Being part of a high performing team feels good: you know the expectations; you know the status and you know that you are growing. Results flow.

All of the 12 steps described over the past blog posts are not revolutionary. In fact, much of what I have described is well known, so why don’t more businesses do it? Often because they are investing so much time and money in the next great technological leap that will leave their competitors in the dust….

Sustainable Operational Excellence is not a bet on technology, it is complimentary to any technology, and you may even find that the technology being considered is not necessary. You may find that the leap forward is delivered by the team you have right in front of you.

If you want to truly engage your team and begin reaping the benefits of increased productivity, give me a call today, what have you got to lose?

Step 1. Foundations for Success: Learning to be proactive.

By understanding the habits, you have and why they exist, you’ll understand that changing these habits will create huge opportunities. We must think about the neuroscience associated with how we build habits and how we get them to stick.

This is also an opportunity to challenge ourselves to establish the beliefs that we have and understand the trust behaviours that generate high engagement.

At the beginning of any transformation program we have to be realistic and appreciate the team will be thinking ‘Here we go again, is this change really going to stick?’ So, it’s essential to show how the full 12 steps to SOE look; through simulations, you can help people see how things might work and generate the belief that things will improve significantly.

So, people believe that changing habits takes a long time BUT the truth is it doesn’t, all it requires is intensity and frequency and this is what Unleash and Engage do really well. 

Step 2. Creating the Vision: How do you want to feel?

What is your purpose? What are you trying to achieve?

What do you want to have? What do you want to lose? What do you want to keep as a result of this transformation?

This can be brutal, but once a belief is established the destination is more attractive than the current position you are in. Creating a sense of purpose for everyday activities.

The vision is not a set of words that you put in reception. It’s a clearly articulated vision (not just with words) of how the future will look and FEEL!

As I said, achieving this can be brutal.

Be honest with yourself, ‘Is your vision alive?’ and more importantly, can everybody articulate it, do they really believe in it and work on it everyday? 

Step 3. Daily Stand Up Meetings: Talking about the important stuff every day

It may seem like we have jumped from 30,000 feet to being in the weeds, but this is not the case. After you have set the vision, you know what good looks like.

There are only 3 types of work: things we can control, things we can influence and things out of our control. So why not focus on the first two, making our performance clear and our problems visible and permanently fixing them

The team can design the visibility and the agenda of the meetings: they will build it.

The result is a team with the basis for self-accountability and performance. 

Step 4. Visual Management: How are we doing?

An essential part of sustaining Step 3 (Daily Stand Up Meetings) is Visual Management which gives the framework to make problems and exceptions visible.

Your Daily Stand Up Meetings may be difficult and hard to manage to begin with, but they will drive clarification of what is important and therefore should be visible and monitored. The U&E coaches do Visual Management differently to other consultants and this is the foundation for creating a high-performance environment and delivering sustainable improvement.

Find out more about the visual management techniques we are using with clients every day, simple things that make a big difference. 

Step 5. Standards: Making the implicit explicit.

When you think about it, you can’t really tell someone they have done something wrong unless you already have an explicit agreement about what is right!

If you’re getting into the habit of your Daily Stand Up Meeting, using Visual Management, you can have a conversation when you find problems or exceptions about ‘what should have happened?’

In my experience, in office-based roles, a lack of standards can be one of the biggest sources of frustration: people invest time and effort to create something that is subsequently criticized or not used because it did not meet the intangible expectations of a Manager somewhere in the business. Engagement comes when you know exactly what is expected and you can achieve it.

How do your standards stack up? Our team coach you, helping you to develop your standards and as they develop you get better and better. 

Step 6. Process Confirmation: Spend time with the team

Confirming that the standards (from step 5) are being followed is an opportunity for leaders to spend time with the team and to coach them. In order to develop people, you have to share your skills with your team: what better way to do this than to support the priorities of the day.

When handled correctly Process Confirmation is supportive, reduces pressure and helps people feel even more engaged.

Do you often wish you spent more time with your team developing their skills, improving efficiencies and communication? Give yourself (and your team) this opportunity with the support of the Unleash & Engage team, get in touch with Ian, iandavies@unleashandengage.com for more information.

