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.

Be a Ten-Percenter

No, you don’t want to be at the bottom. But you do want to be part of an exclusive club. You want to be part of the 10% of people who actually make a difference in their lives.

Most people do not change. And a crisis won’t be enough of a stimulus for change. Only 10% of heart disease patients change their lifestyle. They continue to do, and not do, the things that got them into trouble. This is true in business too.

Your organization is struggling. It needs to change. It needs you to change, so that your staff and the rest of the organization will stop reacting and responding to you in the old patterns. Want to get greater results? Make a change. But make a change that helps the rest of your organization.

Try to be a servant leader. Implement Open Book Management (particularly Great Game of Business methodology). Get better at communication (check out the “#1 Mistake in Corporate Communications“). Your team will exceed your expectations. You change; they change and your results will change.

Can you do it? Are you ready for the challenge? Can you be part of the 10-percenters that have made their lives and their organizations better? We can help you through the mess of getting from the not-so-good Here to the never-thought-it-could-happen There.