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This chapter is from the book

This Is Not a New Religion, Just a Better Way of Managing the Business

We do have a word of caution on launching this type of process. We generally find it necessary to provide an overview of ACT at the beginning of engagement with each level of employees. That seems to be sufficient aside from reminding people when they gather where they stand in terms of waypoints on the transformation roadmap. But ACT is intuitive enough that it doesn’t require its own center stage to become operational. As one of our CEO clients once reflected,

  • So many other times we would launch programs that were extraneous to our regular jobs. And those other programs were focused just on the executive team. We would come back from one of those off-sites, and everyone on the team would be looking at us suspiciously and questioningly, like ‘OK, just tell me what you want me to do now.’ With an effective transformation process like ACT, it is not a program. It just becomes the way the business is managed. The process just became our normal management practice as a part of daily life from setting strategy to setting individual personal business commitments and following through on performance.

In the ACT process architecture (refer back to Figure 1.5), you see the essential design elements in the streamlined process architecture. As another seasoned CEO of technology start-ups as well as large companies pointed out following his ACT-based intervention explained,

  • Our transformation process was all about taking charge of our future. The process was an opportunity to look at the business as a whole and ask really tough questions. Instead of defending the status quo, it was more about understanding where the world was going. This type of effort has to be a formal process; otherwise, you won’t make the time to address it or the conditions for people to be open minded and self-critical, which are necessary components.

With this brief overview of the ACT process architecture, and its opening gambit of “creating safe passage,” the bulk of the subsequent chapters pace you through the transformation roadmap, with each chapter devoted to one of the major phases of this approach to rapid transformation. And each chapter reveals what you need to do to successfully lead your transformation as it unfolds, one step at a time.

We call these ACT steps the Foundations of transformation—those few steps that all transformation leaders must master for success. They have been distilled and refined from over 30 years of serving as principal process architects at the right hand of CEOs in over 30 successful corporate transformations.

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