Here’s my answer:

‘We help people to change their habits: Unleash & Engage helps people understand why they behave the way they do, helping them to see what the future could look like, coaching them to create new habits, and then working alongside them to embed these habits, instilling the desire to continually improve the habits incrementally day on day.’

The results are sustainable because if people design and implement the changes themselves, they will sustain the changes: ‘People Protect What They Build’.  That is what real engagement looks like!

Those changes then manifest themselves in vastly increased productivity (by whatever measure you choose to use) and increase in engagement.

We Unleash the Engagement!

Sounds easy? Changing habits requires intensity and frequency but habits can be changed quickly.  We typically expect to see results in just six weeks.

Many organizations are grappling with significant decisions about technology direction or investment in plant and equipment in order to improve their productivity. Before going down this route, they should carefully consider if they really are providing their employees with the framework to be truly engaged and as productive as they can be.

Unleash & Engage have developed a proven 12 step process which enables organizations to achieve Sustainable Operational Excellence and massive productivity and engagement improvements in just 12 weeks. See the next post ‘SOE in 12 Steps Series’ to learn more.

As Aristotle said: ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is therefore not an act, but a habit.’ The highest performing companies are those that thoughtfully design their organisation so that the sum of its parts all contribute to building and reinforcing those habits.

Alex Lewis from Unleash & Engage describes their approach to designing ‘organisational systems’ to transform business performance.

Download the full whitepaper here…

Being involved in the expansion of Unleash & Engage into the United States is the realization of a long-held dream. As CEO, North America, it is an honor and a privilege to be working in a country that holds strong to the belief that anything is possible. And, as a native Brit, I am proud to have called this country my home for the past 10 years.

The culmination of my many years of experience as a senior manager across many sectors of global automotive OEM’s has fully prepared me for this exciting adventure. Importantly, this experience means that I have “walked in your shoes” and know first-hand the types of challenges faced by today’s business leaders.

For our future clients, the timing of our expansion presents significant opportunity. In the industrial sector, whilst unemployment is at a 50-year low, vehicle sales (a perennial indicator of a buoyant economy) are experiencing a significant downturn after years of continued growth. Similar trends can be seen across all sectors from manufacturing to the service industry. This “productivity gap” means business leaders face difficult decisions about how best to direct investment to protect future growth, improve competitive edge and manage risk.

At Unleash & Engage, we believe the true route to achieving sustained operational excellence is through great employee engagement, organizational development and lean sustainment. Our approach is different because it is predicated on the belief that sustained change comes as a result of that change being designed and built by those who participate in the new way of working. In other words, people protect what they build.

I look forward to collaborating with our future clients here in the US and can’t wait to see the tangible and sustainable results we can achieve by working together. It is not uncommon for our clients to reap a minimum of $3 reward for every $1 they spend with Unleash & Engage, and whilst many consultants promise change, how many actually deliver?

Being involved in the expansion of Unleash & Engage into the United States is the realization of a long-held dream. As CEO, North America, it is an honor and a privilege to be working in a country that holds strong to the belief that anything is possible. And, as a native Brit, I am proud to have called this country my home for the past 10 years.

The culmination of my many years of experience as a senior manager across many sectors of global automotive OEM’s has fully prepared me for this exciting adventure. Importantly, this experience means that I have “walked in your shoes” and know first-hand the types of challenges faced by today’s business leaders.

For our future clients, the timing of our expansion presents significant opportunity. In the industrial sector, whilst unemployment is at a 50-year low, vehicle sales (a perennial indicator of a buoyant economy) are experiencing a significant downturn after years of continued growth. Similar trends can be seen across all sectors from manufacturing to the service industry. This “productivity gap” means business leaders face difficult decisions about how best to direct investment to protect future growth, improve competitive edge and manage risk.

At Unleash & Engage, we believe the true route to achieving sustained operational excellence is through great employee engagement, organizational development and lean sustainment. Our approach is different because it is predicated on the belief that sustained change comes as a result of that change being designed and built by those who participate in the new way of working. In other words, people protect what they build.

