Critical Mass
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17 August 2013 - 22:55, by , in Activity-Based Cost Management, No comments

To get a gigantic movement, first bombard a small group with the vision.

The first atomic bomb was mostly TNT packed around a tiny bit of U235. The TNT imploded into the U235 causing an “atomic reaction” which then exploded outward. The atomic bomb is a model for creating a large and lasting change in an organization. If you want something big, “explode” a pile of TNT. But if you want something really big, use your TNT to “implode” on a small bit of “Critical Mass” and let that do the exploding later.

The Bible provides us an example of how one man focused on a critical mass of twelve to create a sustainable success. In the book of Matthew, Jesus imploded His teaching, vision, burden, and call on a small group of twelve disciples for three years. In the book of Acts we read about the creation of the church by those disciples after Jesus’ death. The chain reaction explosion of their work continues today. Over 2,000 years later.

Critical Mass argues for starting with a core not a crowd, a small group not a convention, leaders not the masses. This model argues that people who really want to leave behind a massive chain reaction “spend more time with less people to achieve greater results.”

Activity Based Management (ABM) has provided a huge positive impact on many organizations during the past ten years. Without exception, each of those organizations had an “ABM Critical Mass” from the onset.

  • At the core of your critical mass is a knowledgeable champion of ABM and ABC. Someone who not only understands the principles of ABM but also how important ABM is for meeting the needs of the organization. This person is likely a “disciple” of an outside ABM expert.
  • Surrounding the champion is a senior management team. They provide the positive “charge” to the explosion. While they too must understand ABM, their primary role is to provide direction and resources to implement and sustain ABM. They define the ABM performance measurement goals coupled with the positive or negative consequences of achieving those goals. At a minimum, provide your senior management a ½ day overview of ABM.
  • Last but not least, surrounding the critical mass are employees who can provide positive testimonials to the benefits of ABM. These are employees who have used and benefited from ABM. They spread the “gospel” of ABM both internally and externally. They should be nurtured with ABM booksarticlescoachingtrainingand direction. And don’t forget to celebrate with them. Celebrating the benefits of ABM adds punch to performance.

Are you a part of the critical mass in your organization? If not, you can be. I look forward to hearing from you at TomPryor@ICMS.net.

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Tom Pryor
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