Just talking to our employees may be one of the most powerful levers to improving business performance. I have been involved in countless process and results improvement projects over the years and have noticed a specific trend. We often make the problems more complex than they need to be and, as a result, overlook one of most obvious solutions – simply discussing the problem with our team members. This is SO important because I have proof that a simple conversation between a leader and a team member happening just one time is enough to drive lasting improvement in results. Why? We often assume that theRead More →

Guest Post By James Lawther, Head of Operations Excellence at Royal & Sun Alliance, UK For my sins I am British and we can’t get enough “Triple A” customer service. Oddly if I talk to my American colleagues about “Triple A” customer service I get a very mixed response. The polite ones look at me quizzically; those who have been stranded at the side of the road with a car full of children tend to be a bit more forth right. It took me a while to realise (sorry realize) that Triple A are the guys who fix cars. So to avoid doubt let meRead More →

A report on its own provides little value. It is the analysis partnered with management judgment that holds all of the power. Sadly, there is an epidemic of low value reporting in Corporate America. Millions of pages in excel reports, large data dumps and endless CRM queries that give us the “what”, but nothing more. Leaders are being forced to work on lower value, number crunching activities, our decision making takes longer and ultimately our business results suffer. However, we can treat this epidemic. We can coach and develop our team members to move down the spectrum from reporting to analysis: from data to information.Read More →

If you are in an operations role, you likely enjoy problem solving. It can be fun, challenging and satisfying. But, there is a BIG problem with problem solving….it happens too late in the process. At that point, we did not meet our customers’ needs, we missed our performance goals or we spent more than what we budgeted. In addition, when we invest most of our time in problem solving and fighting fires, we no longer have the time for more value added activities like coaching, training, mentoring, strategic planning etc. Problem prevention is where the party is!  By focusing most of our time on problemRead More →