AVOID #3 - Focus the attention: only 20% underperform

Our book "How Transformation Executives Sleep So Well" describes seven transformation patterns to avoid and seven patterns to embrace. Here is an excerpt.

‘There is a particular reason to ask as many people as possible,’ said the Transformation Executive. ‘The reason is pattern #. 3, which I call the 40-40-20 rule’.


          ‘Please enlighten me.’ said the young manager.


She explained how objectively tallying teams on their actual situation could be quantified into a score from 0-10. In the car example, a wheel that is not moving at all scores a 0; a wheel precisely following the predefined path scores a 10. Scientific research on more 1,600 teams showed that 40% score above 6.0 (green), another 40% between 3.0 and 6.0 (amber) and only 20% (red) really underperformed (scoring less than 3.0).


‘Every team has its role in the organization. Teams often work in a chain. For example, let’s look at your laptop. The purchasing team negotiates with the laptop supplier and hands over their orders to the logistics department. Once the laptops are in, the finance team checks and pays the supplier’s invoice. After that has been checked the goods are shipped to the IT department. The IT department informs the HR team that new hires can come to pick up their laptop. The HR team must check whether all new hires got their laptop and that no one gets a laptop twice.


Such a chain is as strong as the weakest link; the weakest team. Assume the company has adopted a new ERP system …’


          ‘What is an ERP system?’ he asked.


‘An ERP system is a computer system that tracks the organization's purchase and use of goods and services.


All the teams in the chain have to work with this new system. The green teams need little or no guidance, perhaps some written instructions. The amber teams need some handholding, but that can be fixed. They have a basis on which you can build the improvement.


However, management mainly has to focus their effort on the red teams as they miss that basis. The handholding varies from management attention, clear instructions, coaching, and sharing best practices from better scoring teams.

Favicon for newsroom.praioritize.com Read the academic paper here. newsroom.praioritize.com


PRAIORITIZE is the world’s first SaaS platform for Virtual Consultancy. We use artificial intelligence to help organizations digitally transform in a smart, efficient and science-based way. PRAIORITIZE is owned and operated by Transparency Lab, a Dutch employee-owned company. We started in 2008, understood patterns around 2016 and started with generative A.I. in 2020.

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