Derek White, Chief Digital & Design Officer at Barclays recently spoke about the challenges they have in taking a more dynamic approach to business.
“Many of you may work at a large corporate – see if this sounds familiar: 27 people gathered around a room, nine people on a video conference, 18 people gathered around another room, all to discuss a business’s top three priorities. It’s taken them three months to identify all of the key stakeholders, all of the potentials risks of taking on this initiative. Three months to have a meeting.”
Traditional transformation approaches
In many situations, this would have meant someone leading the project, at least two people supporting them and a Director or senior leader overseeing it.
They would have spent those three months setting the initiative up, defining the scope and timeline, preparing some carefully crafted documents on the business context and priorities, held numerous meetings introducing the initiative to stakeholders, and sourcing initial input and the right people to get involved.
If they wanted to take a more collaborative approach, before this they would have conducted initial interviews on what the issues or opportunities are, to help determine the priorities. They may have even conducted a survey with people more broadly to start gathering input, requiring communications to position and distribute, and then a lot of analysis of the data received.
And they would have carefully planned the meeting, so that it strikes a balance between gaining support for the initiative, keeping it open to gather input on what they should do, whilst coming out with a clear action plan at the end.
If this team were external consultants, they would have cost up to £10,000/ day. Which means to get to the point of having a meeting has cost approx. £600,000. Before we have even worked out what product to develop or what changes to make in the business.
Crowdsourcing to support your transformation effort
Let’s consider this same scenario using a crowdsourcing approach, using a tool like Pinipa to get employees actively involved in driving change.
A project lead sets up an initiative in Pinipa, articulating what they are trying to achieve and the strategic objectives it supports. The sponsor also shares their thoughts on why this initiative is important and business context. They add any initial ideas they already have for what the initiative could deliver.
They invite the key ‘stakeholders’ to join in, who can consequently invite other people who should also be involved. Rather than spending weeks in stakeholder meetings, we’ve sourced the right community to help shape the initiative within days.
Those people familiarise themselves with the programme and see the initial ideas on what it could deliver. They can comment on these ideas, generating discussion on what will work and what won’t work, where there is existing capability within the business that can be leveraged, and perhaps particular challenges in different locations or business areas that need to be considered.
They can suggest further ideas, indicating the strategic objectives their ideas support so the suggestions are highly relevant and the discussion is focused. They can like ideas, clearly indicating to decision makers which are the strongest suggestions.
Rather than rely on 20-50 people in a workshop, we can get 200+ people involved in this initial discussion. The diversity of input creates far stronger suggestions, which leads to better decisions.
The project lead can ask those with the best ideas to put together an initial proposal, which is shared by uploading the document. This generates further discussion on what it would take for these ideas to be successfully implemented.
By the time of the workshop, we have a series of robust proposals that a wide network has seen and validated. The workshop can be far more focused on the how to enable this.
Embracing a disruptive crowdsourced approach
Or even better, say you allow two weeks for initial discussion, a week to develop proposals, a further two weeks for refinement; you can have a robust set of proposals to a steering group or Board within 6 weeks.
Once approval is received, the best ideas can be turned into projects. The mobilised teams start suggesting all the things we need to consider for the projects to enable truly transformational change. Pinipa takes the hard work out of coordinating delivery.
Within three months, you are well on your way to delivering the projects, with a huge amount of energy generated across the business. In the time it would have taken to organise a meeting.
To get to this point, a project lead has used approximately 50% of their time to act as a guide, and a bunch of energetic people across the business have provided their input and helped make things happen in addition to their normal work. This has cost far less than the £600,000 for the meeting, with far more momentum gained.
Better, faster, cheaper. This is the power of crowdsourcing change initiatives.