Productivity improvement with no benefit

One of the great heartbreaks of performance improvement is to generate legitimate gains in productivity, but then discover that they have had no material impact on an organization’s financial results.

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Why results don’t always sustain

To meaningfully impact financial results, performance improvement needs to sustain. Performance improvement projects, by design, jump performance from one level to another.

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But where are the actual savings?

One of the more common complaints we hear about consultants and internal improvement projects is that the savings that are promised or reported never really hit the financial statements.

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The less obvious root problem

If you spend enough time trying to improve processes, one of the fascinating things you will observe is that sometimes the root problem has nothing to do with the process you are trying to fix.

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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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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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