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A Boost to Recovery?

June 16, 2010

Some of our customers have been asking us our advice about things they can do to keep their people active and engaged as this period of austerity seems to be dragging on endlessly. Many are concluding that after a period of serious cost cutting and frugality, it is time to shift the focus back onto the issues their people care about. I wonder if you are feeling the same way?

We decided to look at what we have learned from the 200 or so managers and other professionals who have completed Excellence Audits during this difficult period. The Excellence Audit invites people to consider a broad range of excellence characteristics, and to identify those which they think present the best improvement opportunities in the upcoming period.

Here are those characteristics which appear at the top of the list of the survey participants who are not managers – those aspects of the business in which they see most need for improvement:

1. Having a “lean and mean” structure, reducing hierarchy, simplifying decision making, and shortening lines of communication.

2. Seeing effort being put by leaders into making the work place a demonstrably great place to work.

3. Having clear, efficient, elegant, and distinctive processes, procedures, and methodologies that support seamless work execution.

4. Exploiting the latest IT and Web-based systems to deliver products and services more efficiently, and to expand our offering through new online products, features, and/or services for our clients/customers.

5. Rewarding and recognizing people based on the impact of their work and the legacy they create for the company and for their clients.

Does this list ring any bells with you? Can you set up mini projects to identify and nail down some quick wins that will send the message to people that you want to make their work life more bearable and rewarding? Surely there must be something you can do?

Watch out for the June edition of the TP Times for more information about this study, and join in our FREE Webinar on 7th July.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2010 2:35 pm

    Yes, Maddie, the confluence of events of a moribund economy,
    and the “commoditization” of the workplace is making this
    a very frustrationg time to be working for larger size
    corporations who have to justify an ROI for every employee.

    This is a result of what I believe is the transnational “elites” agenda:
    ~ outsource production to low wage countries in Asia
    ~ purposely DON”T enforce immigration enforcement
    ~ cartelize all industries into oligopolies

    So employees really don’t have a lot of options in a workplace
    strangled by powerfully greedy forces.

    • July 1, 2010 11:53 am

      Your reply sounds rather despairing in its tone, Larry. You remind me of a conversation I had with my brother last weekend. He works in Purchasing for a supplier to the motor industry and was rejoicing that the recession had given car manufacturers a big shock with regard to the reliability of parts provision. For the first time in his memory, the suppliers have found themselves able to negotiate price levels that enable them to make a reasonable margin. When I asked him if he thought that was a change for good, he did not think so. Once the panic to deliver has subsided, and the weaker suppliers have gone bust, he thought the ‘dog eat dog’ mentality would resume. All very depressing;-(

      Do you think the growth in SMEs will make a difference to the dynamics you are highlighting here? After all, in many countries SMEs employ a larger proportion of employees that the historically all-powerful larger corporations. Maybe the most talented employees will decide to work in smaller companies where they have some scope to express themselves, whilst larger companies will have to rely on employees who are prepared or have no other choice than to accept work that is unrewarding. Chances are that those poor souls are channelling their free will efforts into their own lives – let’s hope so.

  2. June 30, 2010 8:25 pm

    I just want to thank you guys for what you’ll are doing. I always find inspiration from the daily emails I receive from Tom Peters. I have introduce some of my colleagues to the Tom Peters Program and I have seen them change their attitude about the way they choose to do business. My first Tom Peters encounter occurred 5+ years from today and now my competence level for doing business has dramatically improved. Thriving On Chaos, Re-Imagine, The Brand You 50 and The Circle Of Innovation – are all part of my personal library at home.

    I thank Tom Peters for inspiring me to better myself in business and in my personal life. My next goal is to become a Certified Project Manager and to apply the methodologies I’ve learned from studying the Tom Peters Program.

    • July 1, 2010 11:26 am

      Thanks for your feedback and encouragement, Roderick. It is great to hear that you are putting Tom’s ideas into practice and that they have been successful for you and your colleagues. Lots of people like the ideas, but getting them into action is more difficult – you seem to have made that work for you;-)

      I am interested to hear of what you call the Tom Peters Program. Is this a course you have attended? It sounds very good – we’d love to know more about it.

      I am sure you are aware that you can follow Tom and Tom Peters Company on Twitter? The addresses are @tom_peters and @shapeofwinner. We’d love to see you there!

      Keep up the good work.

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