Feb 19, 2010

The How Vs What of improvement

Most of my posts have been around how to enable change or improvement. Have a sponsor,engage him,create a burning platform,have a good project team etc etc. This approach,sort of,assumes that you know what to change or improve.

I guess this is far from true.

My gut feel is that most organizations and leaders (and managers) are faced with bewildering choices when it comes to deciding areas to focus for improvement.

There is a school of thought which attributes decisions on what to improve etc to leadership. The leader,(in many cases para dropped into a new situation) uses his intuition,previous experience,his reading of the context etc to make decisions on what to improve.Many of them go on safaris; meeting clients, analysts, employees etc, gather opinions and reach conclusions. And then rolls the improvement or 'transformation' journey.The levers available to him or her are many; people,organization structure,processes,product or services mix,support technology etc etc.

Is there an objective way to decide what to change? What sort of systematic analysis can identify the exact components that needs to change. Are techniques like benchmarking adequate to identify performance improvement opportunities. How does one identify opportunities to make quantum improvements that can help one leap frog over competition?

Any thoughts?

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