I look forward to collaborating with our future clients here in the US and can’t wait to see the tangible and sustainable results we can achieve by working together. It is not uncommon for our clients to reap a minimum of $3 reward for every $1 they spend with Unleash & Engage, and whilst many consultants promise change, how many actually deliver?

Over the course of a year, we worked with UK Building distribution giant Jewson to redesign their organisational system.  Starting with the Executive Team we reshaped their competitive strategy, focusing on a re-defined customer value proposition. 

With this new focus, we worked alongside front line leaders, functional experts and specialists from parent company, St Gobain, to design a comprehensive organisational system to deliver a market-leading customer experience.  This redesign aligned the structure, roles and capability of Jewson People, as well as the business’s policy and procedure, technology and infrastructure and most importantly the front line habits and behaviours; all in purpose of their strategy of customer intimacy.  We also worked with the leadership team to create a governance system through the business enabling them to prioritise key performance indicators that focused leadership attention from the boardroom to the local branches.  Through patiently engaging and involving a large group of colleagues, Jewson were able to pilot this new organisation design in four pilot ‘branch clusters’ allowing the design to be finally iterated in advance of a national roll out to their national local business network. 

Ed Smith, the Jewson Business Development Director, and programme lead said ‘Unleash & Engage have helped us to make clear strategic choices in our business strategy, and have worked with us to reshape our business in support of its delivery.  Their expertise in engagement has helped us reshape their habits, meaning that from large scale issues such as business structure to small but crucial habits such as customer greeting our whole business system is now operating with one purpose’

We are proud to have contributed to 6,000 Jewson colleagues focused on offering a superior experience for their local builder customers. 

There is no magic wand or quick fix for Operational Excellence, nor can somebody else put in the hard miles for you and hand you it on a plate.  What we have managed to do at Unleash & Engage is distil the very essence of Operational Excellence, built a 12-week deployment model around this, followed by a three-month sustainment phase where the new habits are embedded as being ‘the way we do things around here’

12 Steps to Achieving Sustainable Operational Excellence.

Our Sustainable Operational Excellence model consists of 12 steps in 12 weeks and is guaranteed to deliver a 20% productivity improvement. 

The main benefit we see when we work with teams is that the level of engagement goes through the roof when people are unleashed from the box that the organisation has put them in (whether intentionally or not).  This is the most satisfying part of our work and the reason why we do what we do.

Once we reach the targets that we agree at the outset, we don’t stop making progress. In our most recent engagement with a large multinational company, we achieved more than double our target levels of improvement – measured during weeks 8 – 12 of the engagement.  One of the client team members said “I’ve been involved in LEAN projects and other improvement stuff, but this is the first time I’ve seen something that’s truly transformational.  What we’ve achieved in such a short amount of time is amazing”.

Our approach contains a number of simple tools, which when combined with leadership coaching, and deployed in just the right way, produces really amazing results.  We have made it successful in project teams, transactional functions, finance teams, sales teams, white collar, blue collar, distributed teams and design teams.

None of the steps are scary and taken in isolation, they can even appear trivial. However, when built together, with the involvement of the team, and the time and commitment from the front-line Manager, the results can be truly staggering. Find out more cContact Unleash & Engage.

Value stream mapping is a tool commonly used in lean continuous improvement programmes to help identify, understand and improve the material and information flow within organisations. Value Stream Mapping captures and presents the whole process from end-to-end.

Unleash & Engage worked with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, starting with the design and delivery of a number of value stream mapping workshops.  Creating interstate value adding processes and robust implementation plans across this complex organisation.

A Value Stream Mapping ‘Train the Trainer’ Programme was then designed and delivered to train a number of key individuals to lead and run value stream mapping workshops throughout the organisation to enable all employees to understand and participate in the process to achieve optimal results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working with the Couravel Leadership Team we Designed and delivered a value stream mapping programme for use within their client base. This enabled them to establish a complete market offering delivering interstate value adding processes and robust implementation plans within complex organisations.

A Value Stream Mapping ‘Train the Trainer’ Programme was then designed and delivered to train a number of key individuals to lead and run value stream mapping workshops throughout the organisation to enable all employees to understand and participate in the process to achieve optimal results.