Step nine in the Breakthrough Process focuses on implementing and tracking the breakthrough projects. After obtaining approval from decision makers, new implementation teams are formed. These teams consist of a blend of existing Breakthrough Action Team members and additional members required for effective implementation. This step emphasizes continuous communication through multiple channels such as town hall meetings, newsletters, and informal discussions. Transparency is crucial in sharing both official and unfiltered information. A tracking system helps monitor the progress of different teams and projects. Collaboration between the implementation teams, the organizational effectiveness team, executives, and the steering group ensures that challenges are addressed, and the implementation process remains aligned with the organization’s goals. The process is cyclical, continuously addressing the next set of high-priority issues for ongoing transformation and organizational improvement.
Step nine: The last step in the process is implementing and tracking the breakthrough projects. You can see what has happened up to this point. You’ve gone through the whole process of preparing the organization, diagnosing the situation, finding out what the most important things are to be addressed. You then had teams work on coming up with specific action recommendations about the key logs, remembering Dahl’s great phrase and the highest priority items that will give the biggest bang for the effort. And you’ve made that presentation in step eight to the decision makers, and they’ve said yes to something. Now, slightly different teams are formed. I like to take some members of the Breakthrough Action Team that have been working on that particular issue, but then that team needs to have new people on board because now it’s not just about analysis but implementation. Taking this particular action step forward means that other departments are going to have to be involved. And so when that happens, you want to augment the teams, which means you’re going to have to drop off a few people, or otherwise, the team gets too large. So that’s a decision you’ll have to make. But you know, a team of eight to ten people is getting pretty large. So, you know, eight people is about max. And those teams now are going forward. And as they go forward, how do you track what they’re doing to help with the implementation? How do you support their work going forward? That’s what this step is about.
So these are my assumptions: that the decision makers have said yes to the Breakthrough action or breakthrough analysis team recommendations, that new breakthrough implementation bits, I call them bits and bats. This is just my crazy way of shortening things to give people a way to talk about it; you call it whatever you want to call them. But now implementation teams have been formed. You know what I like to call them? These crazy, weird, different names to get it outside the language of that organization. Let’s say they like to call things committees or something. Well, as soon as the organization sees another committee, it just sounds like business as usual. So I like to come up with some crazy or slightly different name. So even the name of the group itself communicates well. This is not like what we normally do. So that’s why you’ll see some of these weird names up here. That’s one of my rationales here. It’s time for action to take place. No more time for fooling around. It’s time for action. And people need to know what’s happening on an ongoing basis. What’s happening in this process now, now, now. Okay. The secret is communicated. You want to have multiple channels: print, face to face, big town hall meetings, small team meetings. You want to have formal and informal. There’s probably right now a newsletter or an internal magazine or something that goes out that is sanctioned by top management. Most of the information that goes into those newsletters, in my experience, has been carefully worded and carefully written so that it’s been kind of tamed or domesticated. So there’s nothing either legally or from an HR point of view, or a legal point of view, or from a strategic point of view. It’s not safe. Okay. Everybody knows that. So they read the official magazines, they’re interested, but they read it with a certain frame of mind. I like to have another parallel channel of information going out from these teams that is rawer. It’s just this is what we’re working on now. Somebody on the steering group will have to check it to make sure it’s not completely off the scale. But I like to have this information going straight from the teams to their colleagues in the organization. People read those like, they read them like crazy. Organizations have set up chat rooms. There’s a huge amount of information that gets gathered as this process goes forward that can help with implementation. Frequently, you want to communicate way more than you think is necessary. Believe me, you cannot communicate too much in a process like this. I remember one executive said, well, we sent them the memo. What more do they need? Well, they need to talk to somebody, listen to somebody, be able to ask questions. They need feedback. They need to have a conversation above the waterline. There’s information below the waterline. There’s interaction. They want to interact with somebody that they trust to learn more about what’s happening. This is what communication is. Communication is not just telling people what you want them to hear. It’s interacting with them so that you hear what they want to say. Oh, that was good. Now you need to have some kind of tracking system, a Gantt chart, Pert chart to show which groups are working on what and so forth. That’s that’s a piece of cake. Probably everybody in your company that knows project management knows how to do that. That part’s easy tracking. Where are these teams now? What are they confronting and so forth. Here’s what I would say. Below the waterline is happening. You have the team organization effectiveness team, and you have the executives, and you have the steering group. And then you have these teams that are implementation teams that are now moving forward. They have to be in constant communication. They need to be in constant communication with all three of these groups. And I’d like to create a kind of cross-functional group here among these people going forward. They do their work. They’re trying to implement to make sure that this particular thing actually happens in the organization. If they run into any kind of problems of any kind, they go back to this group. They’re constant face to face briefings where they say, we’re having trouble with these people here; we’re having difficulty here. Can you help this happen? And so forth. In addition to that, there’s communication to everyone in the form of formal newsletters, magazines, and so forth that are generated by the organization. And then, as I said before, these informal things like town hall meetings, team meetings, department meetings, meetings where the bat or the bit teams come and actually make presentations. This is the way to support the implementation process going forward. You’re now at the end of this. It doesn’t stop. Once you’ve once you’ve handled these 4 or 5, guess what? Come back around. This is what action research is. You come back and you take the next top five. What are the next five that didn’t make it to that first list? And you do this same process again, starting down here. All right. Just pick it up here, here, and here. You just keep this cycle going ongoing. You’ve got a more healthy organization, one that knows how to change, when to change and knows how to focus their energy on things so that real, real transformation takes place.
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