Tools, Strategies & Methodologies to Improve Business Processes (Part 2)

In Business, Business Management, Coaching, Improvement, Leadership by Stephen Rogers

Last month in Part 1, I shared on some of those tools that are integral to an organisation’s needs.  They evolve around the systems that help to manage many of the things a business does. These need to be sound and well managed or the rest is a waste of time.  This month I will look at one of the key strategies and methods that will help to improve a business.  In Part 3, I will discuss some others.

Most successful strategies and methods involve people both inside and outside of the organisation. Having the right structure for these people is imperative so let me dwell on that for a moment.  Externally we need a good set of advisors that we pay to be involved in providing input into specific areas. These would include the accountant/book-keeper, financial advisor, banker, mentor, marketing guru, and maybe other specialists for IT, HR, WHS, etc. if we don’t have them internally.   If you don’t pay much for their assistance, don’t expect much in return.  Or if you are afraid of it costing too much, get them to explain the value they add.  Get reference checks from businesses that already use these providers, but expert advisors who know what you do and how you do it, and can help you be efficient and innovative are worth their weight in gold, seriously.

Internally we need similarly knowledgeable people responsible for our key areas (like those above) but would include operations, maintenance, and administration.  The right personnel in key roles is imperative, so what traits do they need to have?  Here are a few:

  • Leaders – to be able to lead and direct their teams with minimal supervision and direction, passionate about the vision and path that the business has adopted
  • Followers – not like sheep, but to be teachable, following their leaders, with consistency in the culture shared from the top down, and willing to implement the processes that deliver the organisation’s need
  • Innovative – prepared to think beyond the norm and the way things have always been done, initiating and implement their ideas for positive change
  • Know their limitations – no one is an expert in everything, so being able to ask for help and draw on those internally and externally with better knowledge or skills is important
  • Accountable – they have to own their patch, supporting the overarching direction, and know that the results stop with them; and lastly
  • Connectors – to clearly and concisely connect upwards and downwards, internally and externally, communicating the things that matter, and engaging to get the best results

These traits apply similarly to our internal and external people.

The organisation chart has to have meaning to the business. Don’t follow the norm or what competitors do, but look at the processes (refer Part 1) that define your business, and the best way for your business to deliver the need (product or service).  Having the right people with the right responsibilities internally and externally is a game-changer, just like having the effective systems in place that support the business to success.