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"Make Your Organization the Best It Can Be - Optimize!"
By Robert Hutcherson
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2014 Robert Hutcherson
All rights reserved.
What is Organizational Optimization?
Leaders of organizations, which include: Presidents, Prime Ministers and CEOs are accountable for creating a successful strategy for that organization to grow, prosper and provide customers/citizens with a service and/or product. Many visionary leaders have crafted exquisite and masterful strategies, but have failed to execute on their strategies within the organization they lead. The best-laid plans are for naught if not implemented and executed properly. You know the people who can talk a good game, but fall short when it comes down to actually delivering. Those type of people are full of hot air and are lost on how to actually execute and make it happen. Politicians are famous for this. They talk a good game in their speeches during the election campaign cycle, but falling short when it comes down to actually delivering on their promises. Do not make promises that you cannot execute on whether you are a CEO of a business or leader of a country, state or city. We deserve better from our leaders and leaders need better tools to help them execute their organization's vision, mission and strategic goals.
Toby Keith, a famous country singer nails it on the head when he sang: "a little less talk and a lot more action." It is not that they truly do not want to deliver on their promises; they simply don't have the right execution vehicle to make it happen.
So, how does a good leader of an organization best execute on their strategy? How is it that they go about the process of making that strategy a reality and actually making it happen? How does an organization effectively and efficiently put that strategy into action? Where do they start? What are the steps? What does the roadmap on this journey look like?
These are the questions that will be answered by utilizing the Organizational Optimization (OO) framework. By utilizing the OO framework, an organization can begin to understand the process by which to execute strategic alignment in a sequential, structured, effective approach, thus optimizing the effort from a quality, cost and speed perspective and getting the biggest bang for their buck on their improvement efforts. The alignment of their goals, metrics, processes, resources, knowledge and relationships plus the cultivation of excellence in culture, innovation and benchmarking allows for strategic improvement focus and efforts that optimize the execution of their strategy. The alignment aspect highlights all the non-value added (NVA) elements of the organization and the improvement effort eliminates the NVA and streamlines the value-added (VA) elements of the organization.
It is my hope and dream that organizations and countries around the world will realize what their true potential is and then to learn and understand how best to optimize their efforts to be the best they can be. Whether you are a city in decline, an entrepreneurial company with a high growth potential, a regional bank, or a country trying to provide better for their citizens, our world is in a constant state of improvement, and I believe the application of organizational optimization will catapult those organizations who embrace it, to be leaders in their industries and regions globally.
What is the Value Proposition of Organizational Optimization?
What can Organizational Optimization do for my organization? How can it help us as an organization and in our situation? What is the "WIIFM" (What's In It For Me), the "So What", the value proposition? Listed are several areas of value that Organizational Optimization can possibly bring to an organization.
* STRATEGIC EXECUTION
OO will optimize and expedite the execution of the organization's strategic plan in a systematically effective and efficient manner.
* PROACTIVE MANAGEMENT
OO will guide the organization to a more predictive proactive state in managing the organization rather than a previously reactive state.
OO will give the organization greater value through effective strategies being executed in a timely and financially efficient manner as compared to your peers, thus gaining the confidence of your investors and constituents.
* STRATEGIC IMPROVEMENTS
OO will assist the organization to maximize their improvement effort by strategically aligning opportunities to strategic objectives, thus getting the biggest bang for your buck with organizational improvement program.
* ALIGNED METRICS
OO will quantify strategic objectives as it relates to the strategic plan and align metrics as they are cascaded throughout the organization.
* IMPROVED AGILITY
OO will provide strategic alignment to organizations, thus giving it the ability to make timely adjustments and steer the organization in the right direction to meet changes in the environment or landscape.
* FINANCIAL OPTIMIZATION
OO will provide bottom line results by minimizing operational cost through improved efficiencies with cost savings and cost avoidance plus creating revenue generation opportunities.
OO will provide the organization better growth opportunities as it operates more effectively and efficiently, thus eliminating waste and reinvesting those efficiencies in other opportunities.
* PROJECT OPTIMIZATION
OO will generate a robust prioritized improvement project pipeline as to focus and execute on the greatest value-added improvement opportunities.
* GOAL OPTIMIZATION
OO will align the goals of the organization to maximize the efforts of all employees/associates. Employees/associates will also gain a better understanding of how they contribute to the organization's overall success.
* KNOWLEDGE OPTIMIZATION
OO will create a smarter organization with an informational network for best practices, improvement projects, processes, training, communication, etc. It will provide decision-makers with an informational infrastructure to assist in executing on strategic objectives.
