It’s no secret that infrastructure in the United States is in disrepair. One recent study found about 60,000 U.S. bridges are structurally deficient, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It seems like everywhere we look, things are falling down around us.
These issues will only become more pressing as populations grow. According to UNICEF, about 70 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2050. That urban growth means our need for dependable, efficient infrastructure is also on the rise.
Lean methodology is a common sense approach to increasing customer satisfaction, decreasing costs and improving the quality of products and services, concurrently. In order to accomplish this, organizations must create full transparency and be clear about what metrics matter to their overall performance. This sounds so easy and straightforward, so why aren’t we all doing it?
The Government Accountability Office recently reported that the pilot program for the DATA Act, passed in 2014 to increase savings and transparency in federal spending, is still not up and running.
The pilot program had not yet specified a methodology or data to be collected, and its outcomes are unlikely to be scalable. To avoid missteps like these, federal agencies need a change management strategy that involves gathering evidence, meticulously outlining goals, and testing iteratively.
When Bill Sandbrook took over as CEO of U.S. Concrete (NASDAQ CM: USCR) in 2011, he stepped into an organization that was hobbling out of bankruptcy and struggling to turn itself around. What he didn’t realize was just how precarious the situation really was.
A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Sandbrook got his start as a leader in the cavalry, serving 13 years before leaving the service in 1992 to take a job with a building materials company.
The short answer is: Very collaborative.
Strategic planning requires hearing from all levels of the organization; leaders, managers, co-workers, and employees. And at the end of the day, key stakeholders have to agree on the final mission, vision, and a set of objectives to align around and track priorities. When more stakeholders have input into the plan, then they are more likely to drive the implementation. That’s why collaboration is critical.
But if it were that simple to be collaborative, everyone would be doing it. So why don’t we?
From startups to the federal government, no organization is immune to the unpredictable. We’re only halfway through 2016, and the U.S. Department of Defense is already tackling a range of complex challenges: battling the Islamic State group, combating domestic terrorism, and ensuring that key initiatives receive sufficient funding. And the impending presidential administration change will bring new priorities, regardless of who wins the White House.
Without a crystal ball, the department must develop solid strategic plans to achieve its goals this year and beyond. These techniques are based on military ideas, and you can apply them to your business, too.
Black swan events are inherently unpredictable — and they’re all around us. From responding to cyberattacks, military conflicts and natural disasters to handling issues in environmental sustainability and third offset strategy, federal leaders need a new response strategy predicated on vulnerability and a willingness to explore.
Historical data cannot foresee these new and emerging threats. Major terrorist attacks on U.S. soil were never a part of our history, but 9/11 still happened. Other threats are unavoidable. In nuclear power, for instance, one industry expert describes unforeseen events as “inevitable.”
To counter these risks, federal leaders need to open their thinking to the unknown. They need to adopt black swan modeling.
When leading a company through a big change, sometimes it’s best to put yourself first.
The WIIFM approach — “What’s In It For Me?” — is part of our natural psychology to ensure our basic needs (like belonging, safety, and self-worth) are met.
Many in the industry believe the best way to integrate organizations post M&A is to take the best of both cultures, and build a combined 50-50 partnership. They say it’s the “right thing to do”. It’s how we show homage and respect to the legacy organization. Read More…