Our values are Integrity, Capability and Joy.
Integrity means that we will never do something we are not qualified to do. We are focused on your interests. This also means that we are never afraid to tell our clients what we believe is the truth, even if it may be unpleasant for them.
Capability means that we have both the resources, the skill, the system and the experience to help you to become more successful.
Joy means that we want it to be a fun and a pleasant experience to work with us, even when we work with difficult issues together with you.
Our Sandermoen Business System™ is based on a participative and collaborative management. This means that representatives from the client organization have to be directly involved in the development work.
We believe in teams with formal authority and power so that the results of your teamwork will become implemented rather that archived. We have tools to make sure that the teams will collaborate in a constructive way to find optimal solutions to problems, challenges and opportunities.
The teams will be designed according to the formal structure but also according to what kind of challenge that needs to be addressed. We call these teams ACTION TEAMS™. There will be a top-level team with the CEO and the top management of the client organization involved, and there will be "cascaded" teams that will address challenges at different levels of the organization. We call this TOP ACTION COUNCIL™.
You don't have to be bad, to get better!
Even an Olympic winner tries to improve to keep the competitors away. To diagnose your company simply means to look closer at what is going on. Where can you improve? What kind of problems do you have? How are they connected? Is there a pattern in the way they appear? Are any of the company's problems abnormal or pathological? Can they threaten the company's health and even life? What needs to be done to work on your challenges in an effective way? A diagnostic of your company is very much the same a medical doctor does when you have a health check; the doctor looks at your blood pressure, takes a blood sample, check your pulse, ask about your food intake, whether your stomach is regular (input and output check!), how do you sleep, are you under stress, etc. This is to catch any signals if something needs to be addressed specifically.
Some managers would say that we already know our problems. This is in our experience only partly true (at best!) We have performed hundreds of Diagnostic workshops and each time the top-managers say the same: we did not know about this! It is first when you collectively are given a system to talk openly about what is going on and to understand that what appears to be a problem may very well only be e.g. a symptom of something more serious/deeper problem. Or, to understand that some of our problems are normal, some are abnormal and some are pathological and potentially life threatening to the organization. And, not at least to get a system for how to solve your problems in a constructive and consequent way.
The diagnostic is done through an intensive workshop that takes 2 to 3 consecutive days, depending on the size and the depth of the client organization. All members of the top-managerial level of the organization have to be present (everyone reporting directly to the CEO) plus other significant representatives of the organization. "Significant" means people with power, influence and knowledge that in the best way can represent the collective knowledge and be the best supporters of the implemention necessary change and improvements.
A Plan of Action to improve our present situation.
One significant output of the Diagnostic workshop is that we will help you to establish a Plan of Action for how to make necessary improvement and change.
After the workshop we will together with the client make a more detailed approach that also include defining tasks and establishing problem-solving teams called ACTION TEAMS™ to address the different parts of the Plan of Action. This step also includes training the teams to work in an integrated and collaborative way to achieve realistic and implementable solutions. We will assist you in leading and organizing the teamwork as long as necessary but we will train internal resources in the client organization and you will gradually take over the leading part yourselves.
After the first step a lot energy will be released. Now we need to manage and lead this in right direction. This step will establish a TOP ACTION COUNCIL™. This is a permanent change and improvement system and structure. System means in this regard both a systematic approach to content, e.g. what to discuss, how to discuss and how to improve your decision making process as well as a structural approach (who needs to be involved and how to involve, reinforcing formal authority).
The existing managerial structure will be reinforced and streamlined in order to handle change and improvement faster and better. We will help you to establish a reinforced top management team with significant representatives from different levels of the organization that have to participate in order to have the required power and influence, in order to implement necessary changes and improvements. We will typically meet once or twice per month with this team in order to assist you in conducting the on-going problem solving work (step 2 above) and to define new tasks and priorities for necessary change and improvements.
THE TOP ACTION COUNCIL™ will prepare decisions for strategic planning, structural changes and operational improvements. This will be a learning experience for everyone involved, with applicable and real problem-solving know-how.
Change is happening by itself. Change is simply time.
An organization/business consists of several subsystems (e.g. departments, functions. IT-systems, rules, boards, etc.). When there is change (it could be changes in the market, technology, product development, growth, decline, social, political, legislation, etc.) the different subsystems of the business will be impacted in different ways. That is why you continuously have to synchronize the different subsystems in your organization to be able to handle change. The dinosaurs were not extinct because they were unable to adapt, they simply did not adapt quick enough to the changes in the environment.
To master change mean to understand what is change, and to get the instruments to make your business adaptable and synchronized to changes.
