Creating High Performance Organizations

Creating High Performance Organizations

An analysis of the highest performing organizations most often reveals an unwavering attention and dedication to the basics of Operational Excellence:

  • driving to a set of performance goals;
  • measuring performance against those goals;
  • taking proactive action to resolve issues and make improvements quickly; and
  • increasing performance expectations once targets are met.

Most organizations apply these methods to some degree already, but very few have a comprehensive and integrated system with the level of rigor and aggressiveness needed to drive impactful and sustainable results on a daily basis. In short, they achieve pieces of the Op Ex methodology by accident.

In contrast, High Performance Organizations employ an enterprise-wide Operational Excellence strategy that drives everything they do, moving them into the highest echelons of the competition in their market and industry.

Are YOU engaged in creating a High Performance Organization? The critical questions you must ask yourself include:

  1. How much more competitive do you need to be to:
    • reach and/or compete with the highest performing competitors in your market?
    • sustain your current position in the market to remain viable?
  2. How competitive do you want to be?

The foundation for excellence starts with Daily Management. In a nutshell, Daily Management is the application of the PDCA Cycle to daily incremental continuous improvement efforts. This means that everyone in your organization knows what they have to do each and every day to make the work flow smoothly throughout the entire organization. With this in mind, effective Daily Management requires that you and your teams:

  • Know your organization’s vision and mission
  • Know your customers and their needs and expectations
  • Know how to accurately communicate your needs and expectations to internal and external actors
  • Know your product or service
  • Know how your job fits into the overall product/service provided by your organization
  • Know your job and the process inside and out

In “Daily Management: The Foundation for High-Performance Organizations,” Chapter 7 of Driving Operational Excellence, I outline the ten critical components for achieving an effective Daily Management system. At the top of that list you will find Business Strategy. Business strategy defines the critical initiatives required to realize the business’ overall objectives and goals. Many organizations have a business strategy in place, but it often fails to incorporate any linkage to actual daily work. If your daily work processes do not align to your overall business strategy, vision and mission, the results you achieve will neither significantly impact your bottom line nor be sustainable over the long haul.

Your strategy should also align to customer needs and expectations. If it does not, all of your continuous improvement efforts will be in vain. The bottom line for businesses everywhere is the customer: Without them, there is no business to be had.

Creating a High Performance Organization requires you to think systematically with a focus on the end user of your product or service. A systems-wide approach allows you to get more bang for your buck out of each and every continuous improvement effort. Daily Management ensures that you never lose sight of your business’s vision, mission and goals.

David Dubinsky is the President and Founder of Op-Excellence, a management consulting and coaching firm dedicated to helping clients transform their businesses via Lean and Operational Excellence solutions.


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