By: Kathy Kent Toney, CEO & Founder of Kent Business Solutions
With constantly changing economic conditions, business leaders often encounter the daunting task of improving their organization's profitability. Some may not know where to start.
A great way to do that is to optimize their organizations.
Check out the following five steps an organization can focus on to optimize their organizations -- because who doesn't want to elevate their profitability?
1. Craft a Culture Employees Can Embrace
According to McKinsey, companies with cultures ranking in the top quartile of the Organizational Health Index post a 60% higher return to shareholders and 200% higher than those in the bottom quartile.
There's no easy formula for creating a great culture; doing this subject justice in a 500-word blog could prove quite challenging. The foundation starts with valuing each individual, giving them a voice in everyday matters, and creating an environment where employees love to come to work. Then, build from there.
2. Work Closely With Employees to Develop Goals They'll Support
When business leaders establish top-level goals and all levels of the organization establish their goals in support of them, that's an excellent place to start. However, the employees have to buy into their plans.
Executives must cast a vision of where the organization is heading and the employee's role in getting there. If employees don't connect to the big picture, productivity can suffer, and the organization's profitability could follow suit.
3. Make Effective Use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Successful organizations use KPIs to measure progress toward their goals. Even if you're currently using KPIs, you want them to tie directly to your most critical operations so you can stay on top of the progress toward your goals. You'll be alerted when measures are trending downward by monitoring your KPIs so that you can intervene more quickly with solutions.
4. Improve Your Processes
Organizations with streamlined business processes experience reduced costs, increased revenue, and improved profitability. Take Merchants Insurance Group. After streamlining their Portfolio Management area operations, they improved on-time project delivery to 80% and achieved a 758% revenue growth in the first two months.
For your operations, focus first on improving your processes, which are the most significant cost drivers and have the most time-consuming tasks. By doing so, you're likely to experience more significant gains on a shorter timetable.
5. Automate Your Processes
When organizations automate their business processes, it's a powerful tool for reducing costs, improving productivity, and increasing profitability. It's common for productivity to increase by over 300% with workflow automation over previous processes.
A great plan is to automate recently improved processes. Doing so can achieve even more significant cost reductions and productivity increases than process improvement alone.
Speaking of automating processes, Michael Cantu's and my best-selling book on Amazon, No-Nonsense Digital Transformation, discusses the power of automating processes.
Not only that, we dive deeper into how to transform cultures and encourage employee buy-in of organizational initiatives. So it isn't just for digital transformation fans!
If you're interested in learning more, click the button below.
By: Kathy Kent Toney, CEO & Founder of Kent Business Solutions
With the start of a new year, most organizations' leadership are looking for ways to decrease costs and increase revenue. One way to go about that is to eliminate waste in their operations.
Employees ultimately want to do the same thing. They don't want to deal with inefficiencies that waste their time.
What to do? Streamline your workflows with Lean tools.
For those of you unfamiliar with Lean, here’s a simple definition:
The use of Lean eliminates waste in manufacturing and office processes. It also creates more value for customers while using fewer resources. Doing so lowers costs.
But those aren't the only benefits.
Streamlined processes also reduce employee frustration. Through Lean activities, employees help develop the solution. Since they are involved firsthand, this often brings a greater sense of engagement and job satisfaction.
Reduced costs and more engaged employees ultimately contribute to greater profitability. And what company doesn't want that?
You don't need to take my word for it. Here's an example of a successful Lean implementation in which my colleague was involved. Before they started the project, this Kansas City manufacturer recorded $18M in annual sales and employed 100 employees. Two years after their Lean implementation, they experienced these results:
Companies that embrace Lean principles aren’t the only ones to reap the benefits—customers do as well. When companies go Lean, customers experience higher satisfaction and increased product quality. A fundamental tenet of Lean is ensuring that only value-added activities occur regularly for which a customer would be willing to pay.
You may think: "these benefits are all good, but I don't work on a factory floor. Here’s some good news: any organization or discipline can benefit from using Lean. Check out this video to see how Lean can help Sales and Marketing!
Are you interested in learning more? Here are some tips on starting a Lean-thinking attitude in your organization.
If you'd like to explore what Lean or other process improvement approaches can do for your organization, I'm offering a free ½ hour Discovery Call. I'd love to discuss any questions about Lean or any challenges you are experiencing!
Andy Reid…The Process Wizard
By: Kathy Kent Toney, President of Kent Business Solutions
Ah, the sweet taste of victory! For Chiefs Kingdom, wins are always great, but an AFC Championship win leading to a back-to-back Super Bowl, that's even sweeter!
We’re so blessed to have the Chiefs, a truly world-class organization, right here in Kansas City. And how fortunate we are to have Head Coach, Andy Reid!
Speaking of Andy, did you know he’s a process wizard? He’s an expert when it comes to following a consistent process that leads to success. In his own words, he said: “We focus on the process, we focus on what we can control.”
Let’s dive into a few real-life examples, inspired by Andy, that can help you in your organization:
1. Hold Regular Creative Brainstorming Sessions
At least once a week, he and his coaches brainstorm far-out-there play ideas and whiteboards them. Eric Bieniemy, the current Offensive Coordinator, puts it this way: "[There’s] no such thing as a bad idea, just as long as no one gets their feelings hurt. Some are better than others." And Andy is pretty hard to top when it comes to ideas.”
Lots of times, he’ll find things that happened decades ago. For those of you who are familiar with the Shift the Rose Bowl Parade Right play in the Super Bowl LIV…that’s a great example. It dates way back to the 1948 Rose Bowl! Chad Henne, the back-up quarterback, once said: “Who sits here and finds these?” That’s Andy for you!
Involve your staff, the creative minds in your organization, to brainstorm ideas. Be sure to think outside of the box. Hold regular meetings around this…put these sessions on your calendars.
Also, don’t overlook resurrecting historical practices or ideas that have worked and modernize them. Then flesh out these ideas to prepare for the next step.
2. Hold Regular Meetings to Review Creative Ideas
Every Tuesday, Andy Reid jots these ideas down on 5x7 cards that he passes out to his quarterbacks for review. Then, the group picks out a favorite or two, and the more outrageous, the better! Next, he tries them out at the next game.
The Chiefs players love to look for his reaction when he uses that play...it’s usually a wink and smile to the onlookers. 😊
Again, schedule a recurring meeting on your calendar for reviewing creative ideas. Then, review them with key leaders. Have them tailor down your list for implementation in your organization.
3. Do the Necessary Prep to Be Game-Ready, Every Time
Andy’s dedication to his work is legendary. He’s well known across the league for the amount of prep he puts into getting his team ready for every game. Here’s an example of that:
Brad Childress tells the story of when he worked with Andy years ago. Every Friday evening, without fail, Andy would group text both him and then Offensive Coordinator Matt Nagy two options of the 15 opening plays for the next Sunday’s game. He could always expect the text, and it usually came during dinnertime! Then, they would meet the next day at 7:00 AM to go over the options.
Set up a regular cadence of important activities, basically a process, that can lead to game-changing results. Be sure to involve key leaders to review game plans and adjust if needed, based on their feedback.
These examples from Andy are just the tip of the iceberg…I’m sure he has many other systems that he consistently follows. In the end, his diligence to focusing on process is legendary for building winning teams.
Just like Andy Reid’s persistence in following a weekly process, organizations that excel in today’s challenging business environment do the same. Streamlined, robust business processes that are consistently followed produce:
If your organization is interested in sprucing up its business processes, so you can more consistently win in all you do, I’d love to have a chat!
Click here to get a time scheduled.
‘til next time,