I hope that this is one of those blogs that you print off, pass around and mark as important because what I’m about to tell you really is the difference between whether your change programme will flourish and grow or wither away with the passing of time.
There are certain rules when you’re trying to improve your business.
How the leaders think about the design and management of the work determines how the work is done and it’s that relationship that predicts the success or failure of the business.
Before you make change you have to get knowledge how the business works today.
The direction of the change should be driven around a new way of thinking about work, policy and measurement design.
Whether the change sticks depends on whether the leaders change their thinking and their behaviour.
I’m going to make an assumption. You’ve heard me rant on about points 1-3 for the past eighteen months so I’ll concentrate on why number four is so important and (what you want to know) how to actually get leaders to change.
Let’s take a typical failing leader. Their head is full is unit costs, setting targets, service standards, productivity, customer care and functional work design. This has an influence on how they spend their time.
For example if they receive complaints, which they will (in spades), their first reaction is that the poor attitude people are at fault and they need fixed. Fixing means customer care! That won’t work because the problem is likely down to the design of the system.
Or…they have a backlog, the assumption here is that the people are lazy. So a team of managers go and study how long it takes to do a piece of work and then set targets around how fast the work should be done. Anyone who fails will be punished! So people cheat and waste their ingenuity on cheating the system.
Do you get it? We change the processes, the policies and measures but unless the leaders actually: a.) understand why this was done and b.) how they need to behave differently, your firecracker change programme had just become a damp squib.
With me so far? Let’s look at what the new behaviour looks like.
Understand the work from the customer’s perspective. The leader must know how it feels to be a customer and how the work design influences that experience. For example the targets in public sector planning departments (actually all departments) cause good people to ignore cases that go outside of statutory indicators. Hence if you are a customer who has a difficult one you might wait hundreds of days for your answer. The leader must be able to look at the work and make the connection between the policy (do work within 57 days) and the behaviour they see.
Create new policies designed from the customer’s perspective. It stands to reason that what matters to the customer is to be dealt with first in first out. So the new policy becomes, do work in the order that it comes in the door and work on one thing at a time. And to make it work the leader must remove the 57 day service standard.
Armed with this policy the leader creates a new purpose and has measures related to that purpose.
And now for the secret. The leader must reinforce and problem solve around the policy. First they observe and make sure that everyone is using the new policy. If not the job is to find out why. If some people simply didn’t understand then the job is to reinforce the policy, explain why it was put in place and get people back on track. If people can’t use the policy because of a problem in the work then the leaders job is to problem solve.
Which leaves a final question, what’s the role of the consultant in all of this? To coach the leader. Which means the following:
Make sure the leader knows the core polices around how work should be done.
Go and study someone doing some work.
If the policy is not being used, coach the leader to ask why.
If it’s simply human error coach the leader on how to reinforce the new policy.
If it’s because the work design prevents the use of the policy coach the leader on how to problem solve.
For sustainable change repeat two to three times per week for 3-6 months. Sounds tough, and it is. But no-one says change is easy.
PS If you think a friend or colleague may like this blog please pass it on.
First I want to say thanks for all the emails I get every week giving me suggestions and ideas for the blog. I read them all. Also to those of you have written with questions I hope that you have found my answers useful. Thanks again for taking the time to read and interact.
Now on with the blog, this week’s was inspired by a story from Scott Finnie. Scott wrote to tell me about an article he read in a magazine.
It’s just over a year since I attended the process mapping workshop with Azmi and I’m still very early in the journey to enlightenment. Systems Thinking has however brought a new ‘waste aware’ lens to my life and given weight and depth to my customer-centric intuition. So for that I’m very grateful.
Anyway, to the main point of the message. I receive various industry journals one of which (”Call Centre Focus”) has an article this month entitled “Dying to Help”. It chronicles the very sad case of France Telecom, where 24 members of staff have committed suicide in 18 months. The latest victim - a 51-year old contact centre worker - caused the company to halt its re-organisation, suspend the programme’s mastermin, and scrap staff performance indicators in its call centres.
As a response, that sounds like a potentially decent start by the company (albeit late - why the previous 23 deaths didn’t cause alarm isn’t covered in the article).
