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New Work - Good to Great Business Processes

Good-to-Great Lean Business Processes apply the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Strengths-Based approach to collaboration, business change and innovation. In this Part 3 of 3 parts we describe 6 core business processes of New Work.

Imagining, inquiring and creating new business value

The Old Work supports the conversations tools around deficit-based problem solving thus fostering a culture of compliance, risk-aversion, disengagement and unhappiness at work. It also fostered a culture of status quo around the existing what and how, but not about why are we here. In contrast, the new Work involves the co-creation of innovation from the best of ‘heart based’ customer service experiences and workforce meaning from the Enterprise's Positive Core

Deficit-based work focuses on problems and bad, fuelling low engagement, poor morale, poor customer service and low accountability. However, conversations which engage people around strengths (individual, team, business process and Enterprise strengths) and positive questioning (how can we contribute more of our strengths and grow together?) increase engagement and openness to collaborate, imagine, inquire and innovate new customer value.

Good To Great New WorkThe Good to Great approach - 6 drivers

The Good to Great Approach is centered around 6 core business process capabilities - engaging, collaborating, innovating, celebrating, accelerating, and sustaining - as follows:

  1. ENGAGING the workforce & customers – to create a Positive Culture where stakeholders collaborate and co-create a meaningful future and the best ways to deliver a great customer journey;
  2. COLLABORATING from strengths – combining and deploying individual, team and process strengths to do more with what already exists;
  3. INNOVATING from the whole – co-creating new combinations to strengths to innovate new customer value;
  4. CELEBRATING positive success – telling and sharing the positive stories of success and contribution;
  5. ACCELERATING growth – bringing more people and strengths into the New Work; and,
  6. SUSTAINING the results – equipping people in the New Way & deploying Social Technologies for continuous collaboration.

What are the benefits?

The New Way of work has numerous benefits in helping people and organisations reach their full potential. In particular New Work:

  • Engages the workforce to collaborate and innovate as a sustainable new way of working;
  • Identifies opportunities to create new customer value, not previously evident;
  • Makes business change programs easy because people own the changes and take responsibility for actioning them;
  • Refocuses the resources and energy of the business on growth and a better future;
  • Achieves the real results that we all want from investment in improvement projects;
  • Is an easier and lighter approach to deploy than the more traditional problem solving approaches - and yet more powerful;
  • Fosters powerful new connections and relationships across the Enterprise;
  • Identifies immediate quick wins and longer term benefits to the bottom line because everyone is engaged in the questions of value and cost, not just the leaders;
  • Is easily embedded and transferred as a new capability at all levels of the business – workforce led, not expert managed; and,
  • Provides a way to install and sustain the effective use of today’s digital collaborative technologies as the new way of working.

Does It Work? – Case Study

Big Mountain Shire was in crisis - The demand for health services was increasing within the community as the rapidly growing population and housing developments took effect but resources were tight. Within the Health Team, morale was falling, service standards and timeframes slipping. In-trays were piling up with uncompleted applications for septic tank permits and inspections.

Big Mountain’s Health Team’s visionary Exec Leader Bob Silver called in the Emotional Economy at Work to facilitate an Appreciative Inquiry Summit (AI) between the team and selected customers on how to turn this crisis into a new opportunity to innovate from strengths. The AI Summit identified substantial benefits and payoffs to all stakeholders, including rational engagers such as cost savings, improved service quality, reduction of backlogs and customer queues, shorter service timelines and freeing up extra capacity in the Shire to “do more with more”.

The team identified significant emotional benefits and customer service payoffs, including a new way of working together that reduces the boring and repetitive aspects of the work, decreases stress in staff members, releases hope and innovation around doing things better, increases energy and commitment to a shared future and sets up for growth.

They also achieved the following direct results:

  • The processing of planning permits dropped from an average of 15 days to 4 days.
  • The Team won an Innovation Award in Local Government.

Good Work is not just good feelings it is about achieving more with the same and better business outcomes.


Please contact us – we would love to have a chat about the topics in this blog.

For other posts in this blog series, see:

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Jeremy Scrivens is a Guest Blogger, Work Futurist, and Principal of The Emotional Economy at Work and a collaboration partner with Kinship around Social Business. Jeremy works with us at Kinship to design Positive Social Business Cultures to assist our clients to capitalise on the incredible new social technologies and global opportunities available for collaboration, business growth, sustainability and meaning. He is also a global player on Social Media, with a growing reputation as a thought leader and consultant on the future of work in the digital Age. @JeremyScrivens Connect on Linkedin.

SOCIAL BUSINESS - The Future of Work Blog Series: In this 11 part blog series, Jeremy tells the story of Blue Water Utility as it is transforms from a traditional single Enterprise managing in part to a global Social Business engaged with its Ecosystem in Wholeness for Social Good. 

Listen to Jeremy talking about Lean Social Business   http://tinyurl.com/kxs3no4

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