For many of you this will sound familiar; "We can't train now because it is too busy and we can't afford to take anyone off-line right now." This is usually bookended with another refrain that goes like this; "We can't train right now because of the downturn and we just can't afford it at all." Some of you have even made those comments. The reality is that for many companies the idea of a training initiative around Operational Excellence is simply overwhelming. Either there is no time or there is no money. Yet if we are honest about this these are excuses not actual constraints. How we allocate the time of our staff is a choice, how we allocate budget toward things like training is a choice and in both cases those choices reflect priorities.
So what is the cost of not doing Operational Excellence? This is a big question. What does it cost you to bleed staff who have not been engaged? What does it cost you to have a staff who operate at only 1/3 of their potential? What does it cost you in lost innovation and opportunity because no one "owns" what happens in your company? What does it cost you in recruiting because the quality candidates "know" your company and are not interested in being there? What does it cost you to have clients fall away due to lack of attention or care? And the list could go on and on.
Those are the costs of not doing Operational Excellence but what is the value of doing it? What value is it to you to have staff that are keenly aware of the competition and are all working to stay in front of that competition? What value is it to you to have staff constantly looking for ways to improve process, quality and client satisfaction? What value is it to you to have staff who can't wait to get to work each day because they are part of a winning team? What value is it to you to have the best candidates knocking at your door because they "know" your company and want to be part of your winning team? And the list could go on and on.
Dollars Vs Value
We could talk ROI or dollars and cents. I could talk about the company that was facing going under because no matter what they did they were always just under break even on their margins? How that company took their team through Operational Excellence training and almost overnight were able to add 10% to that same bottom line. I could put dollars and cents on that but you tell me as a business person or leader what VALUE would you give it? I could tell you about the company who brought Operational Excellence to their team and within months saw performance shoot through the roof and as a result saw contracts, big contracts, come in. Or a local company going through the same downturn so many of you are who slashed their Opex budget only to have their operations crews who had been trained in Operational Excellence come in another $5M below that already slashed budget? That $5M is a nice number but if you ran that company what VALUE would that be to you?
What Do You Value?
If you haven't figured it out already my point is simply this; you can put a number on costs and a number on profit margins or bottom lines but can you really put a value on what Operational Excellence would bring to your company or group? I could tell you that one month of Operational Excellence training and support would cost you about $1.67/hour for each employee that you trained. For what you could get in return for that training what VALUE would you give it? Performance Leadership - Think About It!
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