That however, is the only modicum of good news. The rest of the article is given over to tips and suggestions for agents to deal with stress in the contact centre. Let me list them for you:
1. Learn to manage your time more effectively
2. Adopt a healthy lifestyle
3. Know your limitations
4. Find out what causes you stress
5. Avoid unnecessary conflict
6. Accept the things you can’t change
7. Take time out to relax & recharge your batteries
8. Find time to meet friends
9. Try to see things differently, develop a positive thinking style
10. Avoid alcohol, nicotine and caffeine as coping mechanisms
In other words, an entire article focused on the 5% (the people) and no mention of the 95% (the system). There’s a passing hint that maybe helping employees deal with stress might be treating the symptom rather than the cause: “communicate context and purpose to employees”, “…as a manager you are responsible for peoples’ workload and their feelings of satisfaction…”
But there’s no mention - and I suspect no understanding - of the need to work on the system. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised, but it’s nevertheless quite depressing when a supposed industry best practice magazine prints such a misinformed message.”
My reaction, maybe like yours, was to want to write a piece on the poor quality of this advice and how it’s in rife our organisations.But then I took a deep breath and thought ‘no, be helpful, what should the contact centre have done?’
1. Study the nature of demand and response. I suspect that much of the problem is that there is a high volume of failure demand calls (calls caused by a failure of the system to do the right thing for the customer).
There’s a simple logic here, if you give people crappy work to do their life will be crappy. And having customers moan complain and shout at you will certainly ruin your day. Prolong that and you will soon become tired, angry and depressed.
And to make matters worse…what if in addition to being shouted at you are unable to help? This is a common issue in service organisations. The system is designed (not deliberately) so that the agent can’t do what matters to the customer.
And then just to tip the agent over the edge they will get a 1:1 from their manager asking why they’d not hit their call targets. Here’s an example, I needed to transfer money from my business bank account to my personal account last week. My passkey had broken. Despite the fact that the bank knows more personal stuff about me than my wife does, the agent couldn’t help.
She told me that I should have had my accounts linked, I responded by telling her that I’d completed 4 forms and that accounts hadn’t been changed. I ended the call and we were both disgruntled; me because I didn’t get what I wanted, her because she was disempowered.
2. Act on the system . Having understood the main types of failure as well as transactions where the agent was unable to add value guess what the manager should do? You got it; fix it, it’s not difficult really.
The problem is that fixing the system requires an admission from the manager that their thinking about the design and management of the work is the problem. And that it’s likely that this thinking is ubiquitous in the organisation.
So change requires that managers get knowledge about how the work works (or doesn’t) and then learn to give up their ideas about managing top down, using service standards, targets and incentives within a functional design.
Look this is really important. If you want change you can get it, fast. And it’s easy, get knowledge about the work, use the knowledge to make change and then find out if what you have changed has made things better. Then repeat.
Though I do have to say that I think an industry sector magazine could give better advice than ‘find time to meet friends, and avoid alcohol’, that’s weak, they should have said ‘drink more!’
So let’s finish with some good news of people we helped to do it the right way. The roads department of the City of Edinburgh Council won the Guardian Public Sector Award for Frontline Engagement on Tuesday night; you can read their story here.
Also Alison Angus who worked as part of the team who made the change tells how they did it in the interview I did with her last night. Click here and listen or download for listening on your MP3 player.
Once you’ve got your free MP3, check out what I have for you at the end of this blog.
You’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve managed to twist the arm of a business guru so you can get some top tips on building a strategy. Robin Field, ex Chairman and CEO of Filofax, was for many years, the business partner of Richard Koch. Richard wrote two best selling strategy books, ‘Smart Strategy, and The Financial Times Guide to Strategy’.
Robin worked alongside Richard, to turn around failing businesses. In 1998 Robin took charge of Filofax. At the time it was a dying business and its shares were trading at 30p per share. Within one year he turned the business around and during its floatation the shares changed hands for £2.10 per share with a return on investment of 27%
In this short interview Robin explains:
Why CEO’s should work on only the vital issues in a business
How to build your strategy from the customer backwards
The 3 most important activities when taking over as a new manager
The exact strategy he used to turn around Filofax (you’ll kick yourself when you hear it, it’s so simple)
What goes wrong in the handover of a business that involves family members
How being lazy is a great attribute for running a business and running your life. Yep, less work with more success!
I believe that this is an interview you’ll want to keep and play at your next team meeting. To download it just go to this page, right click on the link then select ’save target as’.
I truly hope that you get value from the recording. I also have an interview lined up with Jim Mather, the Scottish Minister for Enterprise. If you have a question you’d like me to put to him please mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘minister’s question’ in the subject line.
