Top Leader Commitment and Outside Consultation Make a Huge Difference

MetaOps Inc. is currently conducting interviews for a new book. The purpose of the interviews is to uncover how CEOs / top leaders use process improvement methods as a tool to drive their strategic objectives. The interviewing process is about 25% completed with consultants as well as internal organizational consultants. These changes in process improvement are across organizations of all sizes.

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When a CoE or the process improvement team is buried within the organization and doesn’t have the commitment from the top leaders, employees know and their support goes out the window

When a CoE or the process improvement team is buried within the organization and doesn’t have the commitment from the top leaders, employees know and their support goes out the window

The preliminary results identify one thing that seems true among all organizations. CEO’s and organizational leadership that brings in outside consultants tend to get better results than what is supplied by internal consultants. It is being revealed during these interviews that the skill set is not different between the outside consultant and internal consultant. What is being found is that the success is driven right back to the leadership and their engagement in the initiative. It seems the external consultants are more successful in getting the top leaders to engage more effectively in transformation efforts at a personal level than the internal consultants.

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The interviews are also finding that nine times out of 10 organizations are putting their Centers of Excellence (CoE’s) and process improvement departments inside the organization several layers below the CEO and leadership teams. When structured in this manner, results are consistently less than stellar. It has nothing to do with the skill of the individuals in the organization. It has to do with their being insulated from the CEO and key leadership who drive the vision of the organization.

To the people of the organization burying this key component under many layers appears as insincerity on the top executives’ part. When a CoE or the process improvement team is buried within the organization and doesn’t have the commitment from the top leaders, employees know and their support goes out the window.

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Outside consultants can be very helpful to the highly-skilled internal process improvement specialist. They can help bridge the gap between the top leaders and the internal team. This can be a cost effective way to maximize the resources in which the organization has already invested. In most cases, the knowledge provided by internal specialist combined with the skill of outside consultants can help immensely with a successful operational transformation.

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Ron Crabtree, CPIM, CIRM, CSCP, MLSSBB

Kim Crabtree, President of MetaOps WBENC Certified

Gather Stakeholder Inputs

Your organization consists of much more than just your employees and managers. Clients and customers, providers, contractors and others are also included in the role of “stakeholder.” When you’re ramping up for a transformation initiative, it’s important to gather the inputs from all stakeholders, not just those who are most obvious.

Touch on topics like productivity, cost reduction, morale, diversity, product and service quality and employee turnover rates, and allow your stakeholders to address what you consider to be your most difficult situations and topics.

Touch on topics like productivity, cost reduction, morale, diversity, product and service quality and employee turnover rates, and allow your stakeholders to address what you consider to be your most difficult situations and topics.

Tools to Succeed

There are a number of tools for gathering stakeholder inputs, and many organizations will employ more than one. The “suggestion box” approach, while quick and easy for employees to submit, takes far too much time for management to review and evaluate. Instead, consider using an online survey to solicit suggestions, comments and complaints from employees, and offer your customers or clients a way to provide input in a digital format as well.

Key Components

When you’re looking for input, it’s important to remember a few key components to the most successful and useful systems. Remember to request actionable suggestions, and to use an open-ended question instead of a simple “yes / no” question format. You’ll also want to allow your stakeholders to submit their comments and ideas through an anonymous venue. That will alleviate any concerns as to speaking one’s true mind on difficult topics.

Ask the Right Questions

Put together a short list of the questions you feel would most immediately impact your organization’s policies, procedures and processes. Those questions will likely be specific to a certain type of stakeholder, with some questions designed specifically for managers, some for employees and some for clients or customers. Touch on topics like productivity, cost reduction, morale, diversity, product and service quality and employee turnover rates, and allow your stakeholders to address what you consider to be your most difficult situations and topics. You just might be surprised at what this type of input gathering reveals about your organization, its customer service and employee management style.

Stand out as a leader and lead your organization toward achieving superior RESULTS on September 25, Wednesday! Operational Excellence Thought Leader and Keynote Speaker Ron Crabtree conducts “How to Put ‘WOW’ for RESULTS in Every Transformation Initiative” webinar on September 25th.

Register and know more about this webinar: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/676132850

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Ron Crabtree, CPIM, CIRM, CSCP, MLSSBB

Kim Crabtree, President of MetaOps WBENC Certified

The Cycle of R.E.S.U.L.T.S.

Business Process Reengineering techniques are not just a fad. If you’re looking for empty corporate buzzwords, you’ve come to the wrong place, because implementing and reengineering business processes is an art and science, and creates real results. In fact, one of the best process systems out there uses the word “results” as an acronym as its base. R.E.S.U.L.T.S.

transformation initiative, change readiness state

No matter how hard you might work to implement change in your organization, there are factors that can completely derail the process and render you ineffective in your efforts

The R.E.S.U.L.T.S. model is a circle, not a straight line. You must think in terms of cycles in order to succeed with this process improvement strategy, and one of the best ways to get started is simply by reviewing what R.E.S.U.L.T.S. stands for.

The R is for Reflection and Vision, and requires management and team members who are able to identify and articulate what they envision their organization to become. If you don’t know where you’ve been, it’s very difficult to see where you’re going, and that’s why this first step in the R.E.S.U.L.T.S. process is so critical.

E is for Expectations and Alignment; in other words, how adept is your organization at identifying future goals and bringing all the players to agreement on the strategy? It’s up to management to identify the organization’s expectations and then align all teams and employees with those goals.

Selection of Opportunities is the focus of the S in R.E.S.U.L.T.S. Now that you know what your goals are and you’ve gotten everyone on board with the strategy, you can look for the gaps in your current plans. These gaps provide the opportunities for improvement, and while you won’t want to focus on all the gaps in the beginning, you can select the most important few to get you moving.

The U in R.E.S.U.L.T.S. is for Understand and Plan. Your plan is worthless unless your people understand it, and that means you need to be able to articulate your plan clearly and succinctly. Next, those who are tasked with carrying out the plan must also be empowered with enough authority to do so in a meaningful way. Ownership of an objective must be tied to the authority to achieve that objective.

L is for Leverage, Influence and Change. Who within your organization will be leading the charge for improvement in your business processes? Are these individuals able to positively influence others and do they have the power to leverage for change? It’s all well and good to have a plan in place, but if you don’t have specific leaders empowered to lead the adoption of the plan, you’ll likely experience only stagnation.

Transform Continually—that’s the focus of the T in the R.E.S.U.L.T.S. model. It’s far too easy to become complacent when you see the first few positive results, but this is no time to rest on the early success. Instead, make sure that part of your process improvement strategy involves an ongoing monitoring system and continual change. There will always be a better, cheaper, faster and more efficient way to do things, especially as technology evolves. Your organization and employees must always be willing to look for those improvements.

The final S in the R.E.S.U.L.T.S. model represents Sustain and Reinvent. Much like the step just previous, this topic brings a focus to the necessity of continual improvement. Not only will you need to sustain the new processes and avoid reverting back to a more comfortable method, but you’ll also be looking for ways to improve upon even the improved processes.

Understand the classic barriers to success organizations face in pursuing transformation and learn simple methods to assess readiness for transformation – the three key factors for sustainable change. Let’s discover the ‘change readiness state’ of your organization and see the RESULTS on August 22!

How to Overcome Major Roadblocks that acts as BARRIERS to RESULT in your Transformation Initiative

Click here for registration: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/993709002

 

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Ron Crabtree, CPIM, CIRM, CSCP, MLSSBB

Kim Crabtree, President of MetaOps WBENC Certified

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