After applying breakthrough objectives in combination with Daily KAIZEN™, the next step to convert the new way of working into standardized work is to simplify the strategy on a single page and to engage everyone in the organization in implementing it at their level.
“We do this, because dealing with strategy in the same format brings meaning to each level throughout the company. We apply this practice top-down, for example, in the case of acquisitions. Doing it this way takes us less than four months to restructure a business completely. However, we also apply it bottom-up because employees have the best knowledge on removing bottlenecks in their own processes. They see it as a huge opportunity to enhance their daily work, and they can experience the change in their own workplace.”
The myth to overcome is that people are, in general, hesitant to change. Instead, leaders must understand that it is part of being human to resist change; it is a protection mechanism. The problem is usually the way change is facilitated, i.e., it often has a negative impact on people and their work.
The KAIZEN™ methodology often uses the X-Matrix to involve the entire organization in strategizing, and to break strategy down on a single page in a visual format. The construction of the matrix entails the answer to the following key questions in its distinctive “X” shape:
• What do you want to achieve in 3 to 5 years?
• How far do you want to go in the first year?
• How are you going to do it?
• How will you measure success?
• Who is responsible?
Fig. 2: X-Matrix as a tool to engage people throughout the entire organization in change
The CEO’s X-Matrix (referring to the highest-level matrix) is developed first. It describes the top-level strategic priorities. These objectives are achieved by implementing the Level 1 improvement priorities, which are assigned to a person in charge who will build their own matrix. This process of unfolding creates the accountability and alignment across the organization to achieve the results planned for the respective time period.
Juha Heljakka concludes: “Carrying out the X-Matrix in such a structured way, helps us to build trust. This part of the Brand ID business system has standardized our way of working together. It helps us to focus on the few things that we really have to bring forward: development projects, as well as key drivers and processes. It is a communicative exercise, quite simple and straightforward, so that we can execute it at all three levels of our organization.”
Using the X-Matrix helps organizations to become better places to work. At Brand ID this is measured in an employee promoter score, leading to an enhanced work environment year-by-year.
Interested in learning how this adds up to a healthy work culture? Watch out for the next blog post to be published on Thursday, December22nd!