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Only 21 days to a superior organization

Inside Business

Posted: May 28, 2008 7:34 p.m.
Updated: July 29, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Day one: Make sure your organization has tests and yardsticks to measure performance. Are you measuring the most important things or just things you have always measured?

Day two: Free up your most capable people to take advantage of new opportunities. Make a list of your most capable people and make a list of your new opportunities. Pair them up to maximize productivity.

Day three: Adopt this mantra: If we did not do this already, would we go into it now?

Day four: Assign every employee to write a short work plan that includes their focus, desired results and deadline. Meet with every manager in the next week to review their plans and have each manager meet with each employee to review individual plans face to face.

Day five: Decide if your organization is delivering the results it should be. If not, revisit your organization's mission statement.

Day six: Ask yourself, "Am I a leader who treats all my employees as my helpers?" List three ways your organization could be more profitable and efficient if every employee was encouraged to assume more responsibility.

Day seven: What results are you being paid to achieve as the leader? List five tasks that you could eliminate to be more productive.

Day eight: When a decision or change is being made, set aside 10 minutes to make a complete list of everyone who needs to be informed. And another 10 minutes for all of those that will be affected.

Day nine: Ask every person in management to answer the question, "What should my contribution be to the organization?" Give them a day to answer the question. Follow this up at a staff meeting to be held the next afternoon.

Day 10: Talk to three customers. Ask them how they see your organization, what they think of it, what kind of company they believe it is and what they want from it. Use this feedback to fine- tune the mission statement.

Day 11: Perform a management audit. Use the criteria of whether or not your managers have made good people decisions; whether or not they have had any innovative ideas; and, whether or not any of their goals were achieved on time.

Day 12: Ask yourself how your organization can be more like by becoming benefiting from e-commerce.

Day 13: Make a list of every employee. Next to each one, mark if these individuals are committed to getting results while on the payroll, or just going through the motions and collecting a paycheck.

Day 14: Does your organization value learning? Who attends training classes inside and outside of the company and who doesn't participate at all?

Day 15: Gather all of your managers and create a list of the top 10 reasons why your organization is an attractive place to work. Start using this in your recruitment advertising and place it on your Web site.

Day 16: Ask every manager to answer two questions, "What do I get paid for?" and "What should I get paid for?"

Day 17: What are the 10 things your organization does superbly well?

Day 18: Take a look at your organizational chart. Will it fulfill the needs of your organization in the next 12 months? What needs to change?

Day 19: Is your organization an inventor or an imitator? What are three things the company could do to become more innovative? What companies do you admire that you could imitate?

Day 20: Create a Key Indicator report. On a single page, list organizational opportunities, sales, revenues, profits and volume, both goals and actual performance. Use this to run management team meetings and in all one on one meetings with managers.

Day 21: Go back through this list and complete what was not finished.

Kenneth W. Keller is president of Renaissance Executive Forums, bringing business owners together in facilitated peer advisory boards. His column represents his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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