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Funding the “Future of Work” for Local Councils

Our experience has been that Local Council staff and management care deeply about our communities. Recent history has shown that they have really stepped up in a time of crisis. For example, when Covid-19 hit, many Councils set up incident response teams and worked around the clock to put in interim changes to ensure continuity of service where it mattered,… Read More »Funding the “Future of Work” for Local Councils

Important, non-urgent

Interesting observation from a number of people who are working remotely for the first time: Because there are less distractions, they are more focussed and are finally getting to some of the “important, non-urgent” items that they really should have done a long time ago. Remote working certainly impacts productivity – but not necessarily in a negative way.

Remote Working Series: Excelling at remote communications

There’s no over-stating it, excellent communication is vital to the performance of teams, and this is even more important when working remotely.   Even for the most administrative of roles, daily communication is essential. When staff (including us managers) are accustomed to face-to-face communication, working remotely can cause significant disruption to the ‘normal’ flow of information.   There are 2… Read More »Remote Working Series: Excelling at remote communications

Why are timesheets making a comeback?

You may have noticed a flurry of news articles about wage issues recently, with more than a dozen large Australian companies having problems in the last year alone. There are different ways this is playing out, but the underlying theme is that many employees have been underpaid by their employers and in most cases, it appears to be unintentional. In our experience,… Read More »Why are timesheets making a comeback?

Maintaining productivity in uncertain times

The current Coronavirus pandemic is cause for concern for many businesses. Pandemic response plans are being established and staff are being prepared for changes to the workplace that may (or may not) be implemented. What will happen to your team’s productivity if health agencies implement biosecurity measures and force your staff to stay at home? The availability of remote IT… Read More »Maintaining productivity in uncertain times

Business inefficiencies

Business inefficiencies may seem to creep in over time, but they are actually ‘designed by default’. That is, inefficiencies are created (but are not always apparent) by not designing work systems properly at the right points in time. Inefficiencies wouldn’t creep in if the right design was in place (and being followed – which is a result of having a… Read More »Business inefficiencies

An Action Plan is more important than planning tasks

A well-developed Action Plan is primarily a communications tool (and only secondarily a project management tool). It sets expectations. Once improvements are identified, everyone wants to do them all straight away, but this is unrealistic. Given the rigors of daily workload and the fact that robust change takes time, the action plan shows a realistic pathway to delivering improvements –… Read More »An Action Plan is more important than planning tasks

Key Management Controls

Recently we launched a new approach we are calling Key Management Controls. We’re really excited about how this can help all managers to be free to focus on the big picture – safe in the knowledge that the critically important day-to-day activities are being done. Key Management Controls provides managers with a tool, and an operational discipline, to regularly check… Read More »Key Management Controls

CI Programs – the Burning Platform

Part 3: Creating the burning platform This is a classic case of implementing one change by focussing on another – create a successful Continuous Improvement culture by focussing on developing Operational Management disciplines. The hard thing is that this needs the commitment, discipline and effort from Senior Managers and Executive. Everyone, especially upper management, will complain that they’re too busy… Read More »CI Programs – the Burning Platform

CI Programs – Switch the Story

Part 2: Switch the Story. Setting Continuous Improvement targets is misguided. The concept of CI targets implies that these are different and distinct from real business outcomes, and therefore it pits these 2 areas against each other. People mistakenly believe that if they focus on their CI target, then the business outcomes will suffer, and vice versa. Business outcomes are… Read More »CI Programs – Switch the Story

Continuous Improvement Programs are doomed to fail…

… if there is no burning platform   Part 1: Continuous Improvement programs can come in all shapes and sizes. But there are commonalities between the successful ones that anyone responsible for CI cannot afford to ignore. Too often, the CI Program is seen as someone’s job. But continuous improvement can’t be delivered by one person, or even a group… Read More »Continuous Improvement Programs are doomed to fail…

Strategic Planning Gaps

Most strategic plans make my head hurt. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Common (aka frustrating) gaps include: No balance between the critical dimensions of financial, customer, staff and quality/risk Lots of fluff without substance – i.e. no tangible (objective, normally numeric) targets Not considering BAU as a critical part of the strategy   It’s this last one that… Read More »Strategic Planning Gaps

