A Dummy's Guide To Optimise Team Performance In 4 Simple Steps
Many years ago, an old company I was working for was considering whether or not to wager US$1 million on a 3rd party consulting firm. If they helped us increase profits by $2M in 12 months, then they would be paid $1M. If not, they don't get paid anything. It was an obvious low-risk, big-reward ballgame for us and we promptly hired their services.
True enough, after 12 months, our company did increase our profits by $2M, and the consulting firm was paid their $1M in fees. It was one of those precious moments in commerce and industry that both players walked away with an extra million, without doing anything illegal, and with everyone a winner.
Now, two things come to mind here:
- Why was the consulting firm too willing to risk 12-months of revenue in an all-for-nothing gamble?
- How did they do it?
Let's answer #2 first, as it will shed light on the answer to question #1.
The consulting firm already had an established methodology that they developed and perfected through the many years of their operation. And this methodology basically revolved around one big idea: the client knows all the answers, but they don't know them yet. And helping clients get to know the answers on their own was what this consulting firm was very good at.
Their methodology was very simple, and it needed MINIMAL inputs from the firm. They basically had to answer the following questions:
- What's your problem?
- What are the causes?
- What's are best solution to the problem?
- Who's going to do it (and by when)?
For all of these questions, the consulting firm had merely facilitated and helped the client arrive at the conclusions and monitor their progress. They just provided a very good framework, and the client did all the heavy lifting. And because the client knew the business more intimately and had the resources (especially manpower) to address their issues, it was the best case scenario in the effort to improve business performance.
Which leads us back to question #1 - why risk 12 months of revenue? What if it didn't work? There are two parts to the answer here:
- Their track record with their structured framework had almost guaranteed success; and
- Because the client did all the heavy lifting, it cost the consulting firm very little in their engagement. It was a low-risk, high reward gamble for them too.
That consulting firm flourished on the high odds for success to improve business performance. By simply using a structured and proven framework, a client's buy-in is all it really needs to make a big impact on the bottom line.
You Don't Need To Spend $1M to Improve Business Performance
In fact, you don't even need to spend anything at all. If a structured, guided framework is all you need to improve business performance (and perhaps earn an additional $1M or two), then Optimum Direct's 4-Step Optimised Workplace System (OWS) is what you need. And it is FREE. This is how OWS works, in broadstrokes:
- Take the OWS free online assessment. It will help you get some indicators on what your business issues really are, if any.
- Take the OWS team-wide assessment. This is basically a more accurate gauge of the business issues that may be preventing your company from taking the next step forward. You will now be asking your team members their sentiments on key areas for optimum workplace performance.
- Once you have the results of your team-wide assessment, you can already proceed with action-planning with your team. Identify the specific problems and the best solutions to take, set your targets, and assign who will do which tasks and by when (for a proven methodology on effective team planning, check out the much-acclaimed GE Work-Out).
- Track and communicate progress. Set regular discussions with your teams and see how you fare vs. targets (to set a regular performance drumbeat for your team, check out My EmployeeLife, an online platform that lets you manage goals and performance in real time.
Once you're done with these steps, which should take somewhere in the vicinity of 4 months to 1 year (depending on how fast you go through these steps), you can repeat steps 2-4 on a regular basis to keep your company in tip-top shape.
About the author:
Dondi Alentajan is the Principal Consultant for Alentajan Business Consulting and serves as a consultant for Optimum Direct, a web portal for the best HR tools and software for small business. He was recognised as a “Marketing Maverick” by Business World in 2012, and he headed the Marketing Team nominated “Best Marketing Company” by the PMA for two consecutive years (2010 & 2011). His primary work mission is to help companies and their customers be happier together.