Executive Team Asleep at the Wheel?

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This goes out to all “c” Level Executives struggling with the Credit Crunch
Is you Executive Team Sleeping at the Wheel?

Despite the potential meltdown underway in the financial sector it seems, from my discussions last week as we undertake the annual BP Group survey (see here), that many senior managers, apparently responsible for processes and performance management are oblivious to the immediate dangers during this current crisis. Almost as if the global brand makes them immune from economic reality they put down the failings elsewhere to some sort of black magic. Please if that’s the way you feel – wake up and smell the coffee!

Never before has there been a time to step forward and guide your organisation by accelerating cost reduction, improving service and preserving revenues the only way businesses can – through their business and performance management processes.

If you find yourself the pending victim of ‘asleep at the wheel’ then your choices are straight forward:
1. Blow the whistle and write to the CEO/COO/CIO anonymously (otherwise in the resulting car wreck your job may be one of those that goes)
2. And if you are the CEO/CIO/COO then ask the question “How much can we reduce costs by focusing on successful outcomes?”. If the answer is anything less than 30% in 12 months you know where the first cost cuts start!

This is not the time for the faint hearts and excuses. The time for action is now.

Company-Customer Pact

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The book I co-authored in 2006 ‘Thrive – How to Succeed in the Age of the Customer’ provoked quite a reaction from several quarters (not all favorable!).
We are now pleased to report that more organizations are placing the customer at the center of everything they do.
One recent area of growth is the Customer Pact and you can see an extract from this work, hosted at http://www.ccpact.com/FrontPage

The Challenge: We, customers and companies alike, need to trust the people with whom we do business. Customers expect honest, straightforward interactions where their voices are hard. Companies work to inspire brand loyalty and deliver satisfaction while trying to understand their customers better. It is evident that we all have a crucial stake — and responsibility — in transforming the adversarial tone that all too often dominates the customer experience.

Anyone can sign on to the Pact and we encourage you to do so!

What Price Complexity?

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Complexity is insidious. Costs go sky high. People get confused and systems can’t cope.
When production and service cycles take forever, and costs are high, chances are that most of your processes are mired in complexity. Since Victorian times, companies have felt compelled to offer consumers whatever they want, creating a myriad of choice with goods and services each having their own process and production lines.

In turn these processes are supported by complex systems and require specific skills for bespoke services and products. How often do you hear the recital “oh we’re very different around here. What we are do is unique in the industry.”
And it probably is to the detriment of the very people you are trying to please – the customer.

Consider a few of the not so hidden costs of complexity:
1. Customer inconvenience – Your customers have to negotiate your complex system and its mind-numbing array of alternatives.
Q. Just how many Moments of Truth are there?

2. Unwieldy sales processes – The sales systems needed to support complex product lines soon grow too cumbersome, whether they require filling out complicated order forms, getting indecipherable invoices or navigating endless voice mail paths.
Q. How many rules exist to ‘guide and direct’ and are now out of date slowing things to crawl?
Q. How many handoffs occur in your processes between people, systems and services?
Eradicating those Moments of Truth, Rules and Breakpoints can change everything.

3. Impact on management – Eventually, even your managers will find numerous services and processes too much to track.
Q. How much money have you spent training people to deal with this complexity?
Remove the complexity and those inside-out approaches such as Six Sigma and Lean are not required!

4. As an absolute, the greater an organization’s complexity, the less focused its management.
Q. Where does all that management time get directed? Fire fighting and fixing problems caused by the nightmare of complexity.
Refocus management time to helping align processes for successful outcomes.

It doesn’t have to be this way.
Download the free report on ‘Accelerated Cost Reduction’ for the inside track and get on route one to success. http://www.cityprocessmanagement.com/CostReduction.html

Accelerated Cost Reduction – utilize ground breaking techniques created by the market leaders who have redefined their markets and continue to outplay the competition in every aspect of the game.

Business Process Excellence in Financial Services

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click to review

Improve efficiency and customer service, increase revenue and reduce costs
September 29 – October 1 · Thistle Marble Arch Hotel, London, UK
Workshop day one – Accelerated Cost Reduction with BPE (Steve Towers)

Certified Process Management – Two Days with Steve

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“Exceptional and life transforming. This training should be on every corporate agenda”CIO Pharmaceutical, Florida

London, September 15-16, 2008.
Let me know you saw it here – quote ‘successful outcomes’ and you’ll get a 20% Discount!

Business Transformation – Are you Onboard?

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The world of business is undergoing dramatic change. Driven by a number of factors organizations are needing to realign themselves to adapt and evolve. This transformation is global and reaches into every business sector impacting how companies create, deliver and sustain their products and services. {…} more

Zen and the Art of Business Process Management

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In PartOne of this three part article we reviewed the factors driving transformational change and how the old ‘inside-out’ approach to business is about as useful as a steam engine in getting to the moon. In Part two we’ll look at how some of the world leading trend setter companies are embracing the new outside-in challenge and creating new powerful business models driven by advanced forms of BPM such as the Customer Expectation Management Method (CEMM). . {…} more

Why Six Sigma is Failing

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This one pager reviews the latest stock performance of die hard Six Sigma companies and dismisses the belief that Six SIgma and Lean will help us out of the current global economic crisis.. {..} more

Screw it – Let’s Do it (Part 3)

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In the early parts we reviewed ‘Business Transformation are you on board?’ and the ‘Zen and the Art of Process Management’ and we now bring the story together with ‘Screw it – Let’s do it!’. In our efforts to improve our organzations we involve ourselves in approaches that frequently get mired in their own complexity. It doesn’t have to be that way.. . {…} more

See Part One Part Two

Slash Costs But don’t Kill the Business

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Approaches such as Lean and Six Sigma are having a tough time in the face of a compelling need to dramatically reduce costs caused by the current economic downturn, credit squeeze and market volatility. Companies are looking beyond the ‘business as usual’ 5-10% annual reductions and need to slash costs just to stay in business. Tightening belts and just ‘doing things right’ really isn’t good enough anymore as long established companies go to the wall on the back of short term and short sighted decisions made in better times.. {…} more