Midlevel managers possess valuable, raw knowledge that can push your P&L further. But like diamonds, such knowledge will not surface unless you proactively mine it. And like seeds, it needs certain conditions to sprout. Are you proactively mining it? Providing the right conditions for such knowledge to float? There is a structured method for doing that.
The following examples demonstrate the kind of innovation we are targeting (using some realistic figures based on my experience):
- Ways of reducing customers-churn by 4%.
- Ways of reducing flight-fares by 7%.
- Ways of reducing help-desk costs by 8%.
- Ways of increasing up-sales by 11%.
- Ways of shortening development periods/time to market by 13%.
- Ways of shortening support-tickets’ time by 15%.
- Ways of increasing customer satisfaction by 16%.
- Ways of increasing cross-sales by 24%.
- Ways of reducing Work in Process (WIP) by 32%.
- Ways of reducing inventory by 41% w/o compromising availability.
Here are some guidelines for implementing a productive “mining” process:
- Management support is a key-ingredient in facilitating employees’ innovation.
- “Innovation sessions” must be defined by specific time-slots, to prevent interference with routine assignments.
- Incremental improvement initiatives must be finance-oriented. It has to be clear how a given initiative can affect the company P&L. Just increasing productivity or satisfaction (even clients’ satisfaction) – is not enough.
- The potential of any initiative must be verified based on current data before submitted for top-management consideration.
- Proposals should be considered as an employee’s own He or she would be the ones signed on the proposal, presenting the proposal, and leading its execution, if approved. Any coach supporting that employee along that process, from brain-storming to results – should stay behind the scenes and leave the entire stage to that employee when it’s show-time. The coach may attend the show though, as an audience.
- Proposals should be prepared in a structured, business-case-like form, which fits executive attention.
- Proposals should clarify the resources required, if any, an include an action plan, ownership and target dates for implementation. These should also reflect employee commitment to lead the execution of that plan.
- Management approval must be obtained before any change is put into gear.
- Management should be provided with refined progress-reports, presenting the steps taken and up-to-date performance indicators.
- Employees should be compensated for successful results.
The Corpocheck Coach program encourages midlevel managers to come up with validated, valuable ideas, and provides them with methodologies for preparing proposals the deserve discussion. Encourage your managers to become Corpocheck Coaches!
The opinions expressed through this website do not suit all business circumstances.