Management programs

The Challenge

Management programs are like tools you pick from a toolbox. Now, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail (Maslow). You will try, and fail, when applying a tool fit for one purpose (e.g., OKRs) to the breadth of other management challenges.

Alternatively, you can create a “tool zoo” and fill your toolbox with lots of tools, each fit for one management program purpose. Good luck onboarding your staff and stakeholders on multiple different tools, and keeping them engaged there.

The solution is a multitool. One tool, one onboarding, one go-to place. And then templates to adapt the tool to the management program fit for your purpose. If you run multiple programs, no problem – a personal dashboard provides complete overview.

ChangeMaker. The multitool in your hands.

Which company issue is currently at the forefront of your mind – what would you like to change or achieve? Please find below some examples of management projects and their purpose. Of course there are more – just contact us to find the right one for your need.

OK, one tool for all, nice … but is it easy to use? Just try it our for yourself, we are happy to give you a trial or detailed demo. When you start, we provide you with all you deem necessary for success: template, some tinkering, onboarding, practical tips & tricks, etc.

These days. every tool provider says that they care. We say so, too. But we actually do. Speak to one of our consultants and discuss your issue or idea. The downside is 15 minutes of your time – the likely upside is a proven management program for your needs.


The Method (in lay terms)

Set objectives („lose weight this year”), specify key results (“1.5 kg this quarter”) and cascade them to all involved: The eye looks at carrots, not chips – the leg walks away from, not to the fridge – the nose celebrates the smell of tofu. This is OKRs.

The idea is ancient: Keeping the Greeks out of Troy (objective) meant for the porter to let zero enemy soldiers in (key result). Unfortunately, there was no key result for wooden horses.

So there is nothing new to OKRs, or is there? Yes, it is the constraints. God said that a hand has five fingers, and Google said that a company has five objectives. And that each objective has four key results. And that it is every quarter that progress towards objectives is assessed through key result status.

The Merit

On the plus side, the method provides clear guidance on the „what“ while preserving autonomy on the „how“. The limits (5 O’s with 4 KR’s each) help to win the war for attention and memory. The consultative process improves quality and commitment. 

On the minus side, the focus on vertical (not horizontal) cascading makes the process less suited for cross-functional dependencies, While OKRs are good at getting things going at scale, execution speed is determined elsewhere by task management methods etc.

Drive OKRs in ChangeMaker and achieve your objectives much faster than with OKRs alone – through dependency mapping, agile methods, continuous impact feedback, and real-time status visibility at all levels.

Post-Merger Integration

The Challenge

Imagine your landlord merges you and your neighbors into their apartment to realize a market opportunity (Bill Gate’s 3rd cousin is eyeing your apartment).  This may require some adjustments to your life (like, whose dishwasher, which bathroom order?).

You can try hard to communicate rational benefits to your family (like, „good, our dishwasher was old anyway“, or „Mr. Spence blocks the bathroom all morning, but it surely is worth it“). But on the whole, your family may not follow you there emotionally.

Unless you find good ways of working and mutual appreciation within your new community, your family members will escape as soon as they can afford it. And this is exactly what happens in the less successful Post-Merger Integrations.

The Solution

ChangeMaker’s PerformanceMap has a village-like feel to create proximity and fight silos. Being organized by topics across legacy companies, it nudges people to spend time together and collaborate, which is known to create mutual sympathy. 

Visible progress across the entire entity reduces the subjective pay-off of inactivity or resistance, and positively stimulates action. Placing purpose and action items together into the 8 sec. working memory window further lowers the action threshold. 

PMI is among the most demanding, failure-prone management programs. It is individual and group psychological risk factors that make the difference. Use ChangeMaker to keep these risk factors at bay and lead a successful integration. 

Strategy implementation

The Challenge

Traditionally, corporate strategy has an implementation problem. When Moses descended Sinai after his 40-day retreat with God, his people had gone for a golden calf instead of the scriptures. Strategy does not impact behavior beyond upper management.

How to solve this? Psychologists call one required success factor „implementation orientation“ – a vivid idea of how the strategy changes one’s own behavior, before cascading it down to the next level. Question-led discovery, e.g., is a proven route to this.

The next important success factor is „nudging“ – low level reminders strengthening strategy-consistent action until new habits are formed. Without this, it is hard to win against old habits accepted and well-practiced amongst colleagues at all levels.

The Solution

ChangeMaker makes your strategy real. Use it to simultaneously cascade your strategy vertically (by org levels) and horizontally (by value chain) to make sure there is no hierarchical loss of traction & all stakeholders develop a consistent implementation orientation.

Use open-book management of strategy content (communication, story), process (milestones, phases, tasks) and impact (leading and lagging KPIs) to nudge all stakeholders into daily action and to counteract strategy-inconsistent habits.

No doubt, strategy implementation is hard (think  digitization as an example): Starting with a concept, you need to reach head, hand and heart of all involved. ChangeMaker is your solution to implement strategies fast and successfully.

Risk management

Risks and Goals

While „Avoid“ goals (avoid heart disease) and „Keep“ goals (keep friendships) play the central role in personal behavior, it’s „Achieve“ goals (double the EBIT) that dominate management behavior, the key reason being the Tragedy of the Commons (socialized pain). 

Arguably, man-made disasters (Chernobyl, Trump) wouldn’t have happened if „Avoid/Keep“ goals had influenced decision making. Risk management is the effort to make management decisions more like personal ones (by giving weight to „Avoid/Keep“ goals).

Unfortunately, in many companies risk management is only started when the damage is impending or done (a notable exception being equipment risk FMEA). A better practice is to manage risks continuously, and as integral part of all projects (not separately). 

The Solution

With ChangeMaker, risk management is a naturally integrated activity at everyone’s fingertips. Add risks, quantify expected impact (e.g. using order-of-magnitude sliders for simplicity), create and track mitigating actions, reassess risk: full cycle in one place.

Probabilities, absolute and adjusted impact etc. are automatically aggregated along the hierarchies, so any aggregation level (big picture to detail) and any logic (by vertical, product, customer, supplier, project etc.) can be viewed instantaneously.

Include any type of risk management (from simple to detailed) in your ChangeMaker management programs to protect the good parts of the status quo (Keep), prevent unintended side effects (Avoid) and boost the cost-benefit ratio of all initiatives 

ChangeMaker®. Mastering Change. Reaching targets.