Coaching and creativity techniques – how to successfully design rollout managementReading time: 4 minutes
If new process models are introduced in companies through a rollout, delays and even blockades during implementation regularly occur. The reasons for this often lie in the planning stage and the unwillingness of stakeholders to accept changes. Establishing new ways of thinking and enabling success through intensive coaching are proven approaches to successful project management. However, a holistic approach should also enable new ways of brainstorming. And this is where creativity techniques can help, which can be used in a targeted way to solve problems. Recognising the opportunity that outside help can offer each of us is a central aspect in overcoming possible internal resistance. But what kind of help is needed? When do you call in a project consultant and when better a project coach? We would like to point out the differences and provide food for thought for a holistic approach to project handling.
The basic problem of the rollout is its high complexity
The introduction of new products, processes or brand concepts often requires a systemic change. This means that previously well-functioning concepts are replaced, or at least supplemented, by new and more suitable ones. Within existing structures, however, it is not uncommon for greater resistance to change to build up. „We’ve always done it this way“ is probably the most common sentence that the idea provider hears when making new proposals. For this reason, a rollout project should always follow a methodical approach in order to increase acceptance among those who are to deal with the changes later. Modern rollout management no longer focuses purely on the technical implementation of a rollout, but on managing user acceptance. The art is to choose or create the right method to achieve rollout acceptance. If it is applied early, later complications and associated costs can be avoided.
How can a project coach help?
To solve a specific problem or task, consultants are called in for support. Their expertise enables them to work out concepts, solutions and measures with the customer to achieve the objectives. In the next phase the defined concepts, processes or systems have to be implemented. But it is precisely when proven tools and control instruments are to be used that projects can easily come to a standstill or even fail. Often the consultant in this phase lacks the ability to manage the complexity of the „Systems Project“, because he easily reaches his limits with his expertise when it comes to the human factor. If those involved cannot or do not want to implement advice, solutions or concepts, it makes sense to employ a project coach. Because coaches use alternative paths beyond those used so far to make the achievement of objectives more effective. Through project coaching, the project participants gain a wealth of experience in alternative courses of action and behaviour. Thus, coaching is not expert advice in the sense of learning techniques. Rather, it is a structured process of helping people to help themselves in order to professionalise the perception, experience and behaviour of those involved. By jointly developing approaches to solutions, the commitment of those involved is created, which guarantees long-term success. The project coach supports the participants as a feedback and impulse generator. Good coaching leads to emotional relief, stress reduction, change of perspective and increased self-reflection – and ultimately also influences the success of the project.
Managers also benefit from expert assistance
As is well known, the solution of no less problems requires external help to get them under control in time and completely. It is not always easy for managers to recognise this and to speak out openly. It is often difficult for them to admit to themselves that they cannot and do not know everything. Those who accept the advice of other experts are quickly considered weak, and those who admit that they need help are considered failures. Breaking this completely outdated view is also the task of coaching. Especially considering the high complexity of a rollout project, a coach with appropriate creativity techniques can encourage all stakeholders to express their opinions, ideas and visions without fear of ridicule or excessive criticism. Regular brainstorming has already successfully set many rollout projects in motion. A particularly important aspect here is creativity!
Think out of the Box – how creativity techniques really encourage new ideas and solutions
Everyone is creative. Indeed, creative thought processes can be encouraged, trained and learned. On the other hand, remaining in entrenched structures limits one’s own thinking abilities. Many great inventions in the history of mankind are accidental discoveries. Only thinking outside of limitations has led to solutions of completely different problems than the actual one that one wanted to solve. And here lies an essential potential of creativity. „Thinking out of the box“ is therefore to be understood literally: Creative thinking means spontaneously treading new paths that one did not see before. Techniques such as „Lego Serious Play“, the „Walt Disney Method“ or the innovative „Six Design Thinking“ aim to free oneself from ingrained thought structures. Depending on the situation, such methods must of course take place within a coherent project management strategy so that processes develop within a time schedule. But Design Thinking or a brainstorming workshop can, in principle, unleash a great deal of unused potential and thus contribute to the best problem solutions. An approach that is extremely worthwhile.