Free resources!! October 17, 2008Posted by rickbron in Achieving goals, Bronder On People, business strategy, Changing behavior, Coaching, Increasing Your Profitability, Management, Performance issues.
Tags: doing more with less, effective, efficient, productivity
Thought that might get your attention! The Big Dogz know how to get additional resources for free. They do it by focusing on the resources they already have. Most people in the workplace are doing the best they can. They are giving you their concentration and commitment to producing at a high level. Sometimes it is the work that gets in the way of the work getting done. Here is how to get more for less in your team.
Convene a meeting with your team members and tell them you want them to answer two questions for you.
- What can we do to be more efficient?
- What can we do to be more effective?
Notice that the question is “What can we do..”, not “What can be done…”. This is an important distinction. The Big Dogz know that if you ask the latter, you will get suggestions on what others could do. The focus is on us, and what is in our control.
Let me define efficient and effective. I borrow the distinction from Tom Peters in his book, In Search of Excellence.
Efficient — doing things right
Effective — doing the right things
So you ask your people to focus on those two questions and then you leave the meeting. Tell them you will return in 45 minutes to review their suggestions. I can hear some of you saying, “Yeah, right, they will have nothing to say!’ Well, you are probably right. The first time you ask them to do this activity; they will usually produce nothing. They provided suggestions in the past. And, they have been ignored! It is no wonder that they will be reluctant to give you ideas.
Thank them for their time and concentration. Schedule another meeting within 30 days to address the same two questions. This will get them to thinking you are serious about being more efficient and effective. Keep having the meetings until they actually come up with a suggestion. Now do your secret management stuff and get that thing done! If you don’t, you can save time by not having these meetings once a month!
The people who know how to be more efficient and more effective are the people who do the work. Too often managers come up with brainstorm ideas of their own on how the department can be more efficient or effective. Most of the time these ideas could work. People like to have their own ideas. They are more likely to implement a suggestion they came up with rather than one you came up with.
The Big Dogz know that patience pays off. Keep asking your people how to do more with less and they will respond. If you have five people and they improve productivity by 20%, you have gotten another full person for free!
So, now in the next 30 days, you schedule a productivity improvement meeting with your folks. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to know how it works for you.