Are your back office and front office aligned? Are logistics aligned to sales, is procurement aligned to maintenance, is risk aligned to production? If not, there is a chance you have been hi-jacked by well-meaning technical specialists. So technical, so smart, that they have created too many technical requirements, surrounded by technical jargon, that it is meaningless to the business they are meant to serve. The risk function with so much complexity and a tendency to Risk-Speak is one of the worst offenders.

Because of the damage done, many senior leaders have desperately avoided implementing programs of worth. They have paid them lip service.

There are only two ways to turn these jaded senior leaders around. The first is to wait until disaster strikes and then pounce. The second, and more effective option, is to change their experience of the program.

Implementing effective programs starts with a conversation. Just like one you might have over lunch with a colleague or client. One where you get to explore their perceptions, tell them stories, give them some new insights and then gain their agreement to have some more conversations. Gradually the perceptions change and momentum is gained.

So put down your report, delete the graphs, stop talking in parseltongue and go have lunch with the most influential person in the organisation you can reach and have a down-to-earth conversation. Then book more conversations.

The support function with the highest impact is one that is aligned and adding bucket loads of value.

For more on adding value as a support function, please see my past blogs Don't blame them, they are not the problem or From problem phase to “compellation” phase.

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