An Ongoing Conversation… Complex to Compl-Exellence

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Too busy working through complexity to think about excellence?  Have you ever heard anyone say, “… that’s ok, I’ll sleep when I’m dead” because there is just too much to do, and not enough time to do it.

You are the manufacturer, or product developer, or some other industry operations professional, and you are charged with making things better – improving quality, lowering costs, making everything efficient, and increasing profitability – but wait… you are up to your eyeballs in “what you do” (your job) – never mind “jamming in” the issues and decisions of excellence.

Play along with me and visualize this familiar thought process – while it depicts a manufacturing environment, it’s a scenario that could occur in any industry:

 “Another engineering change order – I wonder what the status was on the last one, I’ll have to look up the notes, and there was a voicemail I need to listen to again – man, we really need to improve our processes… and documentation… and communication – I really need to get one of those process or lean guys in here – but that means interviewing is going to eat up more of my team’s time, and HR may not really know what to look for or what questions to ask, I really need the cream of the crop here and I really don’t have time for this and we needed this person 3 months ago — that’s ok, I’ll sleep when I’m dead, and this load may just do the trick.”

If you find yourself in this type of situation, like so many do, then how does an organization make excellence a priority?

The issue here is not a lack of time, excellence is not born of time, and you cannot be forced into excellence, nor can you hope for excellence.  Excellence is a choice – moment to moment; it is an operating state.  Operating from excellence creates clarity; it allows you to see what there is to do and not do. Excellence allows for performance that surpasses what was previously possible, performance that defies old limits and maps out new territory – and accomplishing goals with the experience of little effort –

Having the right Operational Excellence (OpEx) experts on your team to optimize processes and communication to drive the appropriate work in a way where you not only get ROI and excellence that your customers recognize and come back for, you get it with velocity (speed + focused direction).

Is your organization flanked with smart, cutting-edge, committed OpEx professionals?  Do you have someone you can call on, and trust (no kidding) to tell you the truth, to help you innovate and navigate the changes in the marketplace, product and materials, continuous improvement, technology solutions, quality, documentation, supply chain, and all other aspects of your business? If not, consider the impact you can create with the right resources “at the ready” to serve your organization.

The issues and decisions around Operational Excellence occur at the highest levels of strategy in organizations; you know this. You also know cost-cutting, quality, and profitability are the usual goals, and the more significant the impact the better. This is why it’s mission critical to be equipped with the best possible business advisors and strategic partners and tools right now – before you experience a crisis, and before you waste any more time on outdated thinking and processes.  It takes something to accomplish not just what you “said” you would, but to accomplish what you know in your gut you can accomplish. 


Four actions you can take to prepare for the inevitable – and they will occur it’s just a matter of when:

  1. Develop a structure (protocol or procedure) for conversations and systems within your company that helps the entire team, department or organization become really clear on the desired outcome and then drive the organization towards that outcome.
  2. Develop a structure that everyone agrees to follow when faced with an unpredicted challenge before it turns into a crisis.
  3. Resource yourself with thought-tools, like a Decision Table, to empower and expedite yourself out of issues and traditional processes that have you entrenched in delays or paralysis.
  4. Organize your “go-to” advisors and process improvement experts so they are available at the touch of a button on your phone – so you can call 24/7 to address your critical or significant business problems or just to answer an important question.

Be in an inquiry about how you can equip your work environment with ease of contact (in-bound and out-bound) and be a demand for personalized, proactive service from your resources and advisors.  Put a “radar” on for seeing this type of service in others and get them on your team.

I will continue this conversation next month, and I want to empower your work right now! If you would like a copy of an uber-cool and highly effective Decision Tree (I don’t think you’ve seen one like this before) or have any other questions, email me at [email protected].


Additional Reading

How to Achieve Operational Excellence in the Private Equity Industry

Conversational Actions to Manage the Operating States of Change 


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