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Slaying The Headless Chickens

When will running around, trying to go faster than the day before through sheer physical exertion, stop being the strategy of choice for many businesses? You know the common phrase 'running around like a headless chicken', don't you? We joke about it, but it can waste a huge chunk of time from our working weeks.

When I first start working with a business this is often the approach that we are trying to overcome.



You probably know the kind of thing I am referring to, something happens that causes a problem in the business, something that we have to stop and deal with. Instead of taking the time out to get some facts and decide on an effective course of action, we make a swift decision and push on with the rest of the working day.

The swift decision sometimes don't properly address the problem and we then find that this problem resurfaces days, weeks,  or months later. Instead of us spending a little bit more time upfront we end up paying for this issue several times over.

So, is it better to spend two hours properly solving a problem, or is it better to make a quick decision and then repeat the same decision making / aftermath on an ongoing basis?

I know what my answer is, but so many people seem to take the 'chronic' option. Sure, there are times when you haven't got the two hours to spare, but you can still pencil a slot in your diary for later that week to take a proper look.

Too many people say that they haven't got the time to do the important things in business. Interestingly,  these same people do have time to fire-fight... when the quick fix comes back to haunt them.

Are you ready (and prepared) to slay some headless chickens?



Giles Johnston
...optimising MRP systems and re-engineering business processes

P.S. If the above applies to you, then check out my book 'Business Process Re-engineering', available on Kindle, iBooks, or as a PDF download.

Click above to read a sample of the book.

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Want more time for your projects? Try the 'Hour of Pain'!

Do you find your day being broken up by interruptions, stopping you from getting on with your work?

Continuous improvement projects often fall foul of this. The day can become so inefficient through the constant stopping and starting that we only just seem to have enough time to get the 'day job' completed.

I was in a meeting last week where this same issue cropped up. It also cropped up today. It's nothing new, but it is still a pain in the rear!

So, let me share with you an approach that has worked for my clients - the 'Hour of Pain!'.

Where there is a (performance) gap there is a concern

I had a really good day yesterday working with a client's team.

The team has issues. Plenty of issues. Some are managerial issues, some are people issues and some are production issues.

When I first met the team they didn't know what to do with their issues, so I started by helping them to see more issues.

Issues everywhere, they didn't seem very impressed.

And then we captured the issues as 'concerns' into the tried and tested 'concern cause countermeasure' format and followed the process:

Concerns probed for root causes and root causes converted into countermeasures.
Soon they realised that some of their root causes dealt with numerous concerns and they gained momentum.

Yesterday we pulled another one of their processes apart and identified all of the gaps. The gaps became concerns and we fed them back into the process. Now they have a practical action plan (of countermeasures) to upgrade the process in question.

What do you do with your performance gaps? …

Free Continuous Improvement Guide

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Six Quick Tips to Help Continuous Improvement Deliver Results Faster In the guide I share how to:
Use the continuous improvement cycle properly.Get projects moving, if they are slow to start or have stalled.Identify the 'biggest bang for your buck' when reviewing opportunities.Determine the level of change you need to achieve through your improvements.Flip staff grumbles and concerns into positive improvement actions.Increase the overall rate of progress on your projects. All of the tips are highly practical and are no-cost strategies.
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Enjoy reading,

Giles
About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous i…