organizational change

Listening from the Inside

What was a novel idea just a few short years ago has become one of the most popular services Blueline Simulations offers. It’s called the Voice of the Business – a five-step needs assessment that secures buy-in and commitment by mining insights from inside your business.

Yes, you read that right: from inside your business. In other words, from the hearts and minds of your most valuable asset: your employees. After all, who better to dish on the rights and the wrongs, the opportunities and the obstacles, the issues and the innuendos than those who experience the inner workings of your organization each and every day. Their viewpoint from the inside looking out is priceless – and free for the asking!

What is your organization’s greatest challenge?
Our client engagements always begin with a clearly identified business need. Do you need to:

Whether one of the needs listed above hits the nail on the head or you have a completely different issue in mind, Blueline’s Voice of the Business needs assessment can unlock and harness insights from inside your business in ways you never thought possible – putting you on the fast track to addressing that need. And although those insights are sometimes surprising and even unsettling at the outset, we’re committed to working with you to make them both empowering and transforming for the long haul.

In next week’s blog, I’ll outline the five-step process we use to ensure our Voice of the Business needs assessment leads to the transformative change your organization is looking for.

In the meantime, I invite you to contact us to learn more about any of our business acumen options, custom classroom simulations, Blueline Blueprint™ learning visuals or other innovative delivery methods that have been generating notable business results in leading organizations worldwide for more than 13 years.

All Questions Aside… You Already Have the Answers!

Proven systems, verified processes and time-tested techniques all sound good at first. After all, if they work for so many other organizations, they should work for yours too… right?

Not necessarily. In fact, standard off-the-shelf interventions and implementations that tout a “one-size-fits-all” approach rarely have the intended results. Why? Because every organization is unique, with a unique set of issues and challenges. What works like a charm at one organization could contribute to the demise of another.

…every organization already has the answers to its greatest challenges stored safely in the minds of its greatest asset: its people.

We at Blueline Simulations firmly believe that every organization already has the answers to its greatest challenges stored safely in the minds of its greatest asset: its people. So instead of searching for answers beyond your organization’s walls, you’d be wise to seek help mining the answers you already have.

Let their voices be heard

Enter Blueline’s Voice of the Business, a unique combination of background research, free-form interviews, focus groups and questionnaires designed to engage and secure the commitment of your employees while pinpointing critical issues and identifying solutions.

Mining insights from within your organization has benefits all around. For starters, the resulting systems and processes are uniquely yours – meaning you’re growing competitive advantage rather than “joining the club” of competitors who are all implementing “proven” solutions. And by engaging your people in the process, you empower them and set the stage for the all-important process of securing their commitment and buy-in.

Although our Voice of the Business process always follows these same five steps, the outcomes are as unique as the clients we proudly serve:

vob-blog-graphic

Please contact us if you would like to know more. If you still aren’t convinced, take a few minutes to explore the blogs that my team and I have written over the past year or so. Each implementation was profoundly impacted by Blueline’s Voice of the Business.

We’re Not Trying to Diss on That Nice Bullet-Point Memo You Wrote, But…

Did you see my two previous blog posts? I wrote about the opportunity for greater linkage between communications and learning solutions; and then explored how narrative and metaphor have the unique ability to engage readers in a way that is highly participative.

Now let’s see if we can tie it all together.

At Blueline Simulations, we have developed a communication and learning tool that we call a Journey Map. It has proven to be a powerful device for:

  • Providing an easy-to-grasp overview of robust and complex messages.
  • Creating an involving narrative around organizational issues that allows readers to instantly see their role in the message.
  • Engaging readers at both a rational and an emotional level – so they don’t just understand the message urgency but feel it.

Here’s how it works. A Journey Map is a small graphic that is rich in both quantitative and metaphorical/narrative data. With dimensions of 11 x 17 (a standard “tabloid” sized page), the document is meant for “individual consumption” and not to be confused with our “Blueline Blueprint” learning technology.

The power of the Journey Map is not so much that it is “visual” (although that certainly grabs attention.) More importantly, it is “narrative”“ which means that it allows readers to connect not only with individual messages, but to better understand those messages in a context of how they relate to one another. These narrative-driven messages are “stickier” than those items in your bullet-point memo, leading to greater comprehension and retention. (Although I’m sure your memo is really good.)

The Onboarding Process as Narrative Journey

For example, one of our client partners worked with Blueline to rebuild its new-employee onboarding process. Of course, what is onboarding but one grand story? It’s a story about possibility, change, the aspirations of the new hire, and the vision that the new hire and the organization both share. Whew. That’s a lot of “tell”. And when you try to communicate all of that aspiration in a series of bullet points, you can hear all of the air going out of the balloon.

Part of our solution was to create a journey map graphic that depicted all of these messages in a single narrative, built around images and data. Suddenly the messages all clicked together: New hires were able to “find themselves” in the journey visual, while organizational leaders placed their progress in the context of a broader goal. This solution (along with our learning approach) has helped to create a best-in-class onboarding solution that is now regarded as one of the best in the country.

Organizational Change; Career Progression; Mentoring Structures; and More

Similarly, another of our client partners  – a global pharmaceutical company – was introducing a culture change with dramatic implications for how associates interacted with customers. By presenting the change in narrative format, associates were invited to reflect on their own role within the initiative, and recognize how their goals were in fact aligned with the goals of the organization. (This stands is stark contrast to the “defensive” response that leaders were expecting!)

In fact, our many case studies sound very much the same. Our client partners have brought us organizational challenges deep in complexity;¦and time and again have been astounded by how those complex messages can be rendered with clarity and emotional engagement in a simple graphical approach.

Of course, we’ve got more tricks up our sleeve. Give us a call today. We’ll give you a closer look at our Journey Map solutions. We’ve also got some ideas for couching your message in a narrative context for other communications, including:

  • Employee handbooks
  • Investor communications
  • Change, vision, and culture messages
  • Organizational identity (including onboarding audiences)

But enough about us. We want to hear your story. Contact us, and let’s explore some ways to bring it to life.