characteristics listed earlier. They recommend selecting a few areas where the company will strive to be exceptional and exemplary in their industry.

Assess. In performance, identify the skillsets that are required to achieve the objectives. Spend time understanding where the company stands now in order to create a path to where you want it to be. In health, pinpoint behaviors that both help and hinder the acquisition and retention of the specific skill-sets that are needed. Reframe the root-causes of broken health practices.

Architect. "Create a bankable plan," which means a portfolio of specific initiatives that build the path to the strategic objectives. Sequence and schedule these initiatives so they can be measured and managed to completion. In health, "create influence levers" that support the established health goals. Hardwire these levers into incentive plans.

Act. The act stage is simply putting the architected initiatives into practice and then making adjustments as they take effect. It is also where the initiatives are scaled up and extended beyond the initial rollout departments. In the health area, the organization mobilizes its influence leaders, getting them out in the field and into connection with the company so they can personalize and model the desired behaviors. These leaders are also the conduits for two-way communication on the reception and actual impact of the change initiative.

Advance. The company will need a learning infrastructure that includes knowledge sharing, continuous improvement, and continuous learning. Change programs often appear to be isolated corrections. But they are actually a recurring reaction to a world that is constantly changing. For health goals it is important to push the best talent into the prioritized goals. The company cannot apply all of its leadership, management, and technical talent to the performance initiatives and the second string to the health goals.

Following the description of their "performance + health" model, the authors provide two chapters directed at the roles of the senior executive sponsors of the initiative and the appointed change manager. They emphasize that change efforts must be personally embraced by the senior leaders in the company. The current character and priorities of the company stem directly from the character and priorities of the leaders. If the company needs a change program, then the leaders themselves must personally undergo that same change in their own behaviors and priorities. Senior leaders must recruit a leadership team that embraces and lives the new model. Most of the employees will look at the behavior of leadership to determine whether it is worth expending their energy for this change program.

For the change manager, their primary prescription is optimism. He or she must believe in the change program and its ability to move the company to a better performance and health position. The change manager will need to provide the meaning behind the initiative, frame it so it is clear to everyone, and actively connect with and engage everyone in the organization who is expected to take the journey.

Performance goals and health goals are symbiotic. McKinsey and these authors found that only 30% of traditional change programs were successful. But among companies that used the dual performance + health program between the first and second edition of this book, 79% succeed. Therefore, the authors seek to present a case that this framework will significantly improve the chances of success for a change program.

Roger Smith is the CTO of AdventHealth Nicholson Center.
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Author:Smith, Roger
Publication:Research-Technology Management
Date:Nov 1, 2019
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