Dec 28 2012
As we head towards the end of another tough trading year, and we begin to focus on 2013, I thought I would share my thoughts on just what the main drivers are that distinguish the most successful organizations from the “also-rans”
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, not the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change” – Charles Darwin
Whatever got you where you are today will not be sufficient to keep you there. A rapidly changing environment is the regular background against which organizations must develop.
Change is continuous and will become more rapid as we move forward over time. Senior management must be capable of reacting to those changes and be prepared to take advantage of them and yet stay within the overall framework and agreed strategy.
The role of strategy is fundamental if the people within an organization are to be enabled to make the level of contribution of which they are capable. Strategy, based on a good grasp of the core competencies of a business, is an essential precursor to achieving optimal shareholder value.
The world’s leading organizations continuously seek to improve their performance. There may be unlimited potential for achieving accelerated improvement but if this potential is not being realized, good change agents must line up and mobilize all the forces (or drivers) for improvement.
There are five main organizational drivers for improvement …
• Lean operations
• Balanced culture
• Customer responsiveness
Strategy sets direction and gives focus to improvement. It must however be deployed throughout the organization to be effective.
Processes need to be mapped and analyzed in a methodical way; projects must be managed; problem symptoms traced to root causes; data must be collected before decisions are taken; trends in customer preferences detached and fed back; improvement activity of any kind reported on and coordinated; improvement action measured. Just about everything should be done to a discipline.
A balanced culture means effective, creative management of people. Customers are served by people; processes are managed by people. Only people can deliver quality improvement. For them to work well they must be empowered, given direction, measured, reviewed and success recognized.
Customer responsiveness keeps the organization focused on customer needs, reactions and changing requirements.
Finally, leadership ensures that everyone is enthused and supported to work on the strategy, improve processes, served customers and active team players.
News: If you haven’t been reading posts this week, I am actually on vacation and enjoying three weeks of “battery re-charge”
The store is in the capable hands of the senior elves, who will ensure that there is either a favorite archived piece from me, or a guest post from the best minds in the sales space. Oh, and do look out for three special posts from me on Dec 30th/31st and Jan 1st.
I will be back in the saddle on Tuesday January 15th – JF