Strategic Intervention is Critical to Sustained Business Growth: Intervention is Commitment to Change– It Moves People…

Good business leaders create a vision, articulate it, passionately own it, relentlessly drive it to completion– with a little intervention along the way ~Jack Welch

Strategic intervention is planned, deliberate, and focused effort to improve business or organization growth, relevance, viability… This systematic implementation of change is intended to impact business basics; beliefs, attitudes, values, cultural challenge… in the current business structure. In addition, strategic intervention is often used to facilitate draconian change in organizational structure to more effectively compete within rapidly changing business environment; e.g., disruptive technology, global competitor, emerging-shrinking-expanding markets and ensuing challenges…

Intervention is the framework for implementation of change designed to create must-have outcomes, as well as, positive impact on sustainability of organization. Change interventions are unique for each business and organization. A strategy that delivers results for one business or organization environment, need not necessarily deliver same or similar results for another, even within same industry. Copy-cat approach seldom yield results. 

Business growth and sustainability hinges on continuously innovation and intervention; e.g., global initiatives, customer retention, resource management, technology adoption, employee incentive, work culture… Change through innovative intervention is the name of game. It’s worth noting that normally there are a number of interventions for any one situation.

The trick is to find the intervention that best suits the culture and available resources of the business. The aim of intervention is to improve business and organizational performance. Most successful innovative intervention strategies involve, typically, six steps:

Step 1: Identify the business driver(s) for which you’re going to develop an intervention strategy.

Step 2: Set a goal for the business driver(s), and the goal should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time constrained (deadline).

Step 3: Identify and list the factors that you know are causing the business driver(s) to be at the current unacceptable level.

Step 4: Identify the actions that you think will improve the business through an intervention. Think creatively, think ‘out-of-the-box’.

Step 5: Develop a plan to implement the action(s). The plan should include: start time, tasks, responsibilities, deadlines, resources…

Step 6: Develop a process to monitor and evaluate results. When developing the process, consider the following: How to monitor, how often to monitor, how to decide whether to continue the intervention (criteria).

An intervention strategy is the only way to turn a business around or move it from good to fantastic. You can make a significant difference in your business by developing an effective intervention strategy. A typical formulation, consists of: Identify the critical business drivers, picked the one(s) that gives the best results, analyzed it, developed intervention strategy, assign responsibility for it, decide how frequently to monitor results and decide when to decide whether it was all worthwhile or not. This is a huge achievement…

In the article What Are Business Intervention Strategies? by Candace Webb writes: Business interventions can turn the red ink into black ink: Business intervention methods target the area of weakness in the company in question. Whether the company is in a downward spiral and needs to be saved, or moderately successful and trying to reach next level, understanding how to implement appropriate business intervention strategies can help make the effort successful. For example, two potential areas for intervention are:

  • Marketing Intervention: Determine who the company’s target customers and narrow the target market. Check competition to discover price, customer service and product differences. Once you have identified these, put a marketing plan together that illuminates your company’s strengths, especially in areas where competition is weak. Use unique techniques, including; social networking sites, giveaway promotions, email blasts to boost sales…
  • Streamline Overhead: Take a long, hard look at your overhead costs. It can be costly to not re-evaluate. Avoid unnecessary costs by remaining flexible with regard to schedules, shipping  and overhead. Put together early retirement packages for costly workers to help reduce expenses. Hold contests for employees to submit their ideas, e.g., travel, duplication, energy-saving…

In the article What Are Business Intervention Strategies? by Jacquelyn Jeanty writes: Business intervention strategies are different approaches that enable businesses to affect significant change within its organization, process, structure… Change can take place within overall structure of an organization or within certain parts depending on desired goal. Circumstances that warrant intervention strategies include; adapting to global markets, mergers, acquisitions, product developments, market share…

According to the ‘Free Management Library’: Business intervention strategies are a way to work toward pre-defined goals or to deal with unforeseen circumstances that develop within organization. Business goals often require change to take place at some level for the business to grow and develop. Organizational issues concerning; personnel, morale, high turnover rates… can also warrant the use of business intervention strategy as a means for improving productivity and work relations.

