Category for anything to do with customer and market focus

Your Mission #2: Eliminate waste

In 1955 in a humorous essay in the Economist, Cyril Northcote Parkinson posited a new scientific law he humbly named Parkinson’s Law. It is an observation that: “…. work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” In suggesting this, Parkinson goes on to say that: “… there need be little or no relationship between the work to be done and the size of the staff to which it may be assigned.” Since then, many have observed the reality of Parkinson’s Law and the linkage between what is to be done and how many are required [...]

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept it…

Why is Management Still Relevant? In 2010 the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled “The End of Management” not as a question but as a statement. While providing a hat tip to the view of Peter Drucker that management was "the most important innovation of the 20th century” and the contributions of the management leaders of the late 19th and early 20th century, the article argues that what we have learned about management from the past may not be as relevant today. The article implies an important question: “Is this really the end of management as we know it?” Management, as a practical [...]

Performance |pəˈfɔːm(ə)ns| [ mass noun ] – Part 1

How do you know when something needs to be improved? Typically it is because you begin to notice that the results you are getting are not what you expected. There is a gap between the performance involved in producing a result and the expectation you had for that outcome. In the context of services, this is the definition of Service Quality and in the context of an improvement initiative, performance is assessed by the results achieved, these in turn being driven by the behaviour of those people charged with its delivery. Improvement means closing the gap between performance and expectation. [...]

Readiness and Commitment to Change

The Eiger-Nordwand, or North Wall of the Eiger, in Switzerland, is said to be one of the most iconic climbs in the Alps. Its orientation, size, structure and history make it a magnet for all aspiring climbers and its history is littered with tragedy and triumph in adversity. According to those who have completed it, from the first ascent in 1938 by a team of Germans and Austrians over 3 days, to Ueli Steck's record of just under 3 hours in 2008, you need to be both mentally and physically prepared for a great challenge. In addition, they say, there [...]

How many high performers does it take to change an organisation?

  Successful change relies on performance excellence. Whether your organisational change initiative succeeds, or fails, ultimately comes down to the actions of individuals. In a services organisation, or function, this is especially so because a service is created at the time of its consumption: its value is not embedded in a physical product. It is what people do that effects change and, for this reason alone, performance excellence in business shouldn't be an abstract concept. Unfortunately, It becomes abstract when it is discussed in ways and at levels that dissociate it from reality. In reality, the cost of running your [...]