Transitioning Organizations AT SPEED
Transition Framework and Foundation for Leadership Teams
Organizations and executives go through transitions great and small on a regular basis. In times of change, getting a team focused and rapidly aligned is the most important task of any leader. They need to cover a host of tasks well and in a short amount of time. Leaders need to deliver a solid, jointly understood point of view, creating engagement and ownership. Leaders require a framework to address in inevitable bumps in the road and which delivers long lasting, positive impact throughout the organization.
AT SPEED (Authority Transfer, Setting Purpose, Enterprise Engagement, and Direction) provides a newly formed executive team with a transition framework and foundation for focusing their energies on accomplishing shared objectives. It lays the foundation for a purpose-driven, performance-oriented and principle-led organization that is a shared product of executive effort. The central idea is to work as a team to define purpose, establish direction, and develop how to work together. This provides a baseline and common understanding of what should and is happening to the organization.
Realizing that the whirlwind of change never stops, organizations can gain immense benefit from senior leaders taking the time to have the concentrated, focused discussions outlined in the AT SPEED approach. In this process, leadership places themselves in a single space, through a series of facilitated meetings, and capitalizes on their expertise to establish a foundation for the future. The outcome is a laser-focused team with standardized vision and guidance to create success. This white paper provides a general overview of the AT SPEED approach. It goes on to provide key details and activities to allow you to better understand or test drive how it applies to your team. The hope is by using appreciative inquiry methods and engaging in short, focused meetings mindful of executives’ time, you set you teams on solid ground to tackle any challenges.
Delivering AT SPEED
AT SPEED (Authority Transfer, Setting Purpose, Enterprise Engagement, and Direction) provides a newly formed executive team with a transition framework for focusing their energies on accomplishing shared objectives. The executive team uses the shared product of the effort lay the foundation for a purpose-driven, performance-oriented and principle-led organization. The central idea is to work as a team to define purpose, establish direction, and develop how to work together. AT SPEED provides a baseline and common understanding of what should and is happening to the organization.
Authority Transfer – During transitions, with new stakeholders and with new leadership teams, we know one thing – nothing stays the same. Leadership needs to define lines of authority and relationships, leaving nothing to chance or guess work. It is the time to place all the cards on the table. An executive team can focus on establishing clear functional and relational commitments as one powerful way to tackle the authority transfer.
Setting Purpose – An organization’s purpose defines the very essence of why they are in business. Without a purpose, leaders provide no reason to stay in business, to continue to use resources or delay an eventual demise. Who your organization is and what it does must come from the inside. This is expressed in your core purpose. Organizations set a purpose as an inherent promise to customers. Leaders use the purpose to concisely communicate what the organization exists to do. It doesn’t have to state how you differ from other similar companies or organizations.
Enterprise Engagement – Executives detail how to work together – allocate responsibilities, collaborate, make decisions, resolve problems, and communicate to the rest of the organization. Leaders will need to support this process above and beyond the normal operating tempo and staff interactions. Organizations find it helpful to have special staff or joint teams, dedicated solely to supporting the executives during this period.
Direction – Leaders need to develop a laser focus on what matters most. An organization loses focus amid the whirlwind of keeping the wheels turning and the lights on. During a transition, organizations must “carry on” the regular course of business, but is an opportunity to set the tone with a vital few enterprise shaping goals. The 4 Disciplines of Execution states “our finest effort can only be given to one or two wildly important goals.”
How AT SPEED Works
The AT SPEED Approach uses a series of “building block” meetings to accelerate the forming, storming, norming and performing cycle of change. Utilizing appreciative inquiry that builds on the positive aspects of an organization, each stage addresses a key piece of a high performing team.
The table below provides a snap shot of the general approach for each stage.
The executive teams pulls in key stakeholders at each stage, building accountability and ownership. Stakeholders also provide rich content and source material that should be shared back with all tiers of the organization and as appropriate, across partners, suppliers and more.
Quickly and efficiently launching a new team, on the right trajectory, sets the stage for future success. Organizations that take a deliberate approach, invest the leadership time into defining success, and share the vision broadly deliver higher performance.
AT SPEED is a first step toward a longer-term, good to great mindset. AT SPEED covers the basic building blocks of an organization. It establishes a purpose to build around, engages leaders, sets concrete direction, and ensures authority aligns to roles. In short, AT SPEED provides a simple, quick-hitting means to focus a team rapidly on an operational alignment while continuing to do your “day job.”