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.
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.
There’s a Latin expression that will resonate with anyone who has struggled to implement change in an organization: “Cui bono?” Commonly attributed to the Latin orator Cicero, it means “To whose benefit?”
Properly integrated management systems are the most important tool that a CEO has for aligning an organization and creating a culture of accountability and continuous improvement. Management systems help all management levels plan, execute, report and improve their area of responsibility in accordance with the CEO’s strategic direction.
When we studied organizations and how management reacted to off-schedule conditions or variances from their plan, we noticed that results that came relatively close to an objective were generally considered “good enough.”
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.
Many companies have corporate improvement teams of one kind or another, such as quality or Lean or Six Sigma or some combination. And sometimes they bring in outside consultants to serve a similar role.