DOING THE RIGHT THINGS
“When operational choices resonate with the business strategy, you know you are doing the right things.”
Our first job is to ensure that business operations are aligned with the business strategy, and then make operations so strong than they help reshape it.
Have you ever heard of organizations that
- habitually choose low-cost, low-quality suppliers when quality excellence is what their customer needs?
- organize their shops in a way that does not support their lead time goals?
- often neglect to control critical processes and then are shocked when they receive a customer complaint (or, worse, they lose a customer)?
If you haven’t, chances are that someday you will!
It is so frequent to run into situations where things are simply not run the way the business strategy would intend them to.
DOING THINGS RIGHT
“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”
W. Edwards Deming
When operational choices do not conflict with long-term objectives, it is time to optimize the existing processes so that they are more effective in meeting customer expectations and they are more financially efficient.
- identify profitable opportunities that save money or make more money for your company
- prioritize efforts so that you get more results given the same resources
- execute improvement projects effectively
There are times in which we feel it is important to focus on the whole system and study its composition, structure, and interdependent relationships. This is why sometimes we choose to observe, research, and interpret organizational phenomena to increase our basic knowledge or to apply such information to practical problems.
At the same time, we also strive to reduce problems to their essential constituents, the ones that drive the greatest part of the improvable outcome. When we are successful, we then devise a deliberate strategy to change the most highly influential factors to achieve a desirable result.
DOING THINGS BETTER
“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.”
We have a passion for empowering customers to craft and run their own improvement programs. One of the key goals is to teach ways in which improvements can be sustained over time even when external help is not there.
Our short prescription for doing things better and better is as follows.
- Develop process control mechanisms aimed at sustaining performance over time.
- Educate your best people so that they grow as the entire organization rises to the challenge of meeting increasing customer expectations.
- Certify your team’s knowledge to motivate your best people to keep their skills current and helps them to consistently deliver optimal results.
In sum, building stronger teams is key. While we routinely use proved methodologies for continuous improvement we are also convinced that no single methodology can be a substitute for the human mind and a team’s creativity. This is why empowering teams is essential to make sustainable improvements: the how-tos must be taught along with the whats.