What does business improvement mean to you? Your company?
What do you want to make better? Why? How will that increase profit? What has to be given up to make that change?
These are the questions that business leaders struggle with every day.
If you Google "business improvement," the top responses focus on process. However, process is only part of that story. Systems play an equally important role.
Process Versus SystemCharles Gilkey, one of our favorite productivity experts, defines process and system as:
- A process is a conceptual sequence of events that enables people in a business to do what they do. It addresses effectiveness, which is the degree to which something is adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result.
- Systems are used to execute the process. They address efficiency, a measure of whether something is performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort.
- You can measure efficiency far more accurately than effectiveness.
- Processes and systems are closely tied. A change always impacts the other, and not always in the way you want it to.
What Brings You Here?
The management team (even if that is just you) is responsible for getting better and better business results over time.
External challenges such as changes in competition, the global economy, and federal / state/ local regulations are happening almost daily, so improvement can become crucial to your company's survival. Driving innovation is a complex goal requiring the coordination of multiple parts of the business.
Your customers' needs are changing in reaction to the same challenges. They need you to help them with that.
You may also need to improve because your company is growing, and the way your business grew to this point is now holding you back from serving more customers.
Then there's the problem that our organizations were never built to be adaptable. Those early management pioneers, a hundred years ago, set out to build companies that were disciplined, not resilient. They understood that efficiency comes from routinizing the non-routine. Adaptability, on the other hand, requires a willingness to occasionally abandon those routines -- and in most organizations there are precious few incentives to do that.
That's why change tends to come in only two varieties: the trivial and the traumatic. Perhaps you are ready to avoid both.
What Do You Want to Work On?
How We Help
We have tools to help you and your team sort through initiatives like this, determine what needs to be changed, and create a model for what your business will look like when the work is done. The materials can be used also to begin communicating with and teaching your employees about the change, why it's needed, and get their feedback.
These tools work well for companies ranging in size from global right down to the neighborhood insurance agency, law firm, or accounting firm and one-person companies.
How Will You Get There?
There are numerous business improvement methods. Some, like kaizen for continuous improvement, can be quite daunting themselves to learn and implement.
There are simpler methods that also work well, depending on the scope of the change.
How We Help
We have processes to help you:
- Define the vision and strategies to guide the desired changes
- Diagram the current state of the company, which parts of the company will be affected, and what the desired state looks like.
- Goal setting tools to define and align the division, department and individual goals.
- Communication tools to help everyone stay informed, insure problems are identified and dealt with, and people accept accountability for their part in the change