Enterprises are increasingly operating in a dynamically changing and fluid environment. They are constantly changing gears just to keep pace. CXOs are constantly looking for ways to overcome or create disruptions in a world becoming increasingly complex. Infosys Consulting Blog gathers a community of subject matter experts who are driving pragmatic conversations around that which is changing and that which needs to be rethought, redefined and redesigned for enterprises to achieve market-leading performance roadmaps.

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July 26, 2013

No More Train-the-Trainer....PLEASE!!!

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No more train-the-trainer....please!!! What does this mean?  It means that based on industry experience this method of training is outdated, over-used, fails to deliver the necessary user adoption and is a lazy attempt to check the box on change management and training. 

The train-the-trainer approach is used by those who view change management and training as unnecessary and of no value.  These people are only interested in installing a new technology and hoping and praying people will use it.  They will take a few system screen shots, drop them into a presentation deck, put a technical person in front of a room of so-called super users and spend a couple hours doing point and click walk-throughs of the screen shots. Then these super-users are supposed to do the same thing with the end-user communities across the globe.  Have you ever played the "telephone game"?  One person whispers into another person's ear, and that person whispers into a third person's ear and so on and so on. Then, the last person reveals what they heard and it was nothing like what the first person actual said.  That's the train-the-trainer approach with the same results.  This is a recipe for failure!  Still don't believe me?

Market research on successful and failed business transformation programs reveals that a lack of attention and focus on the people impacted by the change results in overall program failures:

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       ·         92% of transformation program failures are due to people, org and leadership shortfalls (Gartner)

·         7 of the top 9 problems experienced on major projects were people-related. (Infosys)

·         1500 businesses indicated only 30% of their transformational programs were successful (McKinsey)

So if not a train-the-trainer approach then what approach should you use?  I pondered this while sitting at the airport preparing to write this blog.  I found myself gazing out at the people in the terminal.  I began to wonder what professions they were in and how they were trained to do their jobs.  Take an airline pilot for example: Did he only sit in a classroom to learn to fly a plane or did he do other things like on-the-job-training and fly simulators, or work on what-if scenarios/games with other pilots?  As a frequent flier I can tell which model I would prefer my pilot using.  Which would you prefer your pilot use?  A train-the-trainer approach...I don't think so!!

Think about when you were didn't go to a training class to learn how to speak or eat.  You learned by example and the world was your classroom.  You were thrust into an everyday environment where you heard something, interacted with your family and friends, and eventually figured out what the word meant and when to use it via repetitive motions.  At first you would pronounce it strangely, but eventually with practice and feedback you would get it right. 

These examples support the reality that most people learn best by doing, not by sitting in a classroom and listening.  Remember, people retain only about 10% of what they hear, about 20-30% of what they see, about 30-40% of what they see and hear, and well over 50-70% when they are actively engaged in performing a task.  A train-the-trainer approach is based on people sitting in a classroom listening and watching a subject matter expert present.  Their engagement is on the lower end of this scale.  By incorporating other training techniques that provide real engagement opportunities for your learners you can drive up the potential for real knowledge retention.  Today's methods of training have evolved advancing with the new waves of technology and ways to train without sitting face-to-face.  These new evolutions in trainings allow us to create a more engaging training experience through blending different learning techniques.  Look at the learning method matrix below. 

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 In a train-the-trainer approach the assumption is that "one size fits all" this is simply not the case and more importantly people learn and retain more by doing and engaging all of their senses.  Using a blended learning approach ensures more engagement and retention.  Also these instructional design techniques and new learning technologies enable us to design newer, more sustainable training solutions that allow learners to learn when they want, how they want and as often as their schedule permits.  A blended solution offers the learner the opportunity to participate in a variety of training methods and is more engaging.

It is important in today's world of technological advances that we take advantage of the opportunity to empower individuals with the appropriate learning models, both formal and informal, so that they can learn effectively. 

Remember that airline pilot the next time you fly and think about how he learned to fly that plane.  Step outside the box when it comes to learning and remember - No More Train-the-Trainer....PLEASE!!!

What has been your experience with different types of training methods?  We would love to hear your stories. 



   - Michael Hendrix, Partner Organizational Transformation, Consulting & Systems Integration

   - Yolanda Sallie, Senior Consultant Organizational Transformation, Consulting & Systems Integration



July 16, 2013

Health Check Your Processes...A Primer on Continuous Improvement


In 2010, CVS , one of the largest pharmacy retail chains in the US experimented with their prescription drug ordering process, which resulted in significant improvement in customer satisfaction. That outcome, while impressive, is not what really caught my attention, however.  It was that the company replicated and installed the same IT-enabled process to 4,000 locations in next one year.  Could your organization do that?  Let's look at the CVS example from two perspectives, the experiment itself and the flexibility of the processes.

What CVS did was to experiment with the different parts of the ordering process - its systems, data, and resources.  Do you experiment with your processes?  Do you know how they are performing as a whole? By performing I mean do you have established benchmarks for your processes, and you get the data to measure often for optimization? 

