Playing with the Cube of Good Management

I am going to explain next how to play in a team with the Cube of good management in order to explore its elements and their interrelationships. The focus should be on team play for the following reasons:

  • Very positive group dynamics are created when you work as a team. This enables the team looking at the topic at hand from different perspectives and building new ideas one on top of the other (brainstorming). In addition, from a change management point of view, involving people from the outset is an excellent way to minimize subsequent rejection during the deployment phase.
  • Playing stimulates creativity and the objective of the Cube of good management, either in the Rubik’s cube format or the cutout model, will make it easier for you to approach it as a game.

Generally the cube is presented with the elements organized by colors according to the facet to which each one of them corresponds, as shown in the following image.

This way of looking at the cube is very practical to understand it and approach one by one the deployment of the facilitators and metrics associated with each element. This is the initial step that constitutes the first level of analysis that you have to perform, being necessary to understand each of the elements and decide as a team the facilitators and metrics to deploy. To do this you have to work as a team on each of the elements, using the cube simply as an index of everything you have to cover. Ideally, a group of between 3 and 8 people should meet in a quiet place so as not to be interrupted with other matters during a couple of hours, although you will need several of these sessions to cover all the elements in the cube.

On the other hand, as explained in the introduction to the Cube of good management, all the elements are related to each other independently of the face to which they belong, and it is the study of these interrelationships the basis of a second level of analysis focused on ensuring the global coherence and synergy of the elements in the model. To do this, you should also be able to count on all the members of your team and guarantee that quiet space and time that I talked about before. Here you will start playing to break the cube’s order, the objective is that the elements are no longer grouped by its colored facets and become randomly distributed. With the Rubik’s cube this is very simple, scrambling it a few times by different people will result in different combinations each time.

In the following image I show you an example of the result that I obtained after a few turns (you can purchase a Rubik’s Cube of good management like the one I use at this link or you can also do this exercise with the print model cutting all the elements and mixing them on a table, but it is much more fun to use the Rubik’s Cube :-).

Once the cube is scrambled enough, the team will take adjacent elements and ask questions about the relationship between them. For example, in the image above we see that Standard is placed on top of Values. Some of the questions the team might ask are:

  • How well do our standards reflect our values?
  • Should values be standardized across all teams in our organization?

Likewise, Standards is next to Equipment & Materials, so the team could for example consider:

  • Do we have the right standards regarding equipment & materials?
  • Do we have the appropriate equipment & materials to guarantee the correct execution of our standards?

Similar questions could be asked with the combinations Values and Compensate, Value and Equipment & Materials, Compensate and Equipment & Materials, all this using only one of the faces of the image above, but we could also take adjacent elements through the edges with other facets, such as Equipment & Materials and Good Practices, or Compensate and Teams. There are in fact hundreds of combinations, so the fun is guaranteed.

In any case, the aim of the game is not covering many combinations in one session, but discovering a few unusual questions and reflecting on them as a team. Therefore, as these questions arise, the team should focus on analyzing together and in depth those that seem the most interesting. In this way, taking for example some of the above questions, the team could choose to explore the issue of how well standards reflect the organization values, and conclude that their Simplicity value is in conflict with their current invoicing standard, probably identifying a few potential ideas that could help moving forwards in the desired direction.

As a conclusion to the game, the team will list the questions analysed along with the problems and potential ideas identified. This material will be channeled, outside of the cube play session, into problem-solving exercises using PDCA or A3 methodology in order to do a detailed exploration of the problems and ideas raised.

Variation of the exercise: An equally interesting exercise is to do the second level of analysis as part of team retrospectives. To do this, the agenda is booked for about 15 minutes in which the team scrambles the cube and chooses a single question to analyze the situation during the last period of time before the retrospective.

 

Jorge Díaz – jdiaz.eu

The Cube of Good Management framework is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non-Commercial – No Derivatives 4.0 International license as explained here


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About me

Jorge Díaz, consultant specialized in Operational Excellence applying the principles from Lean, Agile and Process Management. More about me.

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