* PROCESS OPTIMIZATION
OO will optimize value streams throughout the organization to streamline operational processes and decrease the cycle time of the improvement efforts due to process alignment, thus executing on improvement projects faster.
* SYSTEMS OPTIMIZATION
OO will assess and drive the effectiveness of systems and technology utilization and their efficient use in support of organizational operations.
* RELATIONSHIP OPTIMIZATION
OO will optimize internal and external relationships that are critical to strategic execution success and foster synchronization.
* DRIVE INNOVATION
OO will invigorate the potential increased intellectual capital in your organization by driving creativity and innovation amongst your employees/associates to grow and optimize the value of the organization.
* SYNERGISTIC CULTURE
OO will create a synergistic culture of excellence to optimize the quality of work life, productivity, creativity and sense of team unity.
* MARKET OPTIMIZATION
OO assesses and drives the effectiveness of marketing initiatives and the efficient utilization of various channels to the point of predictive optimization to targeted customers to maximize reach.
* SATISFACTION LEVELS
OO will improve service satisfaction levels as the end user (customer) is the greatest beneficiary of increased organizational effectiveness. Increased internal satisfaction levels will be improved as the employee/associate has a better Quality of Work Life.
* RESOURCE OPTIMIZATION
OO will assess and drive the effectiveness of resource utilization to include the workforce, space, energy usage, and supply chain.
OO will maximize effective lines of communication to all levels of the organization to optimize knowledge and buy-in.
OO will differentiate the organization in a highly competitive environment with top quality, speed of delivery and world-class customer satisfaction.CHAPTER 2
The Importance of Alignment
How well does your car operate when it's out of alignment? Can you keep it on the road or do you have difficulty keeping it between the lines? This misalignment could eventually cause and/or contribute to an accident. Besides causing problems to the driver (Leader) from a performance perspective, what does it do to the tires? Uneven wear (quality), decrease the life of the tire (unneeded cost of replacement) and could cause a premature flat or other complications.
From a health perspective, how does your body feel when your back is out of alignment? Does it cause you, the CEO/Leader of your body, pain? Does it contribute to making you feel moody or grumpy? What are the long-term effects of a misaligned back? Those are just a couple of examples of how misalignment could eventually cause distress and difficulty for the CEO/Leader of that particular entity.
Organizations can feel similar distress with misalignment. When organizational goals are not aligned, you're not maximizing the efforts of your employees towards the common goals as they relate to the organization's strategic plan. When your metrics are not aligned, your organizational measurement system is not accurate and/or in synchronization with the rest of the organization. When your organizational processes are not aligned, miscommunication, inefficiency, and chaos occur. The right hand is not sure what the left hand is doing. Even though you may be improving the processes in one area, you might be sub-optimizing one only to cause a bottleneck further down the line because they're not fully aligned.
Alignment helps everything to work together properly and in synchronization. Alignment helps to bring that holistic picture into place from a process perspective, from an organizational performance perspective, and from a cascaded goal perspective. Why wouldn't you want your organization to operate smoothly and people are singing from the same sheet of music? Have you ever heard a misaligned orchestra? It's not pretty. Why wouldn't the leader of any organization want to optimize the efforts of its people, technology and value it brings to its clients, customers or citizens?
Alignment helps your organization run smoothly with less stress, more agility and more effectively by working smarter and more efficiently by running leaner. Organizational alignment is the key to optimizing the execution of your organizational strategy. The alignment of strategic goals, metrics, processes and improvement efforts is Optimize Strategic Excellence , a key component to Organizational Optimization.
What organizational leader wouldn't like to capitalize on optimizing the company's efforts, getting everybody on the same page and rewarding the team's efforts with growth and prosperity? That's right, if you can do more with less, not by stressing out your employees with impossible burdens due to misaligned processes and information, but by weeding out non-value-added processes, goals and metrics that are misaligned with your organization's strategic objectives, why wouldn't you?
The Value of Alignment
Maximizing the Efforts of All
The value of organizational alignment is that it maximizes the efforts of all within the organization. Organizational alignment minimizes non-value-added (NVA) efforts. This minimization of wasted efforts within an organization helps to execute on your strategic plan more effectively and obviously with fewer efforts. Organizational alignment helps you to get your "biggest bang for the budgetary buck" from a human capital perspective as well.
