The Efficient Organization
What's the Risk?
With new projects comes an expectation of improvement.
But what does not always come with new projects is a risk assessment.
And without a risk assessment, successful implementation of the project
is in jeopardy right out of the gate.
When embarking on efficiency improvements in your organization's processes, there are six risk levels to consider. They are:
- Measures of performance.
If your company lives and dies by its annual budgets, where departments
do anything it takes to spend every last allotted penny in the annual
pot (for fear they won't get the same amount next year), you are at high
risk of failing to implement projects successfully.
- Management hierarchy.
A company that has three or more layers of management is also at high
risk of failure to implement efficient measures. The more layers, the
higher the risk.
While a niche in the market may seem like a good idea at first,
companies that have their patents all locked up and work secured for the
next several years are at high risk of losing it all. If you don't have
competition, you're not growing or improving.
- Average tenure of employees.
Companies with decades-long
tenured employees tend to do things the same way all the time. These
companies are generally afraid of and resistant to change.
If your company tends to communicate on a "need-to-know" basis, you
probably need to know that your company does not (or will not) listen to
its employees. Any suggestions for improving efficiency will probably
fall on deaf executive ears.
- Middle management.
Companies that frequently select their supervisors and middle managers
as they "come up through the ranks" are doing it wrong. If your
employees have never worked anywhere else and you are rewarding them
with more senior positions, you are doing yourself (and them) a
disservice. Change is difficult to implement if management is heavily
invested in maintaining the status quo.
Of the above, pay
attention to the two top "red flags" that will prevent change in your
organization. They are: (1) average tenure of your employees is greater
than four years; and (2) more than 25 percent of your middle management
has been promoted based on seniority and years of service ("moved up
through the ranks").
organization suffers from any of the above, implementing efficiency
improvements right now may not be the best move, since you have many
barriers to overcome.
As a leader or
executive, you need to understand these barriers and develop
countermeasures to enable successful project implementation BEFORE
Pursuit of Profit
Overcoming Barriers to Implementation
barriers to implementation requires executive to not only understand
human nature and change, but to understand how to free the organization
to enable its success.
following countermeasures to help you overcome barriers that may stand
in your way of successful project implementation.
activity-based accounting over traditional accounting methods. Everyone
in the company should be able to understand your measures. When people
understand what is being measured and how to apply the measures, they
will invest their personal accountability to ensure results.
a flat hierarchy into your organization with no more than three levels.
The adage "less is more" cannot be more true in this instance.
competition in volatile markets. It is through competition that growth,
efficiency, and success ensue. If you have no competition, you have no
reason to grow.
your employees around at least every two-to-three years, so that they
gain experience in many facets of the business. Ideally, hiring
externally for new or vacant positions will help broaden the
organization's overall perspectives about business. It will also help
improve your organization's efficiency and productivity.
a culture with effective two-way communication at all levels. Use many
forms of communication such as regular staff meetings, daily work group
meetings, newsletters, communication boards, e-mail, and other forums.
your supervisors and middle managers based on their well-rounded
background and experience working in other companies, other divisions,
and other functions. Stop moving employees into senior positions as a
reward for long service.
If your company
can do the above, you will have few, if any, barriers standing in your
way of successfully implementing efficiency improvements in your
In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)
Just because you show up for work every day does not
mean that you are getting anything done or that you are particularly
good at what you do. And, yet, many organizations still believe that the
busier a person is, the more they are accomplishing, and the more they
know about their jobs. But wait a minute. What if the employee is busy
because they really don't have a clue about how to complete their work
efficiently? Never mind. They apparently still get promoted because
they've been with the company a long time. Loyalty has its rewards. But
companies that mistake rewarding their loyal servant with a promotion
are stifling growth not only for the company, but also for the employee.IMHO.
"Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death."
-- James F. Byrnes
About MNC Consulting Group
Our goal is to help you to dramatically increase efficiencies that immediately boost your profit margins.
is a monthly electronic newsletter discussing how leaders can be more
efficient and areas where organizations can save more money.
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