Now listen up, I have something truly unique for you
Over the past 11 years that I have been using the Vanguard method I have kept detailed notes of how to apply it within service organisations. Every time the method was upgraded either by myself or another member of the Vanguard team I made a note.
Eighteen months ago I started to document in sequential detail exactly how to use our method to turn around a failing organisation, or make an already good organisation great.
The book was ready to launch in July but having read it, John Seddon, Vanguard’s chairman, asked me not to release the book. In his view it simply gave away too many of our secrets.
Since July I’ve literally begged (on your behalf) to be allowed to give you a copy. John agreed on the condition that I customise the book. So I had Ron Skea, our call centre expert, make the examples in the book specific to service centres.
But the good news is that book applies to any service organisation (except of course project environments).
So don’t let me down. I’ve promised John that those who bought the entire system would not pass it around or steal our ideas. Though you are free to use the information to dramatically improve service, slash your costs, boost morale and for those in the private sector, vastly improve your competitive advantage.
The system actually comes with three e-books that show you how to complete the check, plan and implementation stages of a change programme. There are templates for gathering demand, and process mapping. You also get the whole thing in MP3. And there are bonuses!
It’s available from Monday. If you register before the launch you get a 50% discount, just
In this short audio file I interview John Seddon. During the interview John explains systems thinking and provides tactics for those who want to embark on the tranformation of their organisation to one that provides better service at much lower costs.
I’ve just finished my guide to running a high performance call centre and I was toying with the idea of including a section on competency frameworks. It occurred to me however that (in my experience) competency frameworks should not really be used in the same sentence as high performance.
I know, I know, you’re thinking ‘back up there pal’ how dare you have a go at competency frameworks, it makes complete common sense for an organisation to define a set of competencies and measure their staff against them accordingly.
Well…in theory that’s not a bad idea but there’s a flaw, three in fact. The first is that the competencies chosen don’t really have much impact on how an organisation performs; the second is that some are not competencies, they’re outcomes; and the third is that some of the competencies are not actually under the control of those who have to use them.
You probably don’t agree but at least hear me out before you start to send the hate mail, I promise I will give a balanced argument.
The CIPD website www.cipd.co.uk. (see there’s their address, that’s pretty nice of me) states that in their 2007 learning and development survey the most chosen competencies were as follows:
customer service skills
The best way to help explain how these don’t help much is through a case study. Let’s say that you are the head of service of Revenues and Benefits in a local authority. You are inundated with complaints, there is a large backlog of work, there is low morale, and costs are rising due to the need for more staff and overtime.
How might you tackle this conundrum? Well you could send your people on a communications skills course (obviously you would attend too) and they could explain to the folks who are eligible for benefits what they need to do to claim. But wait, there’s a ticket system in place, the staff only have a certain amount of time to spend with each customer and their job only allows them to take the forms and pass them to the back office. They’re depressed. They’ve got these brilliant skills but they make no difference in the current system.
How about this, you use your communication skills to better set expectations for the customers and maybe motivate the staff. Except that nothing changes, because motivation is a feature of work design, I know because a much respected chap called Frederick Hertzberg said so.
So communications was a failure, bummer! What about managing the people? Do one to ones, tell them to work harder and smarter, put up a few posters. Oh no, that doesn’t work either, it’s that old ‘behaviour is a feature of the system’, chestnut again.
But wait, here’s an idea, close the office for the day, take the front and back office team out to the woods for the day, play paintball, maybe build a log cabin, sleep in it for the night, make some tree bark soup and dandelion beer. The only problem is that when you re-open the office the next day nothing has changed about the work design, soon the friendships crafted over the open fire flicker and die because the work passed from the front office to the back office isn’t clean.
But there are always customer service skills to fall back on. Aren’t there? Erm, not really, being polite and friendly doesn’t actually solve the customer’s problem. Sure, your people should be nice, but like putting racing stripes on your car, they look attractive but won’t actually improve performance.
Then there’s the problem of outcomes that masquerade as competencies. The CIPD say that ‘results orientation’ is a competency. I’m not so sure. I think that’s something that happens as a result of spending your time understanding and improving work design. It’s a bit like innovation; you get it by studying the needs of the market and understanding your operational capability. But innovation is not behaviour.
Finally there’s problem solving. I like this competency. It’s solid, like a big rock in a sea of uncertainties. But it does assume certain things; for example that you can tell the difference between symptoms and causes, and that you know how to get to the root cause of a problem. Take revenues and benefits again: absences, backlogs, dirty inputs, poor front and back office relations and customer complaints are all symptoms of poor thinking and work design.
