Perhaps I should have also added recognize value? A skill we should all be trying to master. As well as perhaps defining value for all our endeavours? Sounds like a lengthier topic for another time, but I digress....
A recent phone call I received really sparked the idea for this blog post. A client called to share their excitement of applying the concepts we had been working on. The joy I felt in their voice was very motivating for me. I heard things like "Kelly, we are actually doing it! We needed to be reminded that we were, but we are applying exactly what we have learned!"
The reason I share this exchange is this is because I feel there is value created that is not necessarily always recognized. The organization I am speaking about has started a culture change. They are embracing the learning opportunity they have been afforded and applying those learnings toward making practical progress in their operations. The staff are feeling very empowered as part of driving this change. They are coming up with some very courageous ways to talk among their group and challenging the norm.
Often times change efforts do not recognize the value created in the DNA of your workforce. More often than not a change effort is looked at merely in the way a certain process or transaction needs to be performed. And while looking for ways to improve here should be applauded, I offer to you that there should always be a lens applied that looks how the culture of your organization can be either supported if it is in a good place or improved if necessary.
Also, for me, I need to see what this type of exchange does for my own value creation. I need to leverage the fact that in working with clients I have this amazing opportunity to help them improve or change their culture for the better. To date, I have had this in the back of my mind but will admit that process improvement has been my dominant motivator.
I have recently found myself talking with many elected officials in the region. This recent, very inspiring, exchange with a client has me re-thinking future conversations. Many of these meetings are around reducing taxes and employing a new way of budgeting. Not a surprise given my experience with Priority Based Budgeting (PBB).
I have started to try and change this line of thinking a bit. Starting with how we can create the most value out of the current budget, as opposed to where should we cut to achieve a certain tax rate we find palatable. PBB is a powerful tool to drive these type of conversations. And an intangible, yet enormous, benefit (value) that is achieved while using PBB is the fact that it changes a culture!
Believe me, there are staff that are itching to be asked how can what we do provide the most value. I have witnessed Directors work with their departments and reallocate resources from one area to another as well as, believe it or not, give resources to another area of the organization to support an identified corporate priority in need of support. This is powerful stuff!
Let's look at leveraging this type of organizational value creation in changing/improving culture when we consider new initiatives. Thinking only about how to be more efficient and effective in a transactional way is missing a huge opportunity. Think bolder. Think broader.
Enjoy your day friends.