Exercises for improving business performance
Fit leaders and fit companies mindfully and intentionally pursue a well-defined course of action that makes them stronger, faster, and more agile over the long run; they engage in rigorous, scientific thinking at all levels of the organization to analyse and solve problems, and they eliminate the fear that shackles employee creativity and liberate employees to close the baps between where they are today and where they want to be tomorrow, according to Daniel Markovitz in his book Building the FIT Organization: Six Core Principles for Making Your Company Stronger, Faster, and More Competitive.
The author compares a fit organization to a fit athlete, recommending that you start not by trying to emulate the very best but by doing exercises so that you gradually improve your competitiveness in all relevant dimensions. The six principles are:
- Commit to improvement: have a clearly defined improvement program to reach your organizational goals
- Increase value: monitor, fix and improve your operational processes instead of trying to cut costs
- Think horizontally: instead of thinking in functional silos, view the entire process by which the company adds value from the customer’s perspective
- Standard work: the people who are actually doing the job define their current understanding of the best way to do it
- Visual management: create a visual management system which allows you to see the quality and pace of the work
- The coaching triangle: the elements of a successful coaching relationship are: participate, go and see, and show respect.
I am not fully convinced by all of the author’s ideas – for example, I am not sure that visual management is for everyone – but I do think that most readers will find plenty of helpful content in this book.