A detailed path for turning around your business
In order to overcome the natural resistance to change within an organization, a systematic approach must be taken; this approach must deal with the whole system, which includes people, processes, and systems; it must begin with defining the organization, developing the vision, and detailing the steps along the way, according to Greg Howes in his book Business Optimization: Six Steps to a Sustained Performance Culture.
The book describes in some detail the business optimization process followed by the author’s organization, Treaty Consulting Group. The six steps are:
- Create the performance vision, which includes a number of processes to develop team cohesion and create clarity
- Understand processes and procedures, which includes workshops to define processes and create an action plan
- Systems and tools, which requires consideration of the relative merits of developing and buying
- People and skills, which includes defining job roles and deciding whether to train existing staff or hire new staff
- Systematic structure, which includes defining the best organizational hierarchy; and
- Strategy emerges, which includes process measurement and the performance measurements cycle
Whereas some authors prefer to remain general in order to avoid giving away their secrets, I was left with the impression that the author of this book has been fully candid about his processes. The level of detail even included such matters as the hourly agendas for three-day planning workshops and the things which the senior leader should do while personally hosting lunches for employee involvement teams.
I was not completely comfortable with all of the author’s ideas, such as his recommendation to “purchase whatever tools and systems are required and to customize them as little as possible,” but I do think this book would be a valuable resource for senior leaders of businesses which are thinking of undergoing a business optimization process.