Three Steps to Sustainable Success
1. Determine what's stopping you from improving your bottom line
The first step in any real bottom line improvement is to figure out what is limiting it.
This common sense, yet too often overlooked, concept is a key element of the Theory of Constraints. To spend your valuable time and attention on anything but the limiting factor of your efforts will result in more disappointment than results.
Your constraint might be physical or it might be a policy. It might be in some internal function of your organization. Or it might be outside your four walls, associated with either lack of demand for your products and services, or insufficient supply of some critical material or skill. And it's typically perpetuated by dilemmas that you face when trying to rationalize seemingly conflicting important needs of your efforts.
Achieving clear focus on your constaint, on what it's costing you, and on what dilemmas need to be dealt with to improve long term as well as immediate performance is the first step in the Focused Performance process.
2. Create a strategic road map to your new, better future
There are three basic ways of determining to what to change to in an effort to improve your performance. You've probably gone beyond the first -- trial-and-error -- recognizing that there is too much at stake. Maybe you've used the second approach -- benchmarking or "best practices" for solutions that have proven effective elsewhere. But isn't that just a game of catch-up, at best? And in the end, what makes you think that what was right for someone else is right for you?
Focused Performance brings the third approach to your effort -- a rapid, yet rigorous analysis of why, by taking certain actions in your environment, you can expect with certainty, new capabilities. These tactical actions involve changes in paradigms, policies, and practices that are demonstrated via logical expectations to raise your performance. The full set of tactics -- new policies and measures -- can be quickly and clearly shown to drive the desired behaviors and performance rather than moving blindly down a trial-and-error road or accepting questionable promises based on someone else's efforts.
Only after the first pass at this strategic road map is developed, can it be assessed, adjusted to deal with concerns about negative side effects, and accepted as your path to a new, higher performing future reality.
3. Develop a universally bought-in plan to get you to that new level of performance
Once a strategy is laid out, spelling out proposed tactics and the anticipated preferred future reality that will result with its implementation, its a matter of making it happen. Since no one, not even the most charismatic executive leader, can accomplish anything without the help of others, it is necessary to communicate the strategy in a way that cooperation, collaboration and co-ownership for it are the results. This buy-in requires not only acceptance of the vision and the strategy, but also the creation of an implementation plan that needs to address a range of questions...
What's blocking the new vision? What new capabilities are needed? When? How can you implement the new capabilities in a way that results in the biggest return on the investment of both time and money? Who needs to be involved to make the vision happen? When do they need to be bought in and brought in to the effort?
Finally, to make sure that there is a real process of ongoing improvement, one more set of questions needs to be asked. Too often, the issue of what to do when you succeed in raising your performance is overlooked. What will you do with the new performance to maximize its bottom line effect? What new constraint will pop up once the current one is dealt with? Will it emerge in a way and in a time that will block your expected results? These need to be addressed in the implementation plan (or maybe even in a bigger strategic vision) to make sure you get the best bang for your improvement buck.
These are just some of the questions that are addressed in the Focused Performance TOC-based approach to building the implementation plan to make good stuff happen. To be successful, they and others must be answered. Only you can answer them, but with the rigor of proven processes based on the TOC Thinking Processes, you can be sure that all the critical questions will be raised and addressed.
A lot of questions, yes; but they can be answered easily when the right questions are asked in a process of Clear Focus that will help your organization achieve . . .
Real, Rapid and Rewarding Results
A Complete Solution
to carry on with true
For more information or, for website visitors, a free TOC-based consultation on your organization's constraint . . .