DMi White Paper: Cascade Education – The Key to Change
Education that enables people to understand the ‘why’ of change management and training which helps them understand the ‘how’ of change management along with KPIs that are designed to drive the desired behaviour are at the core of the DM Integration Proven Path to transformational change. The other key factor is the development of distributed leadership and empowerment which we describe as ‘secure based leadership’. Most projects, especially ERP projects, focus upon the how (training) not the why (education) which is why the world is littered by failed ERP implementations, its not the systems it’s the people, leadership and change management.
We deliberately distinguish the words education and training. Education is all about the ‘why’ which explains to leaders, managers and Project Team members ‘what good looks like’ and best practice. None of us were born knowing ‘this stuff’ and actually ‘this stuff’ develops and evolves all the time. In fact the pace of change today is faster than it has ever been but probably as slow as its ever going to get. Education should cover a fully integrated approach to business management from vision and strategy to execution including continuous improvement and culture. The concepts of Lean, Six Sigma, ERP, IBP/S&OP, Change Management and Secure Based leadership need to be brought together to form the ‘sweet spot’
The bridge to success is the bringing together of process, culture and systems change to create a vision of the future.
The focus of training is to ensure that everybody understands and engages with how to use the tools (systems). When you first learn to drive you first learn the principals of driving, then you learn the procedure (The Highway Code). Then you get instruction from a driving instructor on the how to drive in practice and finally you take a riving test to ensure that you are able to apply what you’ve learnt through the education and training.
In business transformation you learn the concepts and principals through education and then you learn how to operate those principals on the systems and procedures that have been designed through training and finally you practice and ensure that you have fully understood through a piloting and simulation process.
The Education & Training Process
Initial Leadership, Management and Project Team education is most effective when delivered externally, by people who have the experience and knowledge of best practice. In fact in many cases these have been industry thought leaders around key business principals and concepts. Tools training is best delivered by technical experts in those tools e.g. Six Sigma Black belts or the software vendor or implementation partners.
However the education and training of the company population should be done internally through a process that we call ‘Cascade education’. This is where people in authority to make change (Managers0 teach their own people about the ‘new ways of working’ thereby demonstrating their understanding and commitment to the new process and change management. Some people will say that the only people who need this education and training are the ‘systems’ users. This is a mistake because to be successful this cannot be only a systems implementation it has to be a business transformation implementation and that means that everybody will be affected and must understand the new ways of working. As the great Brian Clough said “if he wasn’t interfering with play why was he on the pitch?”.
The first step of ‘cascade’ education is for the Project Team and designers to educate the business leaders and management on the new ways of working or created future. The next and crucial step in cascade education is for managers to educate and train their teams in the new ways of working and systems. The demonstration of understanding and commitment to the future culture and process has an enormous impact on the engagement and buy in to change across the organisation.