The Wicked Productivity Problem

Spending time on non-value tasks results in reduced productivity.  But given this seems self-evident, why are non-value tasks so prevalent in our workplaces? A not-so-recent article preview here indicates that certain knowledge worker roles can realise a 40% improvement by eliminating non-value tasks from their working day.  And while the sample size wasn’t large for this particular article, the observations… Read More »The Wicked Productivity Problem

Sales is No Longer a Dirty Word, in Community Aged Care

Community Aged Care is undergoing significant reform. With an increasingly open and competitive market where the consumer choice is at the centre, providers can no longer assume the safety of a guaranteed steady level of income. Customers having the choice to select their provider and switch if not happy with the service (along with providers no longer restricted to allocated… Read More »Sales is No Longer a Dirty Word, in Community Aged Care

ACFI Voluntary Appraisals – The risk of taking a well-earned break

Now that you are over the hump of submitting all your ACFI voluntary uplifts and admissions prior to the 1st Jan changes and engaged your team on the new guidelines, one would think now is the time to take a well-earned break. With the changes reducing residential aged care margins, unfortunately now is not the time. Now is the time… Read More »ACFI Voluntary Appraisals – The risk of taking a well-earned break

Don’t kid yourself – cost reduction is complex!

Organisations are complex systems, often far more complex than they appear in organisational charts or functional business unit descriptions. When introducing improvements and change, particularly for cost reduction projects, you need to be aware of the inter-relationships across the organisation to ensure you plan for impacts and deliver true value to the organisational system. Overlooking these inter-relationships means you risk… Read More »Don’t kid yourself – cost reduction is complex!

Old MacDonald nearly had it right

E-I, E-I-O! goes the familiar refrain from the nursery rhyme. It’s very close to the mantra we use for process improvement…. EIAO: Eliminate, Improve, Automate, Outsource Delivering Efficiency and Effectiveness gains in a business process generally uses one of these approaches Eliminate: Critically look at a process (and then each process step) to see what value it is creating. Ask… Read More »Old MacDonald nearly had it right

Don’t bother with complex tasks

It’s a fact of life that, as a leader, you will be interrupted throughout every working day. No matter how much you empower your staff to make decisions autonomously, you will always have interruptions. And, there is plenty of research to show that much time is wasted in ‘mental set up time’ as you subconsciously deal with the cognitive shift… Read More »Don’t bother with complex tasks

Are you getting benefit from your organisational knowledge investment?

If with great knowledge comes great power and opportunity, how do you avoid wasting your investment?

In the first 2 parts of this series, we covered the reasons why you really should be creating a better way of documenting your organisational knowledge. But how do you do it without making it too complex, unwieldy and over-engineered? How can you avoid implementing something which is ultimately doomed to be unsuccessful? When designing your approach, consider the guiding principles:Read More »Are you getting benefit from your organisational knowledge investment?

Are you ignoring your organisational knowledge opportunity?

If with great knowledge comes great power and opportunity, why is harnessing this knowledge so often ignored?

Harvard Business Review (Staats, Upton, 2011) concluded that “we’ve found that lean principles can be applied in some form to almost all kinds of knowledge work and can generate significant benefits: faster response time, higher quality and creativity, lower costs, reduced drudgery and frustration, and greater job satisfaction.”

Outcomes like that are music to the ears of most CEOs and Boards. Yet a knowledge management strategy is often ignored because it’s mistakenly seen as too difficult, too time consuming or it doesn’t add enough value. Quite simply, decision makers don’t understand the Return on Investment or the benefits from running an efficient and effective business.Read More »Are you ignoring your organisational knowledge opportunity?

Systems Thinking for Business

Systems Thinking describes a way of understanding the world around us, of thinking about how things work and ‘seeing’ things in a particular way. People who use Systems Thinking often use diagrams to model their understanding, not only of the elements that make up a whole, but also of the interactions between these elements. “The essence of systems thinking and… Read More »Systems Thinking for Business