Taking action to improve capability
01 April 2019
By Rebecca Cattran
I’m passionate about building capability and supporting people to be successful by increasing their self sufficiency.
Why is capability important for organisations? It helps to achieve adoption – a key outcome of effective change that is demonstrated by team members choosing to use a new process or tool and embrace new ways of working.
We recently partnered with a retail client who was experiencing a number of business challenges. These included:
- High staff turnover impacting support functions
- Time poor teams with a short term, reactive focus
- Ad hoc documentation and limited access to core processes
- Siloed ways of working with lack of role clarity
Throughout our engagement, we recognised the need to focus on increasing interaction and information sharing within and between teams to ensure processes were being applied consistently. This was a key contributing factor to improving capability in new teams with limited support.
An important initiative we developed to address these areas of focus was a Capability Program. It aimed to build proficiency, create capacity and provide a support framework for individuals, teams and the wider business to better use their merchandise systems.
In implementing this approach we wanted to improve knowledge transfer and maximise ownership as a catalyst for changing the way teams communicate and collaborate.
A three step process:
Build a network
We started by identifying knowledge champions in teams who were comfortable and familiar with key business processes and were happy to support their team. They needed to have both the technical and the people skills to perform this role, as they would become a “go-to” person for their team members and for the wider knowledge champion community. We developed a role statement which outlined key activities, interactions and time commitment and provided a walkthrough of available process documentation.
Spread the word
Next we needed to socialise content with teams. A dedicated session that focused on how the process was being used in practice, common scenarios and key pain points provided the opportunity to road test the available documentation and prime the knowledge champion with the understanding of their team’s support needs.
Bring people together
The final step was for the host team to hold a forum to educate the teams who supported the end to end process. It was an opportunity to highlight problems and provide solutions, tapping into the expertise in the room through a panel-based discussion format. This information exchange helped to provide greater clarity of shared responsibilities for improved cooperation and compliance.
We established a regular operating rhythm, set expectations about making time to connect and provided a foundation for the future.
Feedback from pilot teams was that this was a practical and supportive approach that complemented formal training and provided valuable communication and engagement opportunities. It was flexible enough to respond to different teams’ requirements based on their process maturity.
Rebecca Cattran is a Principal Consultant at Cubic Consulting, a specialist change and training consultancy who have an established track record partnering with public and private sector organisations to support people to make successful transitions.