The hunt for opportunities

“Opportunity” is one of those euphemisms we use instead of “problems.” It’s arguably a better word, because most operating problems are, in fact opportunities for an organization to improve. Before we take

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In search of opportunities

Opportunities exist everywhere in organizations, because businesses are constantly changing in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways. We spend a lot of time observing organizations of all shapes and sizes, and it is truly fascinating to see how they operate.

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The problem with management training

Observation #49 In the relatively early days of our company, a few partners took a high-speed driving course on an old Formula 1 race track just outside Montreal. The conversation over dinner

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How many managers does an organization need?

Sometimes we do a study that we call the “Span of Control” analysis, where we look at how many subordinates report directly to each manager in an organization. It’s a more difficult study than it sounds, because the way organizational charts are drawn is not always how they really are.

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The difficulty and importance of managing “shoulder periods”

Many industries experience “shoulder periods.” These are the time periods leading up to and away from the peak volumes. Figuring out how to manage these periods can be a difficult task for managers, but it’s also very important for realizing performance improvement gains.

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What are your three key indicators?

Over the years, one of the things we’ve noticed is that each new manager tends to create new reports, for whatever purpose they have at the time. Old reports are not eliminated, so over time there are a mountain of available reports – and a mountain of performance indicators — in the system.

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Grow with your customers

Growing sales volume with existing accounts is sometimes referred to as “increasing your share of wallet,” but it’s actually not a very good description — or even objective.

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