Sometimes we have no choice other than to step up to our ‘bigger games’.
In this case an organisation was asked at short notice to shift from local marketing planning process to a new, globally mandated process. The tension of completing a new process, with different templates, structures, languages and timelines created disbelief and even fear within the team. This was ‘not possible’, a ‘waste of time’ and ‘just a template filling exercise’ in the views of key team members.
As the case describes, the first step was to evaluate the current situation in line with the desired goals and to build a meaningful and actionable strategy to get there.
The evaluation clearly identified the gaps in skills, marketing planning structures, language, timing and expectations. It identified at deeper levels cultural, engagement, motivation and cognitive skill issues within the local team that impacted the ability to achieve what was required of them.
An enforced change in a process often precludes participation and can spark feelings of injustice. Not having done the planning this way before raises performance issues, fears and presents skill gaps which all act to impede change and enforce the status quo.
The deeper aims of any program were not just to get the planning completed in the new format, but:
- Make it the best plan it could be to serve local and global needs Build performance and cognitive skills around the new process, so it would be self-sustaining in future.
- Reinforce achievement and performance mind sets, enhance the feeling of personal agency and control.
- Create sustained engagement in the process, and reinforce a ‘can do’ culture in the team.
We could get the plan done, or we could get the team to play a bigger game – one where the plan was an outcome of their enhanced performance and capabilities.
Therefore an integrated program was proposed, which:
- Reduced the planning process to the simplest, common denominator steps best upon marketing best practice. The current and new approaches could then be mapped over this, and each other, and built up from there.
- Engaged and supported the individual members of the team to deliver their parts to the process.
- Identified key responsibilities and timelines, and checked against workload and priority to ensure they were realistic.
- Trained, coached and mentored the group in best practice marketing, the new structure for the planning, the new language to help drive performance and achieve the outcomes.
- Provided opportunities for strong participation and communication.
- Established the priority of the project, and demonstrated absolute commitment to it by leadership.
What the customer saw was an integrated approach based on coaching, facilitating, training and consulting.
What they experienced was engagement, support, performance and success, as the sustained culture of high quality marketing planning was absorbed into the organisation.
The outcome was that all deadlines were met, the plans were positively reviewed and held up as internal best practice for other countries. Importantly, local marketing activities were improved, sales results positively impacted, and a strong sense of capability and pride established in the the team.
Now they are playing a much bigger game.
As you reflect on this case:
- Where in your business is there a drive to change?
- What does your organisation need to experience for that to be possible?
To discuss this, or your particular circumstance further, drop me a line. We can catch up for coffee and see what would be of value to you.