When we look at organizations to understand where they might be able to make improvements, we do so from three different, but related perspectives: the process; the management system; and management behaviors.
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.
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.
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.
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.