We Should Be “There” Already!?

Chances are Lean, Six Sigma, “Knock Your Socks Off” Customer Service and other improvment programs you’ve implemented haven’t given the results you expected or had been promised.  Individual projects have been effective, but the rest of the organization hasn’t latched onto the tools and way of thinking. 4ward Associates can provide the consulting and assessment of your corporate culture and the alignment of your corporate system elements, and let you know if you have the foundation for continuous improvement programs. We help you bring focus through key metrics, and engendering a collaborative environment. Trust us to bring you improvement. (We even offer a guarantee.) When you’re not sure how to get from point A to point B, we’ll be your business coach.

Without the right corporate values, metrics and the alignment and integration of corporate systems, most change programs fail or become a “fad of the month”. Focusing on the Upper Midwest (Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska), we will help you implement change in a way so that the progress is natural, adopted throughout the organization and achieving the results you need. 4ward Associates Big Questions

No Programs Allowed!

We won’t sell you a program. In fact, we believe that programs get in the way of real corporate change. Our experience has borne this out. As well, studies by Beer, Eisenstaat and others in 1990, as published in Harvard Business Review, show that change programs fail because they are a program, and not integrated into the activity of the corporation.

We’ve been successful by promoting new activities, new behaviors, new policies because they make sense to everyone in the organization. We avoid the results reports to prove that department ABC did their program activity, so that someone else can report what’s happening in the program. All these reports get in the way of real accomplishments. The only benefit to the reports is easy communication with the rest of the organization about some successes. However, if the successes are happening, people will hear about it.

We don’t sell you a program. We create a partnership with you to coach your organization into higher performance. We’ll help you with a strategy, culture and system element analysis and integration to go beyond your wildest dreams.

Strategy, culture and corporate system elements work together to create success. To give you a few examples: with two small changes, we led an effort that increased on-time delivery from 86% to 99.8% in two months, including a 50% reduction in WIP, 99% reduction in past-due parts, 20% more output and nearly double the number of demand hours on the core operations. If the company had planned to do that, these two strategic linchpins wouldn’t have been identified through normal strategic planning. They would have identified millions of dollars in investment for equipment and staff. The plans would have had qualifications: “We think  this will work if nothing else changes. We should get to 90% on-time delivery, at least.”  Two small changes, huge results: a change in personnel scheduling and a change in performance metric that emphasized the schedule effectiveness.

Also, besides profitability and stock value growth, we reversed wellness trends by leveraging the corporate culture into this area. Medical insurance premiums were the largest single expense outside of wages and materials. The culture already promoted collaboration, rewards as an organization, teamwork and ownership mentality. Wellness fit into the culture because it could be linked with benefits to oneself, benefits to the family and benefits to “your teammates” by helping reduce insurance premium expenses.

Those results wouldn’t have happened without first doing a lot work on the corporate systems (metrics, communication, integration and alignment of plans and goals, etc.) and the corporate culture (rewarding collaboration, enforcing values and expectations, coaching emphasis, etc.).

Invite us to help drive success in your organization.