Implementation is Where Good Process Improvement Plans Go to Die

01-08-2018 | Cynthia Owens | Process

The average new process is launched like this:

  • Experts develop a new process and a jargon-filled 40-60-page deck detailing the new process.
  • Employees receive an email with the attached document announcing the launch day. About half the employees actually open the document.
  • 3-6 months later, employees are doing some things the new way, some things the old way, and improvising where it makes sense.

Companies spend millions developing more efficient ways to get things done. Then, after launching them amid much fanfare, 70 percent of change plans never quite deliver on the promise, according to Harvard Professor John Kotter.

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When Your Strategy is No Longer Doing Its Job

As a leader, you know the value of creating a strategy. Every year, you and your team dedicate a considerable amount of time and money developing your key organizational plans. You’re all too familiar with the high-pressure, high-stakes rigamarole that your executive team goes through on an annual basis to lock down the programs for the year. But as the world of business constantly changes, the traditional ways we approach strategy development are quickly losing relevance. How can you ensure that the strategy you’re investing in will withstand the test of time and the disruptive world of business?

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Tackling Company Culture Through Business Change on the Worklife Podcast

11-30-2017 | XPLANE | Culture

Successfully tackling culture change through the launch of a new business strategy is not an easy task.

You may have the right strategy ready to roll out, but hidden cultural challenges under the surface can quickly destroy any progress. Even further, when we quizzed 475 people about their biggest roadblocks to implementing strategy, the majority of assessments resulted in company culture. When siloed teams are undermining a united vision of the future or those advocating the new strategy lack trust within the organization, strategy implementation stops dead in it’s tracks.

How do you successfully communicate a strategy change in your organization and get your employees on board? How do you inspire all levels of your organization to change their behaviors and head in the same direction? How do you shape company culture? XPLANE founder Dave Gray faced these question head on with the people behind the Worklife Hub podcast last week. Here's a recap of some of his interview.

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XPLANE's Visual Thinking Workshop: A Candid Review

11-30-2017 | XPLANE | Visual Thinking

Whether you are an experienced designer looking for fresh inspiration or a left-brain devotee who proclaims, “I don’t draw!” XPLANE’s Visual Thinking Workshop has something for everyone. As a digital producer and strategic design manager, I land right in the center: half my brain is analytically-oriented (crunching budget numbers and scheduling resources), while the other half is visually-minded (art direction and image composition). XPLANE’s Visual Thinking Workshop provided the perfect balance—using pictures to solve complex problems! And with Tim May, one of XPLANE’s longtime creative directors (@freshbeast on Twitter and Instagram), as our fearless and fun facilitator, it took no time at all to bust through our pre-conceived barriers, armed with Sharpies in hand!

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Millennial Management is a Two-Way Street

Are you ready to move beyond generational biases in the workplace?

We partnered with AmCham NL and Ivy Circle to visualize a panel discussion this November about millennial management.  Check out our learnings in our visual capture below.


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Five Surefire Signs You Need an Outside Facilitator Now

A professional facilitator brings not only expertise in guiding conversations, but a neutral perspective free from self interest and political agendas. For most companies, taking the leap to hire facilitation help can be a hard decision. Consulting firms are often given a bad rap, and leave your team open to criticism: shouldn’t your team be able to do this work themselves? With fees ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 for multi-day experiences, how can you guarantee that the investment will pay off?

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With Increased Team Diversity, Establishing Your Ways of Working is More Critical than Ever

I once worked on a team that agreed on several foundational principles: they collectively valued transparency, trust, and speed. With shared values like that you would assume that we were high-performing team, right?

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How much does it cost to hire XPLANE for consulting?

10-11-2017 | Sara Mesing | Consulting Costs

 Last month, 32 professionals from over 7 states and 2 countries arrived in Portland to attend XPLANE’s Visual Thinking Workshop.

As a global consulting partner for Fortune 500 organizations, our consultants usually fly to corporate headquarters to talk strategy, vision, process, and culture. This week, instead of parachuting inside, we had the professionals come to us.

A few attendees were interested in hiring XPLANE to help guide their organization through big changes in their companies, and they had questions about how much that would cost.

The purpose of this article is to address how much it costs to hire XPLANE as a consulting partner and provide guidance on how a design thinking consulting firm estimates budgets.

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Five Best Practices for Implementing Your Strategy

10-10-2017 | Lauren Gantner | Strategy

For most companies, execution is where strategies go to die. The Harvard Business Review reports that 75 percent of organizations struggle to implement strategy. Mckinsey finds that 70 percent of change programs fail to achieve their goals. And CEO Magazine even says that the number one factor behind 750 bankruptcies in a 25-year period was poor strategy.

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Why you can't execute your strategy.

You developed the strategy. It’s the right strategy. You clearly explain it on a company-wide Webex and send the PowerPoint out to everyone all-company email: “We are going to put customers at the center of our strategy and create the best customer experience.”

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