Business Performance Consulting

This category contains 34 posts

The “All Users” scolding email conundrum

We’ve all received one of these types emails. Likely we’ve all sent one as well. The message is one that is sent to everyone in the company’s database stating displeasure about what is likely one person’s behaviour, but they don’t know who that person is so everyone gets to learn the lesson. Never in the … Continue reading

The threat of “the new”

Assuming you live long enough, and are blessed/cursed to live in interesting times, at some point you will be confronted by something new that you neither expected nor appreciate. Sometimes these things will be coming from outside – for example a new technology, a new trend,  or a threat to your livelihood. However, often the … Continue reading

Approaching Strategy as a Fixed Game

In two recent posts I’ve written about why engaging and empathizing with customers is both essential to making better decisions as well as to make more effective and meaningful products and services. In this post I want to briefly talk about how this should tie into your overall strategy. Strategy as a fixed game The approach many of us are familiar … Continue reading

The slings and arrows

There’s something that has been bothering me for awhile. Well, there’s many things that have been bothering me – but one thing that has been “stuck in my craw” is the way process diagrams are depicted. Below is a sample flowchart I grabbed from the internet. Note: I’m not picking on this or any individual … Continue reading

Stop making good decisions, start making right decisions

You usually start with this idea in your mind. . . You think you are right and this is a great starting point. It’s also probably necessary if you’re going to do anything. However, you also know that you do not know for certain. This is where the “Good” decision versus “Bad” decision framework comes … Continue reading

Rapid Diagnostic. Getting at the issues quickly!

How much diagnostic is really required before getting into solution design? Project teams are always under pressure to minimize the time spent in the Diagnostic phase of improvement projects. The team needs time to determine the health of the organization (its current state), to identify key opportunities for improvement and to develop relationships essential to … Continue reading

Plan – Do – Check – Adjust: so simple yet so elusive… Why?

The PDCA (or Shewhart’s cycle) popularized by Edward Deming in the early 1950 is one of the most effective execution, problem solving and continuous learning tools in many organizations’ toolkit. Yet, its practice remains elusive today. Let’s examine it in detail. First, the plan. How good are the plans you have seen, used or followed? … Continue reading

CEOs, know your customers!

It does not take a huge amount of data to serve your customers better. In fact, getting the few right pieces of data may help amplify the value your customers receive for less effort.  New technologies, changing customer expectations of value and increased global competition put old business models at the risk of extinction. If … Continue reading

Everybody wants it yesterday! How to deliver major improvements quickly?

As management consultant, I have often been asked this question in performance conversations with executives: “How can I get results quicker?” Executives are often disappointed by the time major change initiatives take to deliver real results, if they ever do succeed. According to McKinsey research, 70% of change projects fail [to deliver the expected results]. … Continue reading

When it comes to solving business performance problems, is there anything new?

The business unit you are responsible for is failing to achieve its performance objectives. Perhaps sales are lagging, profits are decreasing, gross margin is below target, product quality targets are not achieved, investment projects are not delivering the expected payback, customer complaints and after-sales costs are too high, or promised delivery dates are missed, etc. … Continue reading