Many a misinformed manager (or dare I say it, consultancy firm) would therefore put in place a customer complaints system, absence management, targets, workflow software, a backlog team, a weekly team meeting between the front and the back. And yes they are problem solving but they’re working on the wrong problems.
But what’s the alternative? First get knowledge of how the system works from the customer’s perspective. If you learn how to look, you’ll see that management’s insistence on functional work design, productivity targets, service standards and decision making removed from the work are the root causes of the system. Fix those and all your problems go away. For example in Swale Borough Council, Mark Radford achieved the impossible. He took a failing revenues and benefits service from the bottom of the bottom quartile to the top quartile within a year. Specifically he reduced the time to settle a claim by 145 days (all claims now settled in 5-6 days), with cash savings of £442,572, two posts were freed up, and there were significant improvements in morale. (more…)
Last Friday I was running a one day strategy session for a Director of Human Resources and he asked me a question. “How can I tell if I’m a good HR director?” I answered by telling him two stories.
About a year ago a client, who is also a good friend, called me to say “you will never believe what has just happened! My human resource manager has stormed into my office and told me that she is sick of Stuart Corrigan” (I’ve heard this from the female population a few times in my life, so it was no real surprise). “After a few questions she said that she used to feel like she was adding value by sorting those that were perpetually off sick, resolving disputes between departments, and counselling those that were fed up. She went on to say that her job has nigh on disappeared since we started doing systems thinking, because people are happier at their work.”
After my friend told me the story I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. But it did help me to get a clear view on what an HR manager should not be doing.
Contrast this story from another client Helen Fitzpatrick, a senior HR manager at the financial services company Royal London. Helen and her colleague Julie Cropper, spend their time working with managers to help them optimise their divisions.
By optimise I mean that they show them how they can maximise productivity, revolutionise service, minimise operating expense and improve revenue and return on investment. The question of course is by what method?
They start with a simple premise; you can’t maximise what you are currently doing until you first understand exactly how the business works now, warts and all, including the assumptions under which it operates.
They, like most who understand this, know that if you start from a position of knowledge about what’s happening today and why it’s happening, then being able to fix what is wrong is actually very easy.
This is a universal principle, I don’t care whether you run one internet site or you are the chief executive of a global company, unless you know exactly how the business works (processes, policies, job role design, measures) and you can articulate it, you will never ever optimise your organisation.
Hence the perspective taken by Helen and Julie is outside-in; work with leaders to get data on how the business works from the customer’s perspective and then use that knowledge to make it better, that’s it. Oh, this also applies to functions like marketing, sales and finance.
Here’s an example; a few years ago we were working with a finance company that handles claims. There were long delays in the system, it took up to 942 days to close a claim, most claims were re-worked by a factor or 3-4 before being closed, customers were leaving, brokers had stopped recommending the company, and the cost of settling claims were increasing.
After having studied the system the problem was obvious (well, I told you it would be), the staff were measured on how fast they got a claim logged on to the system. So information about a claim was passed to claims handlers dirty. They then spent most of their time getting additional information before being able to settle the claim.
With knowledge about how the system worked the solution was obvious; by changing the measures and getting the expertise at the right point in the system, the time to settle a claim was slashed to two weeks. And the increase in capacity was used to work with corporate clients to inform them about the most predictable causes of crashes. Now that’s real added value. And it came about through knowledge of the current system.
Which leads us back to our question, how can you tell if you’re a good HR manager? (you should replace HR with your own job title). The answer lies in whether you can describe how your organisation looks and works from the customer’s point of view. Well can you?
I accept that for some managers this seems too difficult, it means getting out of their office and getting their hands dirty. But hey, what’s the alternative, filling in another spreadsheet on who was off sick this week?
Recently, a down on his luck, blog reader contacted me to say that he was out of work but liked my free presentation skills e-book. I sent him a copy of the paid package gratis (and no this is not about me).
He thanked me and said he would send the money when he got back into work.
I suggested he give the money to charity. Last week he sent me a scanned copy of the receipt for his charitable contribution.
He gave double.
Seriously, I was touched.
And it made me contemplate two things: my own short comings (I, like you, have a few); and a question, what was the lesson in this act of generosity?
I think the answer’s simple. It’s a lesson in leadership, put simply: leaders follow through.
A few years ago I was having dinner with some ex Toyota consultants. A question was posed, what is the best way to help a client learn how to transform their organisation, such that they get revolutionary service, at lower costs?
