Managers work for employees

A number of years back it was popular for consultants (and a few executives) to draw the company organization chart upside down. The idea was that organizations needed to recognize that managers actually worked for employees, and not the other way around.

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Why “day-in-the-life” studies work

When we are trying to figure out how effective a process is or isn’t, one of the basic studies we do is to spend a day in the life of an employee at some key part of the process.

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The importance of volume and rate

When we study processes, one of the first things we think about analytically is to break the process down into two components: volume and rate. These are the two main drivers of cost in any process.

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Variability is difficult to manage

One of the things we look for when we examine organizations is the degree of variability present. The more variability, the harder it is to manage. Variability can be both inherent in the nature of the industry and it can be self-imposed through policy or errors.

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Profit Driver: The missing link

In many organizations the link between the financial and operating world is missing. Financial results can’t be managed on a daily basis, but the activities that create them need to be.

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Learning through observation

People are often curious about how we can go into such a wide variety of organizations and businesses and somehow help them improve. One advantage we have is that we tend to see similar patterns over and over across industries and even across nationalities.

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It’s easy to lose sight of the purpose

The backstory on 52 Maxims was that we worked for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. for a number of years; during that time were introduced to their concept known as “The Basics” that consisted of 18 fundamentals of service, which they used as daily reminders for their staff.

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The most dangerous kind of resistance

Lesson Learned #49 One of the interesting things we’ve learned is that the manager who is initially the most outspoken opponent of starting a performance-improvement program often ends up its greatest champion.

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