Thursday, April 26, 2007

When Integration works; Essential elements to the 100 day Integration Plan

Ok, now that we have amused ourselves (and hopefully you) poking fun at what is wrong with integration plans, it is time for us to put up or shut up. Our experience proves that the inclusion of the following processes in the development of your integration plan ensures success:

Code of Conduct (Theirs, not yours!)

Through a true assessment of employees needs, we determine the behavioral guidelines that employees will engage in rather than the ones we think we want. Engaging employees in this process ensures their acceptance to personal accountability to the integration plan. These behavioral guidelines (I.E. Code of Conduct) are defined in such a way that they can be accurately measured and therefore managed. The measurement/management process continues during and after the integration phase.

Communications Strategy (Theirs, not yours!)

Through a true assessment of employees’ personalities, we determine the communication styles and guidelines that employees will engage in rather than the ones we think they will engage in. Engaging employees in this process ensures their acceptance and personal accountability to the communication process within the integration plan. These communication guidelines (I.E. Communication Strategy) are defined is such a way that they can be accurately measured. Therefore, managed change can be implemented during and after the integration phase.

A focused Vision and Mission (Theirs, not yours!)

Through a true assessment of employees’ values, we determine the individual purposes for employees to fully engage in the implementation plan. We brand the plan based on what they truly value rather than on what we think they should value. Engaging employees based on their individual purposes ensures their continued acceptance and personal accountability to the vision and mission of the plan. The vision and mission are defined is such a way that they can be accurately measured. Therefore managed change can be implemented during and after the integration phase. It takes more than a just a couple of posters on the wall.

Meeting Strategy (Theirs, not yours!)

Through a true assessment of employee’s preferred leadership and management styles, we determine a meeting strategy that will ensure continued accountability for employees to fully engage in the implementation plan. Engaging employees based on their preferred meeting strategy ensures that reporting becomes much more than what happened and why it did or did not work. The meeting strategy defined is such a way that reporting includes what will happen next based on current data and individual commitments that will ensure success.
Hiring Systems (Including outside vendors and training initiatives)

The initiatives described above are used to build the hiring system that ensures we attract and engage the right employees and out side services rather than the most talented. Previously, blog posts explain the need and provide numerous examples of the importance of this. The hiring system ensures that the workforce remains fully engaged in the integration plan; the right employees and resources are retained.

Performance Reviews (Including outside vendors and training initiatives)

The initiatives described above are used to build the performance review system that ensures we retain the right employees and outside resources rather than the most talented. Previously, blog posts explain the need and provide numerous examples of the importance of this. The performance review system ensures that the workforce remains fully engaged in the integration plan as the wrong employees and resources are given the choice to leave the project. Further, it eliminates ever being held hostage to an individual resource that you supposedly can’t do without.