As you’ll see the answer was, unfortunately, common sense but not common practice.
We started by discussing the different ways in which people acquire knowledge in order to create change, I explained,
They are told they must learn. This might work in the short term, but over the long term, it’s a poor way of developing lasting skill.
They go on a course. But education assumes that people already want to learn. And the big problem with education is that if it is at odds with your current beliefs, then it is usually rejected.
There’s also the normative method, they are taken by the hand and helped to see what’s wrong before they learn what to do differently.
The Toyota guys nearly burst their belts laughing.
“We never thought that there were three ways of learning”, they said. “You see we were all in our teens when we started at Toyota, and when we graduated into consultants, we were assigned a Japanese mentor who gave us the knowledge at the rate we needed it by regularly checking that we were thinking in the right way”. One of the group gave a memorable example.
“I was working on A3 problem solving” he said “and I had spent hours crafting the problem, the containment strategy, gathering data, and analysing possible solutions. I presented the sheet to my Sensei, in his office, he said, “how can I judge if this is any good from here (my office)?” The consultant explained that all learning was done in the work not the office, and this also applied to senior executives of the business. This is normative learning.
Though at Vanguard we also work this way, I was reminded me of the importance of not compromising on principles. And how the best way to help a client sometimes is to take a stance on how they will learn.
But is Toyota’s method effective? Consider this, Toyota are one of only a few car manufacturers that haven’t had to be bailed out by government. This is because their operating expense is low, because they are so good at understanding and improving their system, all because they have been taught to think differently.
Here’s a question you should ask yourself
What about you? How much of your learning over the past year has been done on a training course or in a meeting? How much has been normative: un-learning before re-learning.
For example if you currently believe that targets will help your organisation, then before you can get new knowledge you first have to see why targets always destroy good work.
Here’s how to change
So, here’s what you should do today. Write down everything you think you know about how to manage an organisation i.e.:
A Back office front office set up reduces costs (actually it increases costs)
Targets improve performance (no, they ruin them)
Service standards are good for service (they are arbitrary and create delays)
Monthly appraisals are valuable (they are the most wasteful activity you can perform)
Incentives cause motivated workers (Actually they cheat and become depressed)
Investors in people is helpful (useless)
And that most of your meetings this week will achieve something (get serious)
Why not go out and gather data to see which of the above assumptions are right.
Of course to do this you have to get out into the work. Do this enough and just can’t avoid un-learning and then re-learning, this will make you a sought-after manager. Because if you adopt this method of learning not only do you purge bad habits, you hardwire new ways of thinking that allow you to go into any system and with laser like guidance, find out what’s wrong, and fix it; you know not just where to look, but more importantly how to think differently about what you find.
You may not have the luxury of lunching with a Japanese sensei today, but you can still pose the question, “how do we learn here?”
The global economy is in a mess, why? Simple, managers were more interested in making money than innovating and solving customer problems; had they done so profits (not losses) would be the obvious outcome. In the public sector cost reduction is the by-product of such actions. Which begs another question, how do you innovate? The answer: by being in the work.
Managers say “We can’t innovate, do you know how much it costs?”
In some cases they may be right but not all innovations cost money. So let’s start by defining innovation. When you think of innovation typically what comes to mind? The iPod, The Sinclair C5, The Segway, or maybe the new airbus. And associated with these projects is typically a massive spend for all too frequently - a poor return on investment.
But what about the other type of innovation the type that starts by with identifying a clear customer or staff member with a problem and fixes it.
In my work I never cease to be amazed at the how many ideas are just waiting to be released into the consciousness of an organisation. What is also interesting is that the ideas are always born out of getting closer to the work, not further away, i.e. you won’t get flashes of inspiration by spending a few days in a hotel or visiting another organisation to see how they do things.
And some of these ideas are truly remarkable. Our country really needs remarkable right now. I experienced remarkable last week at the DVLA, and if they can do it…
On Tuesday I had to renew my road tax. I usually spend an hour trying to find all the forms and then stand in the queue at the post office. This time I decided to have a go at doing it on line. I say have a go because I expected it to be rubbish. But it was brilliant. I loved it. I told about twenty people, and now I’m telling another one thousand.
What if some of the people I told renew their tax on line, because it was so easy, also buy a private registration? The DVLA have saved, and generated money at the same time. They’ve freed activity that was using mundane brain power that could now be used in further innovation. What if the DVLA did motor insurance, or sold cars on-line. Why not?
