Introducing new products is vital for any company to stay ahead of the curve and strengthen the future business. This was also the case for this regional organisation in the chemicals industry; and they struggled with delays in the development of these new products. The accountability was with the marketing, commercial and R&D directors and they identified that the collaboration within these cross-functional teams was an area of concern.
Together with the project leads, we assessed the current situation and what blocked the team members to work smoothly together. We decided to introduce two changes in the way the people are working. First, we introduced a consolidated action log stored in a collaborative file accessible in a central location; all team members could access and edit it and we avoided copies and sending files via e-mail. Second, we increased the frequency of the team status meetings from three weeks to one week and introduced a simple structure: achievements, issues, action log.
Despite these simple changes, the regional leadership team recognised visible improvements within only 2 months. Besides spending less time in meetings and reducing the stream of e-mails, here are the major enhancements:
This project showed that change management helped to ensure all adopters are involved in understanding the pain points, defining the goals and starting to experiment with different ideas to reach the key objectives. This led to excitement and motivation - smiles instead of frowns.
How do you see that collaborative success is crucial in your business?
Receive our monthly themed summaries of our thoughts: click!
Tim is a change practitioner in the area of innovation and excellence. He is working with teams to accelerate innovation, collaboration and agility.