Minimum viable product and sustainability-A lesson in evidence for organisation development?
Dr Michael Reilly is a qualified Psychologist and Director at Change Corp. He has previously worked with NHS and public sector organisations on transformation projects such as digital patient pathways, managing change, online mental health services for patients and online education portals for GPs.
After a minus 8 Celsius evening, I was motivated to get to my garage and turn over my garden equipment. It’s good practice over winter. My mower will not start and the gentle chap who services my equipment grumbles that the parts are “just about viable” but not good enough over any decent length of time or use! Buy cheap, he says, pay twice!
It appears to me there is a metaphor here for Organisation Development interventions.
When you commission an organisation to deliver an OD programme what constitutes a “viable product”? For me it involves one crucial element – for any intervention to be sustained in terms of its effects, there must be built in an ability to measure and survey the impact of the intervention.
At Change Corp we believe it is imperative to produce evidence that a desired change has actually been delivered and/or areas that require change are identifiable.
With a recent client (Johnson & Johnson, North America), this involved their North American national sales managers. What behaviours are required from these leaders and how can we measure that our programme has affected those behaviours following key note addresses, various interactive digital workshops and facilitated (online) breakout sessions?
Teamwork remains the ultimate competitive advantage: “Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare’’ writes Patrick Lencioni in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.
For Johnson & Johnson, we used an adapted version of The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ – an assessment toolkit to measure a team against the behaviours of TRUST, CONFLICT, COMMITMENT, ACCOUNTABILITY and RESULTS.
We surveyed 136 team members and 15 national sales leaders. The subsequent report provided a “rich picture” of how teams perceive their leaders and how team leaders perceive themselves.
The survey randomised a question set, five groups of questions based on the behaviours. Each question generated quantitative data. Qualitative data was generated in response to five questions. These data were analysed by themes expressed by text based responses.
Finally, quantitative and qualitative data were compared and contrasted allowing focus areas to be highlighted suggesting personal and team development opportunities. The qualitative data also allowed sentiments to be expressed around belonging, wellbeing and management during the pandemic.
Over time the survey can be administered again to show how perception of behaviour has changed and also how the team members and leaders are feeling. At Change Corp, we believe such assessment and survey is key to ensure a “viable” intervention – if something cannot be measured, it cannot be controlled and therefore cannot be improved! [i]
As Mckinsey reported last June, changes in work as a consequence of Covid-19 are hitting people in widely diverging (and sometimes unexpected) ways. Some are struggling, and some are thriving. They rightly advocate to organisations a combination of science, technology, data, and analytics to segment employees like you would their customers and tailor interventions to support them in personalised and meaningful ways.[ii]
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