Sometimes, when we are not sure which direction to go, it is reassuring to know that someone else has charted the course you need to take. This is especially true in the public sector where leaders are hesitant to try new methods as any missteps often become very public. For the private sector, the visibility may not be as great, but the stakes are equally high. The wrong step could mean the difference between making payroll or not.
That is why we like to share our client success stories. It helps to know others have successfully walked down the same path you are about to embark upon. When I was asked to take over a troubled state agency (I was the fifth director the governor had appointed in his first five years in office), I came from an agency that was very data driven. We had invested in the resources to ensure we had the information we needed to make the best decisions we could.
When I arrived at my new agency, I found a data adverse organization. Yes, data adverse. When I asked why we did not track what I thought was fundamental information, the response I received was, ‘They might use it against us.’
I am not sure who ‘they’ were, but there was a culture of fear in the organization with respect to the use of data.
Having “grown-up” in a data-driven organization, I knew what I wanted my agency to look like and the behaviors I wanted my team to display. How to get there was the challenge. No one in the state government had charted the course for me to follow. I was fortunate to have a passionate team working with me. They researched and found methods that worked in the private sector. Perhaps these would work in the public sector as well.
That was when I was first introduced to the team from Mass Ingenuity. In reality, I was quite skeptical. I had watched consultants come into state government over the years, charging large sums of money, and leaving very pretty reports behind.
These reports often talked about what needed to be done to improve performance. But these reports never talked about how to implement the recommendations.
What changes were needed in practices, behaviors, use of data, capabilities…I could go on and on.
However, within the first 20 minutes with the folks from Mass Ingenuity, I knew we were on the right track. I knew they could help me and my team achieve the vision of a data-drive, customer focused organization. Not only did they have the tools and methodologies, but they also had the change management practices necessary to change the culture of the organization.
It wasn’t long after we implemented the Results Management System that my customers and peers noticed the culture shift at my agency. And that started the organic spread of the management system throughout the state.
Together, we had charted the course for others to follow, and follow they did.
For more success stories, in both the public and private sector and in organizations large and small, please explore our website where we share these stories.
Scott Harra, EVP of Marketing and Government Relations