Blog News and Knowledge from CR Systems


    E=MC2 is one of those fundamental equations that most people have heard of (even if they don’t understand it). It is a very simple equation that has had a profound effect on our world for almost a century.

    What has this got to do with Management Change (apart from the neat link with MC2 in the equation)? It is in two areas:

    1. The simple stuff is not always as easy as it looks
    2. We often get tripped up by simple things, not because we don’t understand them, but because we treat them with sufficient care.

    I was recently reading an excellent article from the Harvard Business Review where the focus was on the importance of managing communication. Several of the comments that followed the article mentioned the fact that is was so simple or obvious to involve people in the process. Why does it appear that the “simple” things get overlooked or forgotten so often?

    The focus for most change programs appears to be so often predicated on the “What” in terms of skills and process change. The “Why”, including the communication issues at the heart of the HBR article and the “How”, as in the individual behavioural changes that enable the skills, processes and communications to be implemented effectively and more importantly consistently effectively, are usually at the core of the 8 out of 10 failures that were alluded to in the article .

    The What, Why and How are just as important as each other for any change management process to be effective, so why is it that so often such a relatively small amount of time and resource are spent on the Why and the How? It’s nearly always in the detail that the Why and How are lost and therefore there are a myriad of possible answers to this but most of them come under one of three headings:


    The concentration on process has understimated the organisations will and ability to change. There is insufficient foundation to support the scope of the change.


    Most communication failures fall under one of three categories

    1. The message quite simply isn’t spread, or it is not spread consistently
    2. There is little/no allowance for tuning via critique or feedback of the process from stakeholders
    3. The rationale and benefit is chunked too high or too low for individuala. If the pluralism within a workforce is ignored, there is a tendency to believe that one benefit will be sufficient for all.


    The social elements of the change have been insufficiently considered. The change in attitude and behaviour that will be required to support the process change is not built into the DNA of the project. Very often it is not even considered or at best inadequately articulated. However for most significant Management Change programmes there is unlikely to be any performance change without behavioural and attitudinal change.

    We would be delighted to hear of your experiences of the simple things that either form a barrier to change programmes or, as in most cases, end up sub-optimising the benefits of the programme.

    To find out more about CR Systems Products and Services click on the image below.



    When free and easy and simple just don’t cut the mustard.

    As 360° Feedback providers we have been responsible for the design, customisation and administration of the analytics behind great leadership and development programmes for over 15 years

    Easy and Simple

    I don’t know about you, but I have never come across software or services making a virtue of how complicated they are to use. More often than not we’re told how simple and easy even the most complex systems are to use.

    My concern when I see these strap-lines particularly when they’re used to describe complex products that can be very intrusive on an organisation’s time, is that they can so often translate to ‘basic’ and/or ‘limited’.

    As users we all want systems that are simple and easy to use. Almost every software company producing high quality products tries to make their product as accessible as possible, from the design of the user interface, to the quality of technical support. But also as business users, even though we demand ease of use, we also want systems that can handle variation, accommodate complex processes and yet still be flexible enough to grow with us, as our business grows.

    So in summary the perfect system is one that is simple for everyone to use and also fits perfectly within the individual business environment.

    Getting to simple

    Customers are right to want to invest in systems that are both easy and simple to use. However they also want systems that “fit” with their specific requirements, resource, culture and budget.

    The truth is that it is only after sorting out the difficult bits first – by mapping processes, understanding culture, defining resource, and articulating outcomes – that the virtues of ‘simple and easy’ can come into play.

    When the systems also involve the processing of confidential and sensitive information from each member of staff, then balancing the needs of the individual with the culture of the organisation is usually a matter of optimising under a curve, rather than a definitive right or wrong. For an important yet sensitive process like 360 Feedback, your company’s needs will depend on a range of factors, from trust in the process, to how the output from the system is used by the individual and the company. Together these wide ranging factors make the route to understanding your specific requirements variable and time consuming.

    We’ve amassed considerable experience over the years in helping customers understand their needs. We help companies design 360 degree feedback systems that give great results, quickly and reliably, accommodating for the comfort level in giving feedback and minimising the time taken to achieve the feedback. From what we’ve learnt from working with our customers, we know that the philosophy driving your 360 feedback system, the comfort in giving feedback and how you will use the results from the system drives the effectiveness of the system almost more than anything else. Over the years we have created a six step process that we call “Behave!”, which enables our clients to work out for themselves the best solution for their needs. Once they have done this, the rest is then both simple and easy!!

    Behave! … Getting 360° systems right for your organisation

    1. Understand (company, culture, goals, resource)
    2. Ask the right questions
    3. Get the right answers
    4. Give the right feedback
    5. Provide the right support
    6. Measure the right things

    Understanding how Behavioural Development is to fit within the organisation takes most of the work, but the nice thing is that you most probably have the all answers, you just haven’t needed to ask them with Behavioural Development in mind.

    We will take a look at each of the key issues in greater detail in future posts on the philosophy and the use of 360 feedback. They will, I hope, help your thoughts in considering exactly what kind of system best matches your needs. The better you understand your organisation’s needs and comfort with any kind of feedback, the easier it will be for you to work out the kind of tools to help you deliver 360° feedback, regardless of how simple and easy the tools claim to be.

    We have been responsible for the design, customisation and administration of the behavioural analytics behind great leadership and management development programmes for over 15 years.

    To find out more about CR Systems Products and Services click on the image below.



    We have just spent the last few months trying to understand how best to integrate Social Media into our business and I thought that I would share our experience and learning as complete beginners to the process.

    1. Little is best and least is perfect – Choose one platform at a time (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ etc) and become a master in it. These platforms can be mastered in relatively little time (a couple of months), so within a year you will be completely comfortable and have found your optimum medium/media
    2. Don’t Broadcast – The internet is full of people shouting into the vacuum in the vain belief that they are “selling” their wares. It achieves very little and actively turns off the vast majority of those people who are trying to engage intelligently
    3. Listen before you talk – Take the time to search and listen for people who are talking about your business, before you start talking.
    4. Choose your friends carefully – As in life be selective in who you spend your time with.
    5. Giving is easy and rewarding – Be generous in your “Likes”, Retweets and +1s. Take the time to applaud and redistribute the good stuff. You will (hopefully) be amazed at the friends that you make along the way
    6. Volume is not value – There is a tremendous urge and a lot of peer pressure to have the most friends or followers, and many ways of showing off. There is no doubt that there are positive effects in volume, but in general for most businesses there is much greater benefit in being able to be a real friend to a “special” few.
    7. Bring your personality to the party – People buy from people. If you can share your love of scuba-diving, poetry, gastronomy, gardening or whatever gives you joy, you will find others who find the same resonance … and some of them will want to know more about you and your business. They might not buy from you (or they might not), but they may know a friend (or a friend of a friend) who might.
    8. Find and friend the thought leaders – We would all like to think that we might be thought leaders in our particular industry, but it is an incredible conceit to believe that we might be the only one who has something valid to say. Find the people who are publishing the most valuable content and take the time to comment and join in on their discussions.
    9. Be a friend first – As you trawl through the internet you will find all kinds of ways in which you might be able to help someone, beyond the +1s and retweets. Try to find ways to connect people to other people that might help or be of interest.
    10. Be consistent – What you put out there will be there forever. If you are to be trusted you need to consistent both in terms of the quality of your contribution but also in the quantity of contribution.

    We are still very much learning and would be delighted to hear your experiences.

    To find out more about CR Systems Products and Services click on the image below.