Engaged for Growth and Innovation

By Mark Delgado, Hitachi High Technologies American
2015-2016 SAPinsight Leader Board Member:  

Most of us, on a daily basis, use some type of transportation to move around from place to place, whether it is from home to work, home to school, work to entertainment, etc.; but, for us to actually move we have to be engaged in the planning and use of this transportation. Additionally the transportation has to be fully engaged to actually transform the work (engine) into action (moving down the road). It doesn’t matter how powerful an engine you have in your car, if there is no effective way to engage that power to the wheels the vehicle, and ultimately you, you go nowhere. Companies are a little like vehicles, they are a system that is used to grow value for the company stakeholders and investors. It doesn’t matter how nice the company looks or theoretically performs, without engagement from the employees, the great work performed isn’t transmitted into actions that move the company into the future for growth and innovation.

In the past few years many studies have shown, for many different reasons, that workers are disconnected from their workplaces. In 2012, the Gallup group reviewed workplaces in 140 countries found 87 percent of workers are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces. All of this disconnection leads companies to have employees that are not only less productive, but employees that are disconnected from the vision and mission of the company. It’s easy to understand that many companies are struggling to grow and innovate when employees are disengaged and/or don’t believe in the company’s future strategies.

A good Super User Program can go a long way in creating an excellent SAP Super Users Taking a bite out of Hungertransmission path between the work being performed at the company and the growth and development of a strong company well into the future.

Super User Programs help to convert the needs of the company into actions in the following areas:

  • General Engagement
    • Encourage peers to evaluate one another and work together breaking down silos and enhancing high-level business operational knowledge
    • Solicit employees’ values and reinforce the company’s values
    • Connect individuals’ goals to broader organization objectives
  • SAP and Business Project Specific
    • Understand established business culture and historical responses to change, a good understanding of history, especially change history and current competing initiatives can help enable a company for future success.

As Albert Einstein quoted “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

  • Create change networks and develop “grass roots” internal support
    • This ensures that the right message are delivered and aligned with the right people
  • Innovation
    • Often disregarded as a source of innovation is the employee base
    • As above with SAP specific projects, the “grass-roots” teams are normally much more attuned to the business realities. They are in the “trenches” so to speak. These employees often hear the complaints and/or suggestions for improvement directly from customers and suppliers. They are best positioned to identify practical solutions to be suggested to improve overall company operations.
    • Champions for the company at all levels within the organization
      • Historically, senior manages and above were considered the “leaders” of companies but in reality a great role model spring from any location within the company hierarchy. Super Users have the powerful influence behavior and when others see and respect a positive behavior and change others are likely to emulate that behavior. As companies look to improve and innovate, it is essential to ensure that leaders are rooted in every part of the organization.

“The operative assumption today is that someone, somewhere, has a better idea; and the operative compulsion is to find out who has that better idea, learn it, and put it into action – FAST!” – Jack Welch

It is clear that many well developed Super User Programs have numerous benefits, such as training, product knowledge, systems experts, and many other great benefits; however, two of the top benefits that are often not mentioned engagement and innovation are two influences that can change any company for the better. Most importantly, Super User Teams support these changes from the bottom up and the inside out.

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