Making better business design decisions - with your people
Long-lasting change needs a collaborative approach.
In our experience, diversity of thinking and input drives better business outcomes. The people in an organisation know that organisation better than anyone else. So, to not include them in the design process seems absurd!
Regrettably, we have observed many design decisions made in isolation with the leadership, with the wider organisation told simply what to be getting on with. The leaders set the vision and the employees are expected to execute on that. But are they able and willing to do so?
In times past, and for certain sectors built on large scale processes and operations, this may have worked. Though arguably this is in industries where people's creativity, dynamism and entrepreneurship were not required as much. But it is crucial to have a common objective.
“I wanted to take a more collaborative, consensual approach to building our strategy… ultimately creating longer lasting change.”
Where will you find the drive for change?
We are now in an economy built primarily on service industries where there is a much greater need to benefit from those people characteristics: the ideas and energy that the individuals from within the business can bring so much of.
And right now there is a breed of company that is looking to do things more radically different. They recognise that it’s the people in whom the power and desire for change lies. Unlocking this is key for the success of the company.
Highly engaged employees are three times more likely to say they feel heard at their workplace (92%) than highly disengaged employees (just 30%). Moreover 74% of employees reported that they are more effective at their job when they feel heard. These are the conclusions of a survey conducted by the Workforce Institute. And it is not surprising that people want to be heard.
One of our clients, a new CEO at a global technology services company, wanted to signal that things were going to be different: “I wanted to take a more collaborative, consensual approach to building our strategy. And with the view that this would then help us create something that more people could engage in, ultimately creating longer lasting change.”
We ask ourselves the same questions
We have applied the same principles at Hatch. When we reassessed our values, our brand and our business, we did that with the whole team. We wanted to draw on everyone’s work passions and beliefs. We uncovered more of what drives us, and how we bring this to life in the best way.
It didn’t mean we found complete consensus on everything. But what we did was unlock our collective ingenuity, build enough creative tension and come up with ideas that are more valuable than we would have done designing only with the leadership team.
The resulting design brings a part of each individual, a design that is understood and agreed on by each individual, and is something we are all proud of. Our colleagues not only have a deeper understanding of our vision, but they are also advocates and ready to execute on it.
Working with our clients we also see that today's modern organisations require great design, creativity and collaboration to drive outcomes that more people will buy into. And we truly believe that more voices should be included in this process.
It is this all-inclusive approach that pushed and challenged us to the point where it was clear we needed to rebrand our organisation. We wanted to better define what we do and why we do it!
Diversity of thinking and creativity have always been at the core of what we do. And our conviction is that if you involve people in a new design, they will support what you do. They will have a deeper understanding of what you’re trying to achieve, and will become your greatest advocates.
Strengthening our definition for business design
We have always practised inclusive business design. We always challenge leaders to take a step back and listen to the people who work for them or who buy from them or who want to invest in them.
‘Inclusive’ is a word that we tend to associate with diversity, race, gender, age and so on.
But true inclusion goes further.
It’s about embracing other voices and opinions to get to the right answer. It’s about actively engaging and valuing the input of not only employees, but also customers, suppliers, and other communities to ensure that the business meets the diverse needs of all stakeholders.
Hierarchy can be a huge blocker of progress. We promote a collaborative, design-led approach to find ways through complex problems together. Inclusive business design doesn't always mean everybody agrees with each other. It means we respect the opinions of everyone in the organisation. We listen and act on their inputs. And find a way to the best answer fast.
De-risking through inclusivity
During our professional careers, we’ve seen many ways of approaching solution design. But typically the outcome is the same. Months to deliver some PowerPoint decks, some lovely diagrams, and perhaps some advice to a small number of leaders.
That is a risky approach in today's business world. It excludes people who are on the front line, working with customers or in departments where the real work gets done. It leaves people disengaged from where the company needs to go. On top of that, it leaves them worrying about the problems that remain unresolved.
A recent Salesforce study found that employees who feel their voice is heard are four to five times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.
We flipped our thinking in terms of helping companies find their own strategies. They know the answers. They need to trust themselves and their employees, customers and investors more, and the results will be astounding.
But don’t take just our word.
This is what the Head of Strategic Change at aUS technology services company said about Hatch:
“They are able to bring people together in an engaged, energised, facilitated way, whether that be virtual or physical. It’s different from anything we’ve had before. Even if the people are divergent on their views at the beginning, you end up really getting this sense of commonality in the end.”