queuing is a requirement or success. They talkedto Tesco about their one-in-ront process, to Disneyabout the ast-pass, and to Woolworths aboutmobile tills. All these brokers provided the teamwith potential ideas that they could incorporateinto their redesigned queuing process. There wasno obligation to use all or any o these concepts butin the end the team recombined several elementstaken rom the brokers with their own ideas tocreate a much improved process.One question that we are oten asked is, “How canwe nd good knowledge brokers i we don’t havecontacts with people in other companies?” Well,you might be surprised to nd out that there arearmies o willing knowledge brokers out therethat most executives would not think o (see box).
2. Brainstorm the new process with rapid prototyping
The second important element o your designevent is to incorporate rapid prototyping. Thisorces the team to
put together a potential“answer” to the problem and then to either throwaway, rene or upgrade. It is the norm o productdesign companies such as IDEO
and essentialin any business process design event. The basicmessage o rapid prototyping is “do it rather thantalk about doing it.” When prototyping, use sub-groups to work in parallel on the same processdesign and then bring the prototypes together ina nal version.At the heart o rapid prototyping are iterativecycles o divergent and then convergent thinking.During the divergent phases the team brainstormsin a non-judgmental way to uncover conscious andunconscious ideas that might orm part o anysolution. Then during the convergent phases theteam sorts, groups, matches and melds theseideas into a coherent concept. The key is to setshort deadlines to create energy in the team andto push people’s thinking.There are no hard and ast rules about when to useknowledge brokering relative to rapid prototyping,except that the two should take place close in timei the team is to incorporate and recombine the
the process being worked on is unamiliar to theteam then start with several knowledge brokeringconversations beore moving to rapid prototyping.Beginning with brokering stimulates the divergentphases o prototyping by bringing in new ideasthat can be re-deployed immediately. High levelso immersion oster creative thought and sparkinnovation when pieces o knowledge rom diversesources interact.I the team is already amiliar with the processthen go ahead and start prototyping. Stopping atvarious points to talk to brokers has the eect o
are probably the best sourceo brokering opportunities, particularlythose that work closely in partnershipwith your company. And the good news isthat they are usually delighted to help.
that are keen to makeyour business their business are usuallymore than willing to explain exactly howthey can make an in-company processmore eective and ecient. They can alsobe a great source o more radical ideas.
may be prepared to sharetheir business processes on the basisthat it will make you a better supplier andso in turn help their business.
There are somebusiness processes where managers areattracted to work in these areas becausethey support a higher moral cause andhence are happy to share their knowledgeand experience with other companies.Good examples are processes such asresponsible procurement, diversity in theworkorce, or environmental processes.
Whenthe process being redesigned is locatedwithin a particular business unction thenthere is always the opportunity to accessbrokers through industry associations,or example, processes located in humanresources, nance, procurement, orshared services.
are a good source obrokering knowledge, although you willprobably need to pay or their time.
One concept that isdefnitely worth considering is a knowledgebrokering swap. Look or companies whohave a world-class version o the processunder redesign and then fnd out i there isa process that this company would like tolearn about in exchange.