Think about it. What would a 2% lift in manager efficiency give you? What would you gain from giving back to each manager 5 working days this year?
As a business leader, I am often thinking of ways to give my business an edge, do things more efficiently, get a competitive advantage. You can therefore imagine my intrigue when I read research suggesting that 78% of business leaders globally saw the exploitation of software as the next key driver of competitive advantage…
Well it got me thinking as to what software they may be referring to. Over the years we’ve had waves of software (and I would add new technology into the equation here also). We’ve all had line of business applications, office productivity software, CRM, Accounting, HR, Payroll, email, mobile applications, social media, marketing tools, ERP, asset management and so on and so on... Each one delivering business benefit through efficiencies in process or new or retained customers from enhanced engagement and service offerings.
But we’re already brimming with ‘software’...
Many businesses today have largely embraced software as a means of giving them an edge, or have they? What has intrigued me about the waves of software is the use of tools such as email and office productivity software like spreadsheets have put in place pseudo efficient processes that may appear on the surface to be exploiting software but in reality are internal cottage industries, not particularly efficient but they do the job.
How do champion competitors do it...?
Well here’s a thing… Remember the Olympics 2012 and how well the British cycling team did against other super athletes, all on excellent bikes, all hyper motivated and at their peak. What really made the difference? Sir David Brailsford, Performance Director, GB Cycling famously said,
“…it’s important to understand the ‘aggregation of marginal gains’. Put simply… small improvements in a number of different aspects of what we do can have a huge impact on the overall performance of the team.”
The backdrop to this was that on the face of it, there didn’t seem to be much to do, no silver bullet to get a competitive advantage for GB cycling, but Sir David was convinced otherwise and subsequently proved right. So I hear you say, what is your point? Well, perhaps if we identified a number of processes internally that consume staff and manager time and improve them using contemporary affordable software tools we might generate a competitive advantage in our business and prove the research right…
Where could we find our own ‘aggregation of marginal gains’?
Here’s some ideas of business processes that our own customers have identified as delivering advantageous business efficiencies. You’ll have seen now that it’s less about priority order and more about connecting marginal gains across many of them.
- Staff appraisals, 1-1s and employee performance meetings
- Management reporting
- Collecting, managing and reporting performance data
- Project and change management
- Risk management
- Managing audit
- Compliance with external standards
- Strategy planning and execution
- Exploiting data to improve services
Our customers tell us that they achieve a minimum 5% management efficiency (equivalent to 11.4 manager days per manager per year) from just one of those above, i.e. strategy planning and execution. Imagine what you could achieve in your business by following a management best practice approach for some or all of the above?
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