By: Jan van Veen | December 13, 2016

We need to drive Momentum to continuously adapt to changing requirements and new opportunities and drive performance of today, tomorrow and the future. Common management practices and perspectives do not work anymore in today’s rapidly changing and complex world. They create resistance against adaptation and change, while we need a snowball-effect  driving continuous momentum for collective thinking and action, for passion and eagerness, for performance and continuous change.

In this article, I will provide an overview of the need and elements of the Momentum-Framework, which enables business leaders and organisations to increase Momentum. In following articles, I will elaborate on the todays management challenges and the elements of the Momentum-Framework.

The problem

Most companies focus on maximising performance of the existing operation and follow tight planning & control types of management practices. These create resistance against change. This results in one or more of the following:

  • Ongoing performance issues, without adequate, timely and sustainable interventions • Execution of strategies and change programmes slow down, fail and cost huge amounts of resources
  • No significant innovation beyond incremental improvements of current products and practices
  • No preparations for (potentially) disruptive change
However, the winners of today and tomorrow already have adjusted their management practices and increased Momentum. They see their people think and act collectively and drive continuous adaptation and change. This is why they outperform their industry and safeguard their future existence.

What is Momentum?

In the most adaptable and agile organisation people are passionate and eager to perform, develop and grow. They collectively take action in a coherent way, across the entire organisation. Performance and progress are reviewed transparently without fear or hiding information. They have a proactive strategic dialogue to adjust actions and approaches, align priorities and jointly make things happen. Everyone is curious about what is happening in the world, what impact that potentially could have and how to respond to it.

Typically, they live a couple believes and Momentum Perspectives which are well incorporated in the company's values and serve as a guiding principle in all decisions, actions and messages.

  • People drive change
    By nature, people can and want to drive change, if there are good reasons and no serious obstacles. Resistance does not come from people themselves, but from the obstacles organisations create.
  • Capabilities drive performance
    People and organisations can only deliver sustainable high performance through adequate (organisational) capabilities. Pushing performance by merely working harder and faster is considered not to be sustainable.
  • Future success lies beyond business as usual
    In a rapidly changing world, there is no sustainable success without adaptation and adjusting the core-business, business models and organisation.

Driving Momentum for Sustainable Success, that is, for continuous adaptation to changing requirements and new opportunities, requires a shifting our management practices from the old, common "planning & control" to "sense & respond" which fully unlock all potential of everyone in the organisation to drive performance and change. 

The Momentum Framework

The Momentum Framework consists of the Momentum-Practices and Momentum Road Map which most successful and adaptive organisations apply. This drives their Momentum to continuously adapt to changing requirements and new opportunities.

The elements of the Momentum Framework are:

Momentum Practices

The best-in-class organisations apply modern "sense & respond" types of management practices at all levels and entities:

Compelling direction

The organisation has a shared, explicit and compelling view of its mission and future state, which resonates in people's minds and hearts. Everyone has a clear picture of the upcoming change.

Strategic dialogue

The organisation has a strong practice of ongoing dialogues at and across all levels and functions for defining, aligning, adjusting and executing strategies and driving performance in a sustainable way.

Continuous learning

The organisation regularly explores (potential) changes and trends, new threats and opportunities. It prepares adequate measures and strategies to respond to these (potential) changes and trends. Everyone openly shares experiences, results and progress, including setbacks. 

Setbacks are important learning points, not input for performance review.
Momentum Road Map

Organisations which are most successful in step-by-step increasing Momentum, followed a roadmap for mobilising, increasing and sustaining Momentum.

Mobilise Momentum

In case an organisation has a fairly low level of Momentum, the first step from a few business leaders is to focus on increasing awareness and a shared concern about Momentum and sustainable success.

With their personal leadership approach and actions, they create increased interest, dynamics and action.

Increase Momentum

Once an organisation has some level of motion and energy in some parts of the organisation - often heavily driven by a few business leaders - Momentum will be further increased by mobilising a critical mass and implementing more and more of the Momentum Perspectives & Practices through the entire organisation.

Momentum gradually becomes an integral part of daily practices. However, business leaders still need to drive the new practices and prevent the people from falling back into old habits.

Sustain Momentum

Once an organisation has a high level of Momentum and applies most of the Momentum Perspectives & Practices, the next step is to embed these into the mind-set of everyone. It becomes part of everyone's DNA.

Momentum will then become less dependent upon the individual business leaders and will survive changes of leadership teams.

Our research: Momentum for Sustainable Success

Our research further defines a pragmatic and complete Momentum-Framework consisting of management practices, perspectives and practical tools. These will help you step increase and maintain momentum for sustainable success, strengthen your competitive position and leave others wondering how you did it.

You are invited to join by conducting a web-based survey. It takes approximately 15 minutes. Your input will remain confidential and will be reported in an aggregated form only.

In return you will receive in early 2017:

  • Insights in how other companies manage their momentum for sustainable success.
  • Insights in how your organisation compares to others in managing momentum.
  • Insights into the new Momentum Framework for sustainable success.

Please start the survey here.
Read about the research here.
If you like this article, please do like and share it below.
Do not miss the next article by subscribing for update newsletters here.

Category: Uncategorized