This system is a repeatable framework,developed using our years of experience as consultants and industry experts. Here is a glimpse of the 5F and how to utilize it:
1 - FIND
Find your strategic goal through identification of what your current challenges are or areas in which your organization is underperforming.
As you rank your opportunities, prioritize them using subjective and objective data. There is a fine distinction between the voice of the organization and the real numbers behind the feelings: the areas where these two data sects intersect will be integral points of prioritization.
2 - FORM
Form solutions focused on the most important issues to resolve. Perform a root cause analysis to understand the sources of the problems before developing resolutions. While it’s tempting to skip through this step, avoid being too impatient. This phase emphasizes on the development of a solution and a plan, rather than strategy. Successful Courses of Action (COAs) will include road maps of how they should be implemented.
The goal in this stage is not to get your solution accepted. It is to identify the best solution for the business. Develop multiple COAs. Exploring many possible COAs and ways to achieve the same goal will increase your chances for selecting the right solution.
3 - FOCUS
Focus references the process of sitting down with key stakeholders to present the opportunity and possible COAs. Discussion of the proposed changes should lead to a cooperative effort to define the best COA moving forward. Voicing ideas, listening and collaborating to address reservations associated with the proposed changes are significant parts of the process.
The involvement of key stakeholders as part of the change initiative increases their advocacy for the concept and reduces their resistance to the change.
4 - FIX
The Fix phase is the most challenging part of the methodology and the point where many initiatives fail. Engaging the organization through following the COA to implement the desired solutions is, often, more difficult than expected. Completing the FIND, FORM and FOCUS stages properly will ensure a solid foundation for implementation of the solution.
Adoption of the solution set is key for sustainability.
5 - FINISH
Finish the process by monitoring your changes and making tweaks to achieve your desired results. Develop a follow-up plan to ensure the solutions implemented have truly solved the problem.
The entire process may feel like you’ve completed it each time you go through it, however you are never fully finished. Loop back and identify new opportunities for innovation.
For more information about the 5F Methodology, check out our blog post that explains the process in more detail: “The 5-Step Framework For Developing and Implementing Innovative Solutions.”