Early in my career the phrase “throwing it over the fence” caught my attention and I got it right away. Processes often fail at the connection points between departments. “It’s their problem now.”
It’s easy to stop caring when we can’t see who is on the other side of the fence, when there is no connection between what I toss to the next person and my paycheck.
There are two ways to fix this problem: Bring the groups together to humanize the process, and second, establish an owner for the whole process: end to end.
In the 80’s, the Adopt-a-Highway program was created as a way to encourage groups to keep sections of highway litter-free in exchange for a prominent sign with the name of the sponsor. Cheap marketing! And it worked.
When you put a person’s (or group’s) name on a process, it sparks an inherent desire to keep it working well. Accountability and pride mixes together to produce motivation.
I’m working with an organization that splits corporate communication across three departments. Messages overlap one another and seem very uncoordinated at times. What do you think readership is like? Somewhere near zero. We are working to unify and rebrand all messaging under one owner.
It’s easy to do nothing. It’s harder when your name is on it. Every process needs a champion.