Certain strategic approaches may target a business’ overall structure while others focus on the processes that make a business run. Business and organizations, typically follow certain systems that define its administrative, management, production processes… and how these different processes integrate with one another.

Business intervention introduces alternative processes designed to change how a system operates, either on a global scale or within specific areas. Intervention made within management structure alters a business’ overall reporting process. An example, a company goes from a hierarchical, ‘top-down’ structure to a functional structure where individual teams act as self-directed units.

Other strategies target specific processes involved, such as; marketing, sales… and looks for areas where change may bring about a better outcome. Still other strategies play role in situations when problems develop within organization, for example; low productivity, workplace burnout… or, problems that develop in particular product line. In these cases, business must intervene with specific steps to change the factors (e.g., work hours, worker incentives…) that contribute to negative conditions, and implement remedies that will improve or fix the problem(s)…

In the article Does Your Office Need an Intervention? by Cheryl Dolan and Faith Oliver write:  It’s good business to keep employees satisfied, motivated, and working hard, but not every company is so lucky. In fact, many organizations are bastions of dysfunction, where overwork and stress fuel negative and aggressive behaviors. For example, take bullying– one of those behaviors which tends to spike up during stressful times.

One recent study states; ‘37% of the U.S. workforce (an est. 54 million Americans) report being bullied at work, an additional 12% witness it– 49% of workers. Simultaneously, 45% report neither experiencing nor witnessing bullying: A silent epidemic. If this sounds like your company, maybe office intervention is needed. Some say dysfunctional workplace behaviors, such as; bullying and aggression, are just part of work, that they don’t affect the bottom line, and that people should just ‘knock it off’, and get back to business.

But the result of this type of thinking has deep, negative impact on business. The threat response is both mentally taxing and deadly to the productivity of a person– or, of an organization. It impairs analytical thinking, creative insight, and problem solving’, says David Rock of ‘Strategy+Business’. For example, in one such company; an employee engagement survey revealed poor morale, rampant relational aggression; a bully at the center. Leadership ignored the dysfunctional dynamic and staff members weren’t held accountable.

Leadership must be intimately involved and fully responsibility for changing the entire environment and state of the workplace. Most important, leaders must do what it takes to create a thriving, safe, and functional workplace. Office intervention is the only way to combat dysfunction in the workplace: The key is to create a context of trust, mutual responsibility, and mutual accountability...

Change involves moving from one condition to another. Change is not necessarily innovation, but an organization that implements fundamentally new way to reach and serve its customers has achieved innovation. Organizations are changing at record pace to keep up with business environments that demand more value and performance.

Some organizations are doing better job of changing to meet new performance requirements. These organizations know change is the rule and that they need to master change to continue to thrive. Managers who have guided organizational change have experienced the reality of running the business while changing the business. Running an organization and changing an organization are two very different kinds of jobs each requiring different skills and mindsets…

One important point to bear in mind is that the effects of different forms of intervention to initiate change are never neutral; it always creates winners and losers. Intervention doesn’t always work in ways intended, or in ways business theories predicts it should. Part of the risk of intervention is that the ‘law of unintended consequences’ often comes into play– events can affect particular strategies: People and business rarely behave precisely in ways expected.

In judging the effects of intervention, consider these factors– Efficiency: Does intervention lead to better use of people, resources… Effectiveness: Does intervention lead to desired outcome, increased value, cost-effectiveness… Equity: Does intervention affect one group or function more than another, and unfairly creating negativism in organization… Sustainability: Does intervention impact or affect other opportunities or limit future business alternatives…

Business leaders must have the skills for strategic intervention, and integrate these efforts across the entire organization. The rush to get things done and need to meet  stakeholder expectations has forced roles of leadership to shift. Unfortunately, many leaders today find themselves ‘doing’ the job rather than providing the vision and passion to drive innovative strategic intervention…

Business is like sex. When it’s good, it’s very, very good; when it’s not so good, it’s still good, but with a little intervention it’s better. ~George Katona