Operations Payoff

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Avoiding the “Busy” Trap

I’ve met many executives whose organizations are too busy to improve. I hear comments like, “We already have too many things going on to address this issue,” or, “We’re already working with too many outside resources to add another cook to the kitchen,” or, “I don’t have the resources to address another issue.” How did they get themselves into this trap?

This reminds me of the old Ed Sullivan Show where a man came out on stage and tried to spin a number of plates on sticks.

Spinning platesAs he got more and more on the sticks, he couldn’t keep them all spinning, and some of them wobbled, fell, and broke. Interestingly, the plates that got the most of his attention were the ones that were wobbling.

Executives need to establish a few key priorities in order to accelerate profit and growth and stay ahead of their competitors. Those priorities need to be selected carefully. The only way to know what those priorities should be is to have a clear business strategy and an operations strategy that supports it. Then the short-range (12 – 18 month) vision provides a framework within which to set priorities.

Moving a few things forward a mile is much more effective than trying to move a hundred things forward an inch. Keep in mind, your competitors are moving forward. You should be too.

© 2016 – Rick Pay – All Rights Reserved


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