It was really interesting for me to watch the women's 4 x 100m relay race last night, from a business process improvement perspective. For years I have referred to the way that a business flows work between its functions as a relay race, with smooth transitions being the order of the day.
Last night's race was superb to watch, with a flurry of legs and arms with an almost slow motion passing of the baton occurring at the end of each leg of the race.
Business can be frenetic, but the passing of work between functions of a business can still be smooth, timely, appropriate and of a high quality.
By focussing on the handovers in your business you can reduce the lead time it takes your business to deliver it's products and services and this can improve both the customer service you offer and the profit you retain.
Taking this lesson from the American team is certainly worth thinking about.
P.S. A video of the race can be seen here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/18916209
Smartspeed Consulting Limited
Taking the frustration out of on time delivery.