Disruption happens when someone else is paying attention to your customer better than you are and outpaces you to market. To compete effectively, companies need to master the art of time – adapting quickly, speeding to market, scaling up and enhancing operations. That mastery starts with strategic talent development to upskill and enable the workforce to make creative ideas both market-viable and profitable at lightning speed.

Mastery is only achieved with the right blend of training and development that impacts leadership, culture and employee engagement. It creates a unified sense of purpose, the right mindset and skills. It unifies while promoting profitability. The HR function is positioned strategically to create a culture of innovation and proficiency. HR leaders are aware that the right training can attract better talent, increase retention and make employees more valuable as they learn to adapt to new technologies.

To achieve speed, many companies invest in only one program management techniques. Unfortunately, no single technique leads to resounding success when used alone. Today’s disruptive technologies cannot achieve their goals if companies do not use multiple integrated program management systems to develop them — using the right tool to solve the right problem.

An interrelated approach to continual improvement facilitates the training of workforces in several process-oriented systems that help organizations move fluidly through each phase. The combination cuts a pathway through paralyzed thinking to effect significant change. This mastery of time uses three methodologies, each managing the time and efficiency of a phase: speed of ideation, speed to market and speed to scale.

Speed of Ideation: Design Thinking

New ideas allow companies to adapt to external changes and internal organizational disruptors. Design thinking is a leading methodology to engender creative thinking and turn new ideas for capabilities into prototypes. Done well, design thinking finds the intersection of customer desirability, business viability and technological feasibility.

It takes training: strategically developing the creativity of employees and focusing their energy on viable solutions. Fortunately, the automation of rudimentary tasks allows employees the time to focus on new solutions to contribute to the bottom line. Direct links between employee development of design thinking and growth explain the critical need for HR executives to support this capability.

Speed to Market: Agile Project Management

Companies that can determine the viability of an idea and quickly transition into a working product or service can be well positioned to gain first-mover advantage. Startups tend to shift gracefully, adapting to customer needs and getting to market fast. Larger organizations need the culture, structured approach and training to disrupt their own business model, moving new ideas to market faster.

If leaders embrace – and workers are trained in – the concept of agile project management with systems like Agile and its framework Scrum, they will master time-saving techniques that “sprint” design ideas to fruition and keep them fresh and viable, responding to feedback with enhancements. HR professionals also need to break down organizational silos and support teaming that takes advantage of agile. Structured mayhem results in a faster, more customer-driven deliverable, but it requires a culture shift within the company.

Speed to Scale: Lean Six Sigma

Market readiness must be followed by operational excellence to drive scale and growth that positively impacts margin. Systems such as Lean Six Sigma (LSS) focus on streamlining processes for increased production and faster delivery. LSS specializes in the efficiency of margin and scalability of processes. Successful companies use lean design both in their warehouse and in their workforce structure to offer expedited delivery.

The skill set for this popular management tool is not always taught in universities or in company training programs. Companies that train workers to master speed to scale can use systems like LSS. Adapting a methodology to modern challenges across any business function, not just manufacturing, is critical to this goal.

Speed to Adapt with New Ideas, Speed to Market, Speed to Scale, Repeat

Companies that dominate their market for a decade or more need to innovate with all three aspects of organizational proficiency. Many companies institute programs for speed to market and speed to scale, investing in training and talent that keep those areas strong. Unfortunately, budget restraints often bind the first phase of ideation, causing companies to become complacent and to quietly disconnect from customers.

Experience shows that when tasked with a challenge of design or meeting the unmet need of the customer, it is imperative companies complete the full cycle with design thinking, agile teaming and operational adaptability that can bring new ideas to fruition. By presenting all three areas of excellence as a mastery of time, HR executives can convince leaders, shareholders and employees to appreciate the culture, training and investment needed. This road map for skills development also impacts talent selection, workforce goals, and guidelines for recognition and growth and engenders a culture that attracts and keeps the best talent in the industry. In short, it enables an organization’s growth and competitiveness.

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