Increasing the Value of Speed
In today's world of organizational efficiency, speed is of the essence. The lack of speed and coordination of efforts in your organization can kill a deal, contract or competitive advantage in the marketplace. Speed to be agile enough to juke and jive and make adjustments faster than your competition in the marketplace. Speed to correct situations/issues within your organization and accelerate those improvement efforts that are vital to the success of your company. Speed to market to get your new or improved product or service to the customers quicker than your competition and gain market share. Speed is associated with cycle time. If your organization can lean out the waste associated with non-value added process times, then you will increase your speed. Do you have a "Need for Speed" in your organization?
Minimize chaos by working smarter, not harder. Why should we continue to work with ineffective and inefficient processes? Don't we, as management, owe our workforce properly aligned work processes or should we continue to burden them with non-valued added stuff to keep them busy and in most cases overworked. Why can't we eliminate the non-value added activities that stress our work force to the brink of a meltdown? Go to most any HR department and find out if employees are stressed out or not. Remember, W. Edwards Deming stated initially that 85% of the problems are attributed to work processes created by organizations and only 15% to the people. In his later years, he changed that figure to 95% processes and only 5% people. Think about that! Are organizations making things more difficult than they should be?
The Leader's Responsibility to the Organization
The organization's leader is essentially responsible for setting the strategic plan of the organization and executing that plan through the use of its resources (people, technology, etc....). The alignment the Organizational Optimization framework creates aides that leader in strategy execution by utilizing a structure that ties essential operational performance information and improvements in relation to the strategic plan. If an organization chooses to utilize the Organizational Optimization model, the leader must truly understand the real potential value to the organization. He or she must make a strong show of support and commitment to the initiative from a resource perspective and also by communicating it as well throughout the organization. Isn't it the leader's responsibility to realign the organization if its off-course just like it's a chiropractor's job to realign your back when out-of-whack?
Leaders are put in place, either by election or appointed, to assess the current state of the organization, and then lead the organization, country, city, company to a better state in the future. What leader out there wouldn't want to have a framework in place that can help him/her lead that transition to the future desired state? As a new or existing leader, don't you want to set yourself up with the greatest probability for success? Don't you want to minimize your risk of failure?
Organizational Optimization establishes that framework within the organization in a quicker and more synchronized way to ensure that probability of success to the leader with the reigns. It will also proactively align and optimize that organization for a successful future, whether its market share, profitability or a Super Bowl ring.CHAPTER 3
From a Reactionary Organization to Proactive
The Reactionary Organization
In your career, have you ever been a part of an organization that was constantly operating in a panic mode, disorganized, chaotic going from one crisis to the next and engulfed by frustrated stressed out leaders and co-workers? I can almost guarantee that 95% of us have experienced that and the 5% that haven't? Well, you are very fortunate indeed and probably a little less grey than most of us.
Examples of Working in a Reactionary Environment
Here are a few examples of working in a reactionary environment, which I'm sure most all of you can relate in one form or another:
You come into work, and the panic precedes you. A report is needed that you didn't know anything about and, by the way, is due as-soon-as-possible. As you are feverously trying to put it together, the data that is needed is coming from an unreliable source and questionable at best, plus nobody is accountable for the associated process metric that needs to be reported upon. Don't worry, it's close to what was reported the last time it was demanded about three months ago. Oh, by the way, the report will be going to your bosses, bosses, boss. No worries, your name is on it right? Just in case any questions need to be answered.
Your leadership is asking for information and an assessment on the current chaotic situation, but there is no stated goal as to where it should be or current metric as to where it is now or even a process map of how that particular process operates so you could possibly explain it. Time to take a swag? Remember, your reputation is on the line. How's your confidence level today?
The customer/client has made five inquiries to customer service about the same problem they have had and have received five different solutions to their problem. The situation has been elevated to you, the customer service manager. Do you think that the customer/client has much confidence or trust in your organization? How do you respond to them? How do you verbally dance to ensure they'll be a repeat customer/client? How you pray for your organization to become proactive someday, so you don't have to constantly play for the save on a daily basis.
Excerpted from Organizational Optimization by Robert Hutcherson. Copyright © 2014 Robert Hutcherson. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
1) Organizational Optimization,
2) Organizational Alignment,
3) From a Reactionary Organization to Proactive,
4) Organizational Effectiveness and Efficiency,
5) The Organizational Optimization Framework,
6) Strategic Optimization,
7) Performance Optimization,
8) Process Optimization,
9) Improvement Optimization,
10) Resource Optimization,
11) Financial Optimization,
12) Systems Optimization,
13) Knowledge Optimization,
14) Relationship Optimization,
15) Innovation Optimization,
16) Cultural Optimization,
17) Market Optimization,
18) World Class Optimization,
19) OO Certification Levels,
20) Summarizing Organizational Optimization,