In my company, we have three important values:
- We focus the human being.
- Transparency to colleagues, partners and customers.
- We prefer long-term oriented partnerships with our partners, colleagues and customers to quick and short wins.
So what does that mean?
- Our aim is a benefit for the human being.
- The human being shall not be a tool but a thinking, responsible human being.
- We give the chance to develop by regular feedback and believe that a working partnership is most important.
- We write so called intention papers for transparency. In this intention papers, we say what we want to do, why we want to do so, what consequences there are if it is done or not, what time and ressources we plan, what dependencies to other systems or projects there are and a short milestone plan. Then we send it to all people in our company (or at least almost all) given a time for them to reply with arguments against it or questions. This is part of our way of making a commonly accepted decision which I will explain on this page.
The idea behind is that everybody only knows about his or her own truth. But if we all put it together like a puzzle, we will
know much more and be able to make not only a much more accepted decision but also a much more sustainable, reasonable and value added decision. What we need therefore is trust in skills and honesty of our colleagues and the ability to think about arguments which don’t seem to fit in our imagination at the first glance.
One important thing are the intention papers mentioned in the introduction. But they are already a “60 percent finished”-result of the process.
- You think about
- what you want do.
- how you want to do it (if you already know it).
- why you want to do it.
- what consequences could be there.
- who needs to know about it.
- whom you need to do it.
- quick estimation of time and cost.
- the value added by doing it.
- You talk to some of your colleagues and/or present it in the next meeting.
- There will already be a team-wide decision as all colleagues speak their mind or there will be identified a need for more investigation, so go back to first step.
- With the team-wide decision you can ask the persons whom you need to do it. If they don’t agree, you need to go back to the second step.
- If your co-workers (whom you need to do it) agree, you write an intention paper.
- Usually you give your draft to your colleagues for feedback.
- If you think your intention paper is profound enough (or better perfect), you send it to an e-mail distribution list for intention papers (with almost every colleague on it, even me who is still studying!) given a deadline for replies and questions.
- You answer and wait for the deadline.
- Sometimes, there are answers which require to go back to the second or fourth step.
- If you reached the deadline, you can start to implement you intention.
- There will always be some presentations and information about milestones you reached or working results so that everyone that is interested in your work knows how you are doing.
- When you implemented your intention, you write an “intention implemented” paper giving all important facts, results and ownership for the future.
- Quite often you have some people, the so called power or even expert users, who work with the tool you just implemented and spread the word about it around their colleagues and already were integrated in the process so that the acceptance is much better.
Remarks from living it
As you can imagine, all these thirteen steps and sometimes even several iterations take their time. But as I already told you in the introduction, we are long term oriented so that we normally have the time to do so. But there are also some rules, e.g. that there is no maximum time for an intention but you always need to know what problems there are at the moment so that you know, what needs to be done to proceed. And I have to say that I enjoy this transparency even it is hard to write all the stuff sometimes. And I believe, that our results and its quality proof that this process is quite productive and especially ratio-driven.
In my opinion, everybody is able to make a commonly accepted decision using this process. But it is not enough to be able to, you need to know about its hard work and be ready to lose your “think once, change never” attitude you might have (unconsciously). You also need to have a certain culture of transparency, trust and believe in your company as well as a focus on the human being and on long term orientation.
If you want to try it, don’t forget to tell me about your experiences.
I’m looking forward to every comment and question and now, you should know why I do so 😉
May the force be with you.