Read this article to learn exactly how to achieve operational excellence. You’re closer than you think.
What, Exactly, Does Operational Excellence Look Like?
The first step in achieving anything great is knowing what what success looks like. You must answer the question, “What’s the goal?”
High performing teams use three essential strategies as part of a successful management system. Let’s unpack those to see how they work, and why they work so well. These teams are called Goal Boss Teams, and the specialized meetings are called Goal Boss Meetings.
High Performing Teams Focus On What’s Important
The foundation of operational excellence is laser focus on the things in the business that really, truly matter. These are called the Key Metrics. A Goal Boss Team is a leadership group of between 4 and 9 people organized to focus their efforts so as to measure, track and improve the Key Metrics. Said differently, your Goal Boss Teammates are the people who help you achieve your goals. Goal Boss Meetings are held regularly, usually once a month, for the purpose of reviewing performance, comparing actual achievements to stated goals, solving problems, and designing the future. Goal Boss Teams operate as part of the ongoing leadership process.
Goals and Key Metrics Drive Performance, Accountability
Goals and Key Metrics are key to getting things done. Starting with agreement on the Key Metrics, each member of the team sets a reasonable number of short-term business goals. Transparency is the hallmark of operational excellence, which is why every goal is negotiated at group level. The two tests every goal must pass are; a) Is this an ambitious, yet attainable goal, and b) will the achievement of this goal improve at least one of the company’s Key Metrics.
In other words, goals are set and achieved to move the needle on the things that really matter. Reporting of previous month’s goal achievement is simple, professional, objective, and positive. Not achieving a goal is not the same thing as failure. The sweet spot for goal achievement is eighty percent. This level of achievement shows that individuals are setting the bar high, but not too high. One works to avoid 100% goal achievement as this might indicate goals that are perhaps a bit too easy.
Operational Excellence Solves Problems with Team Problem Solving
Team Problem Solving is the third and final aspect of a great leadership system. This process involves one problem owner, or “client,” and their teammates. This article, complete with instructional video and slide deck, describes Team Problem Solving in detail.
During the first 1-minute time block, the Client states the background, facts, and the problem. In the 2 minutes that follow, the team may ask clarifying questions. In the next 5-minute block, the team takes turns suggesting action steps designed to solve the problem, while the client writes down those suggestions. Going around the room as many times as it takes to exhaust either the five minutes, or the combined ideas of everyone in the group. Team Problem Solving is a powerful way to surface the very best thinking of the team. Following the action steps, the client takes 2 minutes to select the action steps they feel will best resolve or address the problem, and commit to the team as to what they’ll do to solve the problem or achieve the goal.
In as few as three Goal Boss Meetings, organizations routinely begin to see the signs and enjoy the benefits of operational excellence.
… and to think you’ve had that power the whole time 🙂
About The Author
Will Pemble has an extensive background building and selling multi-million dollar companies. Drawing from his rich and accurate insights, Will created the Goal Boss Leadership System to help others achieve accelerated growth and operational excellence. His proprietary software, management process, and proven mechanisms of change creates sustained growth and development for organizations.