Useless Effort?

Candidate hiring is gaining ground, doubling in the last five years. However, its effectiveness is suspect. There is no competitive advantage that can be gained through a better hiring process; we have no lock on getting the ‘best and brightest’. It’s what you do once you hire the person that creates organizational success. Through alignment (and collaboration), empowerment and development, your employees will contribute to their own and your success.

Like ‘training’ where 85 percent is not used back on the job, personality/cognitive/behavioral assessments are wasted because managers don’t know what to do the results. They tend to allow cooperation and effective communication if it doesn’t jeopardize their status; they tend to manage the way they want to be managed (or have been managed) out of habit; they tend to teach job requirements the way they as students would want to be taught. They tend not to adapt to their staff.

You too. So if you want to make a significant change in your organization’s metrics, we can show you how.PhD cover

Take Credit When Credit’s Due

If your business is like most, you’re missing opportunities to improve because you might be congratulating yourself early. Most businesses look at their metrics. As long as they see movement in the right direction, they think they’re winning. Leaders and managers then congratulate themselves. However, when the results ‘go south’, they then panic and look for someone else to blame: the economy, the competitors, those darn customers…because it can’t be ‘us’. “We’re still the doing the same things we did when we were succeeding, so it’s got to be something else causing us to become [less profitable, late on our deliveries, short of stock, lower market share, etc.].”

2nd chart

4ward Associates is keen on metrics and the correct analysis of them so that you know if the changes you’re making are moving your business in the right direction, wrong direction or no direction. Perhaps your business is in a rut and you’ve tried a lot of things to make some significant improvements. We’ve been successful in moving many organizations out of those ruts–and it often doesn’t take much.

Let us help you drive the success your organization deserves!

By the way, the graph above is an example of an organization that has plateaued; it’s not getting worse in the last month.

More Than a Hammer?

A clinic wanted to solve a problem of reducing the length of time between when a patient called for an appointment and when they could get in to see the physician. The clinic, at first, thought they should establish a Lean/Six Sigma project. Those are the tools most organizations have heard about, heard that they succeeded in improving other organization’s performance, and believe they should do the same thing.

There are a lot of tools out there to use. You have to know what questions you need to answer and what questions those tools answer to match the correct tool to your situation.

For the clinic, it was thinking about how to improve throughput. Often, the best set of tools to do that is Theory of Constraints: identifying the constraint (physicians’ time), making sure those resources are fully realized, subordinating other resources to them, and figuring out ways to expand capacity. Most companies fear using other less-efficient resources because they believe it costs more. In reality, if you can do more, have more throughput, you utilize more capacity and reduce costs. Putting less-efficient resources in place to help the constrained resource is better than not having the increased throughput. In this situation, better utilization of physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners helped the clinic see more patients, increased the clinic’s and the physicians’ incomes, and increased their market share.

Whether it’s Theory of Constraints or Open Book Management or Lean/Six Sigma or something else, we can help you find the right tools and get everyone engaged thinking through the right questions to get the right answers to create the success your organization deserves.