The real secret to what the cool people at the DVLA did was they started from the customer and worked back, not the other way round, I hope the person that did this got promoted, if you know them let me know?
Over the years we’ve been proud to have nudged our clients to innovate. I say nudged because what we did was to show them how to find the ideas, as opposed to a cook book of recipies. But what’s really important is that they now have the knowledge about how to innovate and can replicate their actions over and over again. And once infected by the bug they tend to just keep doing it. I saw a great sign on a van yesterday, it said:
“Knowledge combined with passion is an unbeatable force”
Here’s a few notable nudges:
Edinburgh City Council - First time fix on potholes
Lothian and Borders Police (lost and found) - Lost items in clear plastic bags so quicker and easier to find
West Lothian Criminal Justice system - Give police access to fiscal reporting to reports easier to submit
Haldane UK - Numbering boxes containing handrails so that fitters know which ones to open first
VELUX - Training staff to deal with 80% of all demand and having experts on hand so that other 20% could be handled whilst customer on the phone
Haldane UK - Changing the staples on the boxes so that clients didn’t cut their hands
Dundee City Council - One assessment for elderly in need of care
Edinburgh Council advice services - Benefit checks over the phone
West Lothian Council Housing voids - inspector meets new tenant to discuss what needs done to the house.
Next question is how do you innovate? Here’s the best five ways that I know how:
1. Study demand (listen, look, read e-mails, read letters). Look for customer requests to which you currently say no. Find out what it would take to say yes.
a. VELUX did this and now sell windows direct.
2. Watch people doing their work:
a. When I got a puncture repaired last week I wondered why no-one asked to give me a quote for my car insurance when I was in the depot. Instead they called 3 days later during dinner.
3. Be a demand, follow it through to the end look for friction:
a. In planning departments the main problem is that the planners have to constantly multi-task so everything takes longer. If management followed the flow they would see.
4. Be a customer:
a. The food at David Lloyd health club is terrible, maybe if Mr Lloyd ate his own spaghetti bolognese he would change the food.
5. Be a front line person for a day, week, month:
a. If the senior management of the HBOS spent a day being a corporate mortgage adviser they would see how stupid it is not to give them a direct phone number so that clients can call them direct rather than going through the call centre.
So you’re an innovator the next question is how do you become remarkable? I will answer that next week. And if you want the above list in a handy check-list that you can pin on your wall you can get it free here.
PS If you haven’t downloaded the first 4 steps of my presentations system click here now
PPS. If you think a friend or colleague may like this blog please pass it on.
Dear Mr Brown, would you spend a day with me to see what I see?
If you did you would see housing associations failing because they are scared to challenge the regulator. They use service standards that cause repairs to take longer than they should. They use public money to take residents to court because they haven’t paid their rent, even though much of the failing is because of the housing benefits system.
If you did you would see local authority leaders who spend no time at the front line of failing services like adult elderly care, and child services. As a result they have little information on what to do to improve the service, but are quick to blame hard working front line staff when something goes wrong.
If you did you would see ministers who cite special causes when there is a failure of public services, rather than getting to the root cause of the problem and asking if it is predictable.
If you did you would surely stop the waste of spending millions on pointless CRM systems in the public sector.
If you did spend a day with me in the work, you would see private sector employees beleaguered by incentive schemes, targets and outsourcing; come to think of it you’d see the same in the public sector.
If you did spend some time in the work you would see that our lack of competitiveness is not because the workers don’t care but because the leaders don’t know how.
If you did you would see a criminal justice system that doesn’t work because of functionalised work design, a lack of cross functional measures, and no common purpose.
If you did you would see that our call centres don’t work because managers are obsessed with measuring number of calls per operator, time to answer, wrap up time and cost per call. You’d notice that these same managers think that service can be improved by outsourcing to India without realising that often fifty percent of their calls are failure demand.
If you did you would see that our manufacturing organisations don’t offer reliable delivery times or great product quality because they still care too much about batch size and efficiency rather than fulfilling customer demand.
If you did you would see managers wasting their time doing 1:1s, quarterly reviews, and annual appraisals.
If you did you would see why chartermark and investors in people don’t work.
If you did you would see that our banking sector will continue to make the same mistakes because the leaders haven’t realised that their failing is in not understanding the dysfunctional consequences of bonuses and incentives.
And most importantly if you did, and asked your ministers to do the same, you would have your eyes opened about how to fix the whole thing. You see I don’t doubt for one minute your intent only your methods.