By: Darren Hayes
[Paul Hocksenar: Innovation]
Every business today struggles with the effort of balancing historically stable business practices against competitive market pressures to be more dynamic and innovative. Harmonic Systems Consulting (HSC) works to help businesses maintain this fine balance using a process called “alignovation©”, which can be defined as constructive tension between organizational alignment and process or product innovation.
It’s good to remember that, as the term “organization” implies, any business is a team effort. Because of this it is necessary for businesses to develop a highly cooperative approach towards handling their clients’ needs. However, this is not always easy given that it is also important for businesses to remember:
A) Each individual business, as well as each type of business, has its own unique culture requiring uniquely tailored solutions, methods, products, etc.; and
B) Having the ability to maintain strong lines of communication between everyone involved in every step of the work process is vital.
By knowing how to arm themselves with organization-wide knowledge and form highly cooperative teams, businesses can create extremely stable, well aligned working conditions that are easy to handle and maintain, yet quickly adapt to change.
While possessing a strong sense of stability can be good for a time, it would be wise to remember that the world keeps on changing, and that the pressing drive for new products and services keeps changing too. Being a specialist may make you particularly good at whatever it is that you do, but if you become too specialized then you lose the ability to adapt to changes in the market. If the changes become too radical too fast, you get left behind.
Becoming too focused on change can be bad in its own way as well. If you constantly change without clear structure or purpose, you may lose all stability and order.
Alignovation© is an attempt to overcome these issues by defining a fine balance between the “order” of alignment and the “chaos” of innovation.
As an example, business processes need to be standardized for operational excellence, but they need to keep up with other changes in the business. There are three main things that HSC helps businesses establish and maintain when redesigning processes:
Process Owner: responsible for the care and feeding of the process as changes occur
Process Metrics: tells how well the process is functioning over time
Process Control Techniques: making sure the process is working as it should. If it doesn’t work, the process owner should change it
Similarly, HSC addresses alignovation© in other aspects of the organization as well.
In order to move forward effectively, all organizational resources must be aligned with the business strategy. This may include changing even the culture of the company itself if necessary.
At HSC, we even apply our alignovation© strategy to ourselves by aligning resources and activities with a set of principles, models and procedural methods, while also innovating using knowledge gained through research and regular brainstorming sessions with highly experienced peers and business associates of the company, as well as through after-action reviews. The main point that HSC hopes to establish is a consistent cycle of alignment, innovation and, finally, realignment.
Well, that’s all for now! Hope this helps!
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