Continuous improvement

Organizations with consistent track records of success have systems which support consistent performances by the large majority of their workforces. These organizations do not rely on the ability of the outstanding minority, but rather build excellence by implementing systems which focus on the competent, but not outstanding, majority.

One of the major reasons why strategies in organizations fail is because they are not in accordance with general systems theory. If we were to study the laws of nature, we would see that everything that endures is systematic. Everything that is disorderly or ad hoc, on the other hand, dies. In other words, order leads to more order, while disorder leads to chaos. So an organization, a department, a new system that is purposeful, organized and systematic will succeed; one that is disorganized and ad hoc will not.

The utility of the systems concept, according to Dr M Kabat, and M Fielding to managing an enterprise may be viewed in terms of two elements of the manager’s job. Firstly, he wishes to achieve overall effectiveness for his organization and secondly he does so in an environment involving conflicting organizational objectives.

Communication, Empowerment and Unions

This months blog on communication, empowerment and unions is taken entirely from an edited article written by David James and published in the Business Review Weekly. It is called Workplace Realities and you can read the full article here

Management has long been in the habit in Australia of blaming the unions for its own failings. In the majority of cases (more troubled industries aside), a well-managed enterprise should be able to avoid the more problematic union difficulties.

Sustainable advantage

The ability to learn faster than competitors may be the only sustainable advantage according to Shell’s Arie de Geus. An organization’s capacity to learn needs to expand at an ever-increasing rate, just to keep up with technology, information and global competition. Teams within organizations must continuously learn together if they are to compete successfully in today’s market.That learning should be focused on achieving the performance goals of the organization.

The fundamental question answered by the learning needs analysis is: Who needs what competencies and in what order to achieve the team’s outputs, performance measures and targets?

Communication

Does your organisation suffer from the classic 'wars' of us versus them management versus the workforce, maintenance vesus production central office vesus the branches, in general terms - silo versus silo - or do people in your organisation work as one team heading in one directon? Is the focus on tackling problems or on fixing blame?

What can make the difference is the embedding of communication systems at all levels of the organization, particularly at the workforce level. Sound  communication is essential for business today. Its absence can be one of the most costly errors made by management.