On Saturday, I completed the Tough Mudder challenge. This challenge is a military style obstacle course set on a ski mountain. I spent four hours running (and walking) up and down ski hills, crawling through mud, climbing over walls, and jumping into cold water. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Here are some pictures from the event.
Screaming like a warrior after completing the event.
Walking through the human car wash to get cleaned up.
Donating muddy shoes after the event.
We perform preventative maintenance on machines, so why not on people? I know it sounds strange but there are steps we can take to avoid the people problems that every organization encounters. Here are some thoughts.
- Have regular informal checkins with employees to take the pulse of the organization.
- Ask your direct reports if there is anything they would like to work on, but haven’t had the opportunity to.
- Hold casual get togethers regularly with your team to talk specifically about outcomes and how better results can be achieved.
- Walk around every day and get a sense of what everyone is working on and what kind of support they need.
- Work on some initiatives directly with your people and give them leadership opportunities. Only then will you know how well they can perform.
Too many organizations only react to people issues, and by then it’s too late. As a manager, you need to understand who is on your team, what their strengths are, and whether or not they have the skills and tools to achieve results.
Performing preventative maintenance on your people can save you from ugly firings, bad hiring, and poor decisions.
Andrew discusses how successful companies use innovation, speed and managing/attracting talent, to achieve operational excellence.
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Andrew discusses three elements in operational excellence that up and coming countries are using.
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Here are 12 levers of growth to consider for your organization:
- Improve internal performance – Focus on operational excellence and find ways to improve the way you operate. Focus on results and outcomes, and only perform activities that help move you towards those results and outcomes.
- Make strategic acquisitions – Growth by acquisition is a viable option for many organizations. Especially with the amount of consolidation going on in various business areas.
- Be a connector – Be at the forefront of bringing healthcare providers together in a more integrated way. Engage existing customers better to create ambassadors for your brand and take advantage of the exponential value of customer retention.
- Product innovation – Develop new products or services, or enhancements to your existing products and services. Generate revenues in areas that you never have before.
- Expand product and service offerings – Review your current opportunities and look for new opportunities for growth. Your largest opportunities might represent a small portion of your current business, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it as a growth opportunity.
- Increase brand awareness – Toot your own horn. Develop case studies. Gather client testimonials. Take the industry lead on an important topic. Put yourself in the middle of an important conversation and help raise the bar for everyone.
- Improve talent management – This means not only managing existing employees better, but hiring the right people in the first place. Start with outcomes and accountabilities, then worry about background and experience.
- Focus on knowledge management – Determine how to best capture and share information across your organization to take advantage of all you have to offer. Then figure out how to do that for your customers.
- Unbundle services – Look at your product and service offerings and see if there is an opportunity to separate them. You may be giving something away for free that customers would be willing to pay for.
- Expand geographically – Take you products or services to another region or country. Find one that aligns well with your current business model and knowledge of the customer.
- Evaluate opportunities better – Improve your ability to evaluate opportunities so you only focus on the best opportunities. Develop criteria that will help assess opportunities. Stratify your prospects and your customers based on specific criteria so you can maximize performance and profitability.
- Offer additional upstream or downstream services – Look at the entire process that you are a part of and find additional services you can offer that would be of value to customers. How can you help them improve their performance?
I hope these help you come up with new ideas to increase profitability and performance.