The KM Change Delta: PRO-PIE & the case of missing value
The PRO-PIE Knowledge Management case example is an extension of our 2021 Thought Leader series (Part 1 & Part 2).
PRO-PIE is one of the world's most famous brands. What they don't know about change and Knowledge Management isn't worth publishing. So how could they get it so wrong?
In the spring of 2020, PRO-PIE's leadership group recognised a need to redesign its sales processes due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Senior Leadership Team decided to invest heavily in an Augmented Reality sales tool for online and in-store use. A centralised team of in-house training consultants would conduct on-site visits to embed the technology across global sales teams in normal circumstances—however, Covid-19 limited travel and the standard rollout process.
The Senior Leadership Team decided to hand the project over to their Knowledge Management programme, who had promised cost-savings through online learning efficiencies and knowledge capture activities.
The Knowledge Management team retreated into a silo, believing they had all the answers to the opportunity before them. The team engaged with the training consultants and developed content for a new PRO-PIE Sales Knowledge Hub. The KM team launched the Hub in record time, recorded training access and completion rates, and reported impact through cost-savings brought about by the grounding of the in-house training consultants. The Knowledge Management team reported a USD 1M+ saving, but the SMT was not convinced, questioning KM's credibility and future influence.
The mistake was in the siloed approach to change. The KM team missed the opportunity to engage in conversations and collaborations that spanned company boundaries, which means that they could not challenge and confirm their change approach.
When we got the call for assistance, the first thing we did was act as a collider (see the video below), shaping the conversations and collaborations that challenged the KM view of the world, revealing unintended outcomes and new opportunities. For example, we revealed that the in-house training consultants started fearing for their jobs, limiting how much of their knowledge they shared with the KM team.
Notably, the KM team missed the Senior Management Team's interest in the project; the unspoken impact expected by the SMT required KM to demonstrate that the project had increased sales. The KM team didn't engage and involve the SMT in their decision-making, meaning that their assumptions about the anticipated future were flawed, causing their project to stress and fail in the SMT's eyes.
Ultimately, if you don't confirm what valuable impact means for your change initiative, you run the risk of unintended outcomes that create adverse starting conditions for future change initiatives.
Have you been struck?
If you have been struck by The Change Delta or our BASKET Colliders and would like to collaborate or partner with us, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com