How to drive your Momentum for Service

Feb 16, 2017 • FeaturesManagementJan Van Veenmanagement consultingMomentum Frameworkfield service

Jan Van Veen, explores the concept of momentum within a field service organisation and outlines the Momentum Framework - a series of best-practices and tools that can allow you to ensure your organisation flourishes in today’s increasingly competitive markets...

Manufacturing companies have a huge potential with their services. But many struggle to gain the Momentum to make it happen.

The problem is not their vision or business strategy.  It’s all about their ability to execute and change.

After all, service innovation is a serious business innovation.

The winners in our rapidly changing world have adopted modern management perspectives and practices and thus increased Momentum to change. The common management perspectives and practices fail today, as they create resistance against change.

The problem

Most manufacturing companies focus on incrementally improving performance of existing operations.

They follow tight “planning & control” management practices which trigger defensive behaviour and resistance against change. The typically suffer from:

  • Ongoing performance issues, without adequate, timely and sustainable interventions
  • Failing execution of strategies and change programmes
  • No significant innovation beyond incremental improvements of current products and practices
  • No preparations for (potentially) disruptive change

Without a rapid pace of continuous change, companies will struggle to develop a strong service business and will not thrive in our rapidly changing world.

What is Momentum?

In an organisation with high Momentum for continuous change, people are passionate and eager to perform, develop, grow and make things happen.

They take action in a coherent way. They collaborate with teams across the entire organisation. People feel safe and confident to engage in ambitious objectives, to pursue the uncertain, to drive change and to collaborate. Everyone is open to new ideas, new approaches and new opportunities.

The Momentum Framework – high level overview

The winners of today and tomorrow already have adopted modern management perspectives and practices and hence increased Momentum. They have flourishing and mature service-oriented businesses and outperform their competitors.

During our research in 2015-2016, we have established the Momentum Framework, which include the Momentum Perspectives and Practices, as well as practical approaches and tools.

Momentum Perspectives

Three perspectives are key to successfully use Momentum Practices and drive Momentum.

The majority of people in the organisation need to believe in these perspectives and use these as guiding principle in all decisions, actions and communications.

People drive change: By nature, people can and want to drive change, if there are good reasons and no serious obstacles.

Resistance does not come from people themselves, but is created by the way we have been managing and leading our companies.

Capabilities drive performance: People and organisations can only deliver sustainable high performance through adequate (organisational) capabilities. Pushing performance by merely working harder and faster is considered not to be sustainable.

Future success lies beyond business as usual: In a rapidly changing world, there is no sustainable success without adaptation and adjusting the core business, business models and organisation.






Momentum Practices

The best-in-class manufacturing companies use modern “sense & respond” management practices at all levels and entities.

They have abandoned traditional “plan & control” management practices.

Compelling direction: Winning manufacturers have defined ambitious goals for the entire organisation about increasing their relevance for their customers and achieving high growth figures.

They have painted a concrete picture of the unmet customer needs, the future offerings and required organisational competencies.

People can relate to this, get exited and see how they will fit in and how they can contribute to the change in a coherent and aligned manner.

Strategic dialogue: Best-in-class manufactures have a clear corporate strategy on choices, priorities and approach.

Objective and targets for sales, service, R&D - what have you - are all aligned towards the common  goal of becoming a more service oriented solution provider.

Each local entity and department takes ownership and has its own strategy and roadmap to move from their specific as-is situation, considering their specific circumstances, towards the envisioned future.

Objectives are not just numbers to hit every month or quarter. They articulate ambitions, direction and focus. Any issues in progress or results are confidently and transparently shared and discussed.

This leads to timely and adequate collaborative interventions. People feel safe and confident to try, to respond, to take ownership and do their best to make things happen even though the outcome is uncertain.

Continuous learning: Innovative and responsive manufacturers regularly explore (potential) trends, new threats and opportunities. New ideas are regarded as the way towards sustainable success.

New ideas are never cut off because it would be different than usual or would not fit in the (current) core-business.

Momentum Road Map

The leading companies followed a road map for building momentum, from mobilising, through increasing to sustaining Momentum.

Most of them started mobilising momentum by creating awareness and a shared concern. Leaders stood up and led the way and spread the mind-set of “just-do-it!”.

Soon they further built solid perspectives and practices into habits and ultimately embedded this in the culture and DNA of the organisation.

Once in the DNA, Momentum will survive even a change in leadership.



How much Momentum do you have in your organisation?

Get Your Free Professional Momentum Score Card @

The Momentum Score Card benchmarks your organisation’s Momentum to continuously change for sustainable success. It helps you identify your strengths and how to improve Momentum to:

Have better interventions for (ongoing) performance issues

  • Have easier and quicker execution of strategies and change-programmes
  • Have better value innovation for future success

The Momentum Score Card is based on our research in 2015-2016 into “Momentum for Sustainable Success” and the Momentum Management Framework which we developed during this research.



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