Transformation and implementation

We describe here some tools used for communication and finally for implementation. What they have in common is that cooperative work and implementation as conversation are built in.

Hoshin Kanri

Hoshin Kanri is a lean management method for aligning and implementing a company’s strategy across the entire hierarchy.

The words “hoshin” and “kanri” mean direction and administration, respectively. Together they mean “how do we steer our direction” or “how do we make sure we are going the right way”.
Hoshin Kanri is an essential lean management method to ensure that a company’s strategy is implemented across the entire hierarchy.

Objectives and Key Results

OKRs(objectives and key results) are a leadership model to focus attention on the right issues, leverage effort and drive a shift from tasks to objectives.

OKRs have similarities to KPIs, but also significant differences. They also don’t yet have the bad reputation that KPIs have received due to their unfortunate linkage to reward systems.

Like KPIs, they are an implementation of “management by objectives”: an employee is given tasks and the implementation of the tasks is evaluated. Tasks are created by each supervisor distributing or cascading their tasks to their employees. KPIs are therefore a strictly hierarchical system.

In OKRs, on the other hand, the supervisor and the employees (or teams) each develop their own ideas and these are then compared. It’s kind of a negotiated settlement. There are various solutions to the question of how decisions are made in the event of a conflict: in the “intel” variant, the superior decides in case of doubt. In the “Google” variant, the question remains open and one trusts that peer pressure will lead to an amicable solution.

Another essential element of OKRs is complete transparency about goals – across hierarchical levels and horizontally between teams and departments.

Order tactics and Art of Action

An alternative to Command & Control and a means to better ensure that information and instructions have been correctly communicated to employees. The core is to include one’s motivation as a context in every instruction (e.g. as “, so that …”).

Auftragstaktik was developed by the Prussian General Scharnhorst and his “colleague” Moltke built on it:
Military strategy should be treated as a set of options that need to be explored extensively.

Commands always contain a passage that describes their intent and conveys their purpose.

  • “In war, circumstances change very rapidly, and it is rare indeed for orders that extend in many details over a long period of time to be fully carried out.”
  • Moltke recommends “not commanding more than is absolutely necessary, and not planning beyond the circumstances that can be foreseen.”
  • “the higher the level of command, the shorter and more general the commands should be”

Art of Action is Stephen Bungay’s adaptation of the concept into the organizational world in his book of the same name.