We will typically meet once or twice per month with The Top Action Council in order to assist you in conducting the on-going problem solving work (see step 2 above) and to define new tasks and priorities for necessary change and improvements.
This team will prepare decisions for strategic planning, structural changes and operational improvements.
This will be a learning experience for everyone involved, with applicable and real problem-solving know-how. Through the work we can promise you that the mutual understanding, trust and respect will increase and internal disputes will simultaneously be harnessed.
We know of course that most business already have Mission, Goals and Strategies but it is our experience that these are not always updated, clear enough, aligned/connected and shared within the organization. Strategic direction also has to be aligned with several factors, such as; the capabilities we have (are we realistic with what we want), lifecycle stage (of our organization, our products, our markets), responsibilities (is it clear who is going to do what), priorities etc. In this step we will assist the client in making a clear Strategic Direction based on external and internal factors that are imperative to consider (e.g. technological development, competitors, legislation, social- and political trends, economy, real internal values, internal capabilities etc.). The output will NOT be “a slogan to hang on the wall” but a real tool to define structure, priorities and direction. It will be made operational and with defined goals and objectives for different subsystems of the business (Market, Services-/Products, Production, Financial etc.). This step will be an important input for a more detailed strategic plan for the business.
What units are "in charge" in your organization? Is it the right function? Maybe the wrong function/department has the real power in your organization. As we say; "maybe the tail is wagging the dog"!?
Organizational structures rarely result from systematic, deliberate planning. Rather, they evolve over time, shaped more by politics than by policies. The resulting structures are a source of constant frustration to senior executives. Strategic initiatives stall or go astray because responsibilities are fragmented or unclear. Internal conflicts torpedo collaboration and knowledge sharing. Promising opportunities die for lack of managerial attention. Complex structures, such as matrix organizations, collapse because of internal disintegration and power-fights.
In this step we will assist our clients in making a structural design that match and align the organizational structure with the Strategic Direction. You will get a structural vehicle to make your business effective and efficient and thereby successful.
Organizational structures rarely result from systematic, deliberate planning. Rather, they evolve over time, shaped more by politics than by policies. The resulting structures are a source of constant frustration to senior executives. Strategic initiatives stall or go astray because responsibilities are fragmented or unclear. Internal conflicts torpedo collaboration and knowledge sharing. Promising opportunities die for lack of managerial attention. Complex structures, such as matrix organizations, collapse because of internal disintegration and power-fights. In this step we will assist our clients in making a structural design that match and align the organizational structure with the Strategic Direction. You will get a structural vehicle to make your business effective and efficient and thereby successful. You will get a structure with clear tasks and responsibilities that will provide your managers with the necessary “muscles” to perform and without any “grey areas” of responsibility. Authority will be clear and aligned with tasks and responsibilities. Your organizational structure will after this be both flexible and controllable, enabling the organization to handle change and growth with necessary control. And, above all, it will be based on your deliberate and conscious decisions.
An organization should be structured in a different way when it is young and growing than it should be at later stages of the business development.
In many organizations there even exist parallel and informal information systems, because the formal ones are insufficient. Maybe even the wrong indicators are measured and reported. A typical situation is that we measure on the input and/or the output, but have very little managerial information and understanding about the throughput; what is going on inside the different processes in the organization. The business becomes a “black box”. What is contributing to the value-adding, what is the real cost of different units, what are the real revenue from various business parts, how should we allocate the resources right etc. are often based on subjective opinions rather than rational and correct information.
If you want to make sure you are on the right course, don’t expect, inspect!
The purpose of defining accountability is to clarify what is expected from management and to minimize any uncertainty and unclarity.
Implementation of performance tools will always be met with resistance by the organization. The managers will need to articulate and convince that the use of these tools is not just another control devise, but instead, a tool which decreases ambiguity and subjectivity while increasing predictability. Instead of a situation where both the manager and the subordinate walk into a performance review not knowing what is going to be reviewed, the review parameters are set up front.
A result of the completion of step 6 is an improved accountability fit and clarity of responsibility in the organization, and thereby increased managerial effectiveness and reach.
To make sure that the established improvement and change process will become a continuous system, we assist our clients in creating durable processes and deep involvement. We will train internal resources in how to run the 7-step process as an annual program. Our external intervention will become less required and the client will have an effective and efficient vehicle for improvement and adaptation to changes.
Above all, we will assist you in establishing healthy Reinforcement and Motivation systems (e.g. salary, bonuses, success-sharing) that reflects contribution and responsibility as well as securing focus on the Mission and Goals.