If yes, then you are on the right trajectory because first step is done.  That is, you are thinking of improving your processes.  If not, you may want to start thinking in that direction as experimentation and improvement may be the only ways to create competitive advantage for your organization. The nature of competition and rising consumer expectations will force you to continuously evaluate the performance of the processes and change them if need be more often.

As for flexibility, CVS had very flexible processes that they could quickly change (activities, data or resources) and adopt across multiple locations. Needless to say that you would this do this only if the change adds value.

But what makes a process changeable and adoptable? Let's start with process change.  The more steps are managed through systems, that is, more automated a process is, the easier it is to change it at any given time considering less reaction and change management required from resource perspective.

The second aspect, adoption across organization is little tricky one and requires more preparation. To do this, an organization needs to work on 3 areas:

a. A common business process architecture language for processes at all levels i.e. enterprise level 'Business/ Process Architecture'
b. A master repository of the processes -  well documented and managed in the system ( not as printouts and not in the form of a manual)
c. A global template for the process agreed by all the geographies or regions with minor changes to adjust for local flavors

Certainly, this is not the recipe for success as that requires a certain attitude of the organization too but for sure, this is a great starting point. It may lead into continuous improvement that can be structured around measurement and easy replication of successes. What do you think? Are you doing or planning to do similar experiments in your organizations?

July 1, 2013

Winning at Enterprise Social Media in 5 Steps!!


View imageIn the movie "Field of Dreams," the main character hears a voice in his cornfield whispering "If you build it...he will come."  While this made for great family entertainment, this phase has no place in the implementation of new business processes and technologies such as ERPs, CRMs, or even Social Media Platforms.  "If you build, (he) they will come" is at best wishful thinking.  No, don't be naïve and think that just because you built it the people in your organization will actually use it.  This is especially true with Enterprise Social Media platforms.  Read on to learn how our Organizational Change Management consultants can help bring the "context" and best practice engagement methods to your Enterprise Social Media deployment that will drive user adoption!

We have led countless social media collaboration engagements with our clients across all industries using multiple tools and platforms - Saba People Cloud, SharePoint, and SocialEdge to name a few.  Here we have distilled our lessons learned for driving user adoption of Enterprise Social Platforms into five steps:

Step 1 - Define goals. What's your context?  Ask yourself what business or organizational problems do you want to solve with social media collaboration, why are your conventional methods not working, and what are your specific goals for using Enterprise Social Media?  You clearly have one in mind if you've decided to try Enterprise Social Networking tools.  When you pick a goal, make sure it's not too broad. For example, deciding to use Enterprise Social Media for the purposes of "Communication" is great but doesn't specify a goal.  If you want "Communication", make sure to further define communication with something like "We'd like to increase communication between our health and environmental safety professionals within the Americas region around the impending government regulation changes". 

Step 2 - Find Champions. You need a Social Media Evangelist!  Know who in your company will support the initiative, create content, and be eager to get on board.  Find early adopters who are energized, want to adopt, and are willing to be held accountable for the success of this implementation. We call these people "Adoption Accelerators".  When the Adoption Accelerators start to use the tool, they will build awareness and create success stories that will be shared with other employees.  Remember, a happy user attracts new happy users just like a crowd attracts a crowd.

Step 3 - Understand your organization's culture.  Take a look at your company's culture, norms, and values.  Is your organization built on silos or collaboration?  Do you recognize individuals for exemplary work? In either case you will need to understand how your culture operates so you can engage your people across boundaries to solve business problems, drive innovation, and deliver greater value to the organization.  Implementing Enterprise Social Media tools requires time as well as support for individuals to alter their behavior.  Take time to understand your existing culture and then look for cultural quick wins that support your need for Enterprise Social Media.  Leverage the quick wins to help shape your future culture and consider how the features of your social platform can help enable you to get there. 

Step 4 - Behavior.  Once you have your desired culture documented, it's time to start understanding what kind of behaviors will need to be developed.  Provide behavior exercises for the folks who will be using Enterprise Social Media.  For example, set up group lunches where everyone uses the tool or creates reminders in calendars to alert users to log in and use the social system.  You need to take a proactive approach to changing employee behavior.  The most common mistake for those implementing Enterprise Social Media is to assume employees will use the tool just like they use external social tools like Facebook and LinkedIn.  At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself: how are you going to hold users accountable for their use of the tool? 

Step 5 - Organizational Design.  The last winning step in enacting Enterprise Social Media is a sum of the previous four steps.  Organizational Design is knowing that the goals, adoption accelerators, culture and behaviors are used to break down the functional siloes and create collaboration.  Ensure you hold your folks accountable, but take whatever steps are necessary to break down the organizational barriers so you can truly harness Enterprise Social Media.

Remember the phase "If you build it, (he) they will come" works only in the movies.  Here in the real world we have to do the heavy lifting to drive change and user adoption.  When the people in your organization collaborate, miracles really do come true!!

Have you had a successful Enterprise Social Media implementation?  We would love to hear your stories. 


   - Michael Hendrix, Partner Organizational Transformation, Consulting & Systems Integration
   - Milan Dave, Senior Principal Organizational Transformation, Consulting & Systems Integration