I recently came across an interesting whitepaper by the folks at the Institute for Enterprise Excellence and upon some further digging around, I learned that it’s part of a longer series of 10 whitepapers on driving organizational transformation.
Most of their work is heavily inspired by the seminal work of W. Edwards Deming, which is always a good reminder for how many good decades-old insights are hiding in plain sight. But it also includes some good synthesis of other resources and some interesting fresh thinking of their own.
It’s worth skimming through the whole series, if you can spare the time, but each whitepaper also stands quite well on its own.
Here’s a slightly paraphrased and hyperlinked list of the IEX folks explaining in their own words what each whitepaper is all about:
- Our first white paper “Foundations For Transformation: Linking Purpose, People and Process” describes the common patterns that we have observed as executives and managers have attempted to create a culture of continuous improvement in their organization. Many find themselves trapped in a cycle of “program of the month” approaches that never seem to produce the sustainable transformation of management that is necessary. However, there are some who desire to break away from this pattern, and wish to switch the direction of their efforts by understanding the power of purpose, as well as learning and practicing new principles of management.
- Our second white paper “Evolving World View: Implications for All Industries, Including Healthcare” describes the sources of knowledge that will be needed to manage effectively in the twenty-first century. We described how the world view is changing from the “machine age” mindset that has driven the traditional “plan, command and control” approach, to a “systems view.” We explain the evolution of thinking that is the foundation for the principles of enterprise excellence.
- Our third white paper “Practical Wisdom for Addressing Problems” describes the practical benefits of understanding the difference between convergent and divergent problems, including what we can reasonably expect from ourselves and from others when attempting to address the important problems of management. The tendency for most executives and managers is to look to recipes and formulas to tell us what to do — a prescription for how to deploy a lean management system. There is no recipe, formula or prescriptions. But there is knowledge that can guide our actions.
- Our fourth white paper “One Approach to Deploying a Purpose and Principle-Driven Transformation” shares our current thinking about “deploying a cultural transformation” based on the knowledge and contributions of many thought leaders, as well as observing patterns in organizations from many industries that are attempting and succeeding at a cultural and management transformation.
- Our fifth white paper “Principles for Personal and Organizational Transformation — Align” describes the principles behind the IEX model, specifically those principles primarily focused on aligning the improvement efforts so that individuals can have a clear “line of sight” between the work they do every day and how it connects to and supports the organization’s purpose.
- Our sixth white paper “Principles for Personal and Organizational Transformation — Enable” describes the principles behind the IEX model, specifically those principles primarily focused on enabling people to be engaged in, and improve their work systems.
- Our seventh white paper “Principles for Personal and Organizational Transformation — Improve” describes the principles behind the IEX model, specifically those principles primarily focused on improving the work.
- Our eighth white paper “Systems By Design” describes the importance of design and redesign of key systems, in particular supporting systems of alignment, enabling and improvement. We describe a method, including a “system standard” that can help any executive and manager design and redesign key systems that will help them contribute to their organization’s purpose.
- Our ninth white paper “True, True North” describes the benefits of more fully understanding True, True North and how this can avoid the trap of the narrow definition of True North only as measures. This matters, because without this understanding the pursuit of true north can merely be “management by results” in disguise.
- Our tenth paper “Side (by Side) Management” describes a more useful view of the traditional hierarchy model, and the implications for connecting strategy deployment to daily management in order to provide value to customers, as well as facilitating true knowledge creation in the organization.