Are your cross-functional teams empowered to change? Empowerment is the key to successful process improvement.

Sustainable change management only occurs when you have an empowered organization. An empowered organization occurs when you have an empowered and engaged human capital assets. To carry the thought forward, if you have engaged and empowered human capital assets they will carry that sense to their cross-functional team roles.

An empowered team seeking organizational teams must ensure that they are encompassing three factors - diversity of ideas and makeup, utilization of new tools, and moving to new decision making solutions.

Diversity of ideas must mean that we are open to views of our problems that do not meet the usual suspects or ways to do things. Diversity of makeups means that we are open to the input from sources both inside and outside our organizations. It means that must be open to the inclusion of individuals that we do not normally give a voice to when resolving issues. It means recognizing who are the true subject matter experts with in the organization.

The final tool is the determination of the solution menu to resolve the issue at hand. All too often we rush to judgement as to a solution. It comes from the use of the first idea that comes to mind. It comes from a view that this is what we should do. Francesca Gino, in her article for the Harvard Business Press, suggests that the right question to ask is not what we should do but rather what could we do. Changing the focus from should to could do opens the discussion to more creative suggestions for applicable solutions. Especially as we discussed above that part of the success of the empowered team is collaboration. So if you go out to the wide range of ideas the could do mode allows for more inclusion of the diversity of ideas on the market 

Empowerment is the key component to successful process improvement and sustainable change management. It is not easy but it is necessary to bring about innovation in the current and future workplace environments.

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