Sensationalism and outrage hurt productivity and generate bad feelings. The provocation may be our unprecedented political situation or internal decisions that suddenly become unnecessarily difficult. Let me give you a simple, unemotional example. (more…)
The tangible outcomes of progress are easy to measure: sales, profits, market penetration, and yield, as well as number of products, parts, members, programs, etc. Many employees are pretty clear about their goals in relation to these type of results.
But only those on the “production line” can really tie their own productivity to these metrics: Parts per hour, sales per week, hours per production, etc.
Everyone else spends a lot of time talking, thinking, writing, and reading, often with little to show for it. As a matter of fact, the farther they are from the assembly line, the more time spent this way and the less time spent producing tangible value for which customers are willing to pay. (more…)
I’m often contacted about providing workshops and seminars. My most frequent response after listening to the caller is, “You don’t want training.”
To understand why I would say that, think about the last class you took at your company. Or even an off-site class, for that matter.
If you attended a really good session, you probably left with a good deal energy, eager to apply what you learned.
That lasted until you got back to your office and the pile of business-as-usual on your desk and in your inbox devoured your fresh energy. It’s just like returning from vacation. Within about an hour, you are sucked back into the same old challenges and routines; you can’t believe you ever left. (more…)
There are 5.4 million job openings in the US right now. The unemployment rate is 5.3%, the lowest it has been since April 2008. That means competition for top talent is extremely high.
Meanwhile, the average hiring process has increased by 10 days in the last 5 years. 10 business days! Two weeks! And that’s the average! That means some have gained far more than two weeks.
If you are one of the companies with a slower hiring process, you probably “improved” your process by seeking more input, ensuring a consistent experience for all candidates, testing for anything from drugs to knowledge, documenting your decision more carefully. etc. And you may also have reduced the risk of a law suit from very small to tiny.
But 10 days! With competition for talent at what’s probably an all time high, you can not afford to be slow! Speed matters!
If your hiring process has gotten slower, I guarantee it is just the tip of the iceberg. What else is slower? (more…)
When your car gets a flat, you fix the tire, not the transmission. Why don’t you do that with your business?
While working with clients of all types, I frequently see examples where a few difficult people, one bad outcome, and/or an obvious lack of clear communication and understanding involving one process triggers broad pronouncements and substantial changes in the environment – the equivalent of overhauling the transmission. For example: (more…)
Friday’s New York Times article, A Sea Change in Treating Heart Attacks, is a great example of dramatically improving results, not because of subject matter expertise, but because of attention to process. Heart attack death rates have dropped 38% in a decade. And that number probably under reports the real success due to changing demographics and increasing numbers of diabetic, obese, and other high risk patients.
The improvement is not the result of new medical techniques. Doctors still remove blockages using a catheter, tiny balloon, and stent. What’s different is speed. The longer a blockage remains in place, the more damage is done to the heart and the more likely the patient is to die. Typical times between emergency calls and blockage removal have dropped from as much as two hours to under 60 minutes. At one hospital, that interval was cut from more than 150 minutes to 57. Some hospitals are now under 50 minutes. This is progress easily measured in lives saved.
In hindsight, the changes seem simple and obvious. So simple you may think there is nothing your business could learn from them. I challenge that. Here is what you can learn. (more…)
It’s here! The cheat sheet for clarity! The best quick tips for getting better results faster with greater confidence and commitment at your fingertips!
Download Ann’s Clarity App from the iTunes store today!
It’s loaded with tips you can use and share immediately to improve decisions, meetings, planning, holding others accountable, and more!
Imagine the value gained from sharing and using nuggets such as the:
- only 6 types of outcomes for any meeting
- 4 steps to better decisions, 3 of which are usually skipped
- biggest mistakes people make when planning
- how victim-hood prevents us from managing our time
- 2 criteria you should use to include others in your decisions
- 4 words that will make your productivity soar
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Since shared clarity is the most powerful clarity, encourage your colleagues to download Ann’s Clarity App right away as well.
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Once you’ve tried the app, I’d love to hear your reaction. And don’t forget, new content is on its way!
I made a strawberry-rhubarb pie last weekend in honor of another pie many years ago. It got me thinking about all the times I hear employees say, “That’s just the way it’s done,” because this pie wasn’t the way it was done!
Employees fill out forms, walk through stale routines, chase down signatures, and maintain countless documents. Why? “That’s just the way it’s done.”
But do you know what the real problem is, beyond the obvious waste of time year after year?
They’ve abdicated responsibility for results. They are either operating without an understanding of the desired results or they do understand, but have given up and quit banging their heads against the wall trying to make changes to increase efficiency or improve outcomes.
And it’s not just old procedures and habits I’m talking about. New initiatives also generate abdication and mindless execution. Classic and costly examples include the implementation of big programs such as a new performance management system or process improvement program.
Should we raise the minimum wage? Yes or no? Fast food workers are striking and demonstrating across the country. House Republicans were unanimous in there opposition yesterday. Many fear young people will be offered fewer “starter jobs” if those jobs payed “real” wages worthy of more experienced employees. Pundits are coming down loud and clear on both sides. Too bad this is a stupid debate. Too bad so many are wasting all this time and energy, increasing rancor, fueling divisive politics, and getting nowhere fast. As usual.
Why is this a stupid debate? There are three reasons and those same reasons explain why many of the debates in your company are also stupid. (more…)
His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge acquired his name just two days after his birth. Two days is incredibly fast by royal standards. His grandfather had to wait a month and his father, a week. Thus, all are pleasantly surprised to get results so quickly!
I do not know what tradition, objectives, or complexities are behind these royal delays. I do know everyone I’ve ever met has figured this out in advance and named the baby as soon as the gender is certain.
But here is my question for you: What royal standards are preventing you from getting results quickly? What traditions have left you accustomed to slowness? What complexities have you learned to accept?
Well, enough of that! Call your royal standards by their real name: S-L-O-W. Raise the bar and determine how to improve results.