How hidden assumptions affect Field Service operations: The value of Values (Part 2)
I’m using the term values here in the sense used in in a highly influential article published in the Harvard Business Review (HBR), March 2000. The article is “Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change”, by Clayton M. Christensen and Michael Overdorf. You may know Christensen as the author of the highly influential books “The Innovator’s Dilemma”, and (with co-writer Michael Raynor) “The Innovator’s Solution”.
In the HBR article, the authors propose a framework for understanding what organizations can and cannot do – in other words, what changes will come easy and what changes are going to be extremely challenging. This framework consists of three parts: Resources, Processes and Values. Resources include tangible resources such as people, equipment and cash, and intangible ones such as knowledge, brands and customer relationships. Processes are, quoting from the HBR paper: “the patterns of interaction, coordination, communication, and decision making employees use to transform resources into products and services of greater worth”, whether these processes are formal and well-documented or implicit, deeply ingrained patterns of how the organization goes about anything from creating a business relationship to launching a new service. The term Values, in this context, is not focused on ethical imperatives. It is more general: “the standards by which employees set priorities that enable them to judge whether an order is attractive or unattractive, whether a customer is more important or less important, whether an idea for a new product is attractive or marginal, and so on.”.
In an earlier post, I wrote about the important of processes, particularly implicit and hidden ones. Values are even more important in determining what an organization can and can’t do; and values are notoriously hard to change. Most of the “change management” stories that you’ll hear are really about discovering values that are not shared by all employees, and/or a need to change the shared values in order to meet the challenges of a changing and growing business.
Resources, processes and values are all at the core of why your service organization has been successful up to now. They may also be at the core of the roadblocks for changing it into an even more successful one in the future. This is what change management is all about, and since much of it is under the surface, it is the reason why change management is so difficult. Exercises such as the one described here will let you expose the challenges, and therefore take you closer to understanding what needs to be done. If you haven’t done so yet, think of making it a New Year resolution. Based on extensive experience of ClickSoftware and our customers and partners, it’s very probable that you and your colleagues will be surprised and enlightened by the results.
Categories:Field Service Management