The Consulting Playbook, Edition #13
Welcome to our new series, the Consulting Playbook, a collection of posts designed to offer insights into how businesses and their executives can utilize consulting as a strategic lever to boost performance. Each Consulting Playbook post is broken down into a few elements: Case Study, Additional Information regarding the technical application, and Additional Links related to the topic.
Optimizing Efficiency with New Progressive Attitudes
A High Technology Company with a large global engineering workforce of several thousand employees and half a dozen centers of excellence was facing growing pressure to deliver the expected performance. They were facing issues on flexibility across, had growing costs and had to face a major technology shift rendering part of the existing workforce obsolete. The company decided to launch a specific program, with the support of an external consultant to improve the situation.
Namely, they wanted to speed up and strengthen the implementation of the defined Centers of Excellence and to achieve a better flexibility of resource allocation to various programs while maintaining the service level.
Assessing for the Transformation
Evaluate the implementation status of the target organization, obtain a clear perspective of the ongoing activities, assess workload drivers and performance ratios and define the change program to achieve the target state.
The first step consisted in the assessment of the present business principles of the various parts of the organization.
Organizational blueprints were defined to align progressively the various elementary units on the same set of principles. During that phase the span of control and number of layers were adjusted to state-of-the-art levels. The second step consisted in the analysis of the activity drivers and the inventory of the current project portfolio. Projects were classified in various categories. Most interesting projects expanded to the entire organization and lesser impact projects pruned to reduce complexity. During that phase the make or buy and talent management policies were redefined.
After the careful assessment of the current state of the organization’s model, the best new practices were identified and the areas of potential improvement. An alignment of all departments was performed in order to achieve the transformation needed to reach the desired goals.
A Clear Vision and Plan Results in Efficiency Gains
The Executive Team of the organization was very pleased with the results.
- A Reference Book describing the common Engineering organization and interfaces was created
- Unified Vision and Action Plan were developed consistent across all Centers of Excellence Resources Allocation Program was developed and the Eternalization Strategy created
- Performance Management KPIs were outlined
Thanks to all those actions, beyond achieving the organizational and collaboration benefits 15% in efficiency gains were made.
Additional Information –
New Evolved Perspective Bringing People and Enterprises To Higher Achievements
We are living in a time of an evolutionary change in how we do business – a big transformation is taking place today.
The old paradigm of linear, mechanistic, control-based approach is shifting toward a lot more life-sustainable and organic growth approach. We are witnessing a higher human consciousness in enterprising, at least more evident in a number of industries. Eco-friendly products and services, and human-centric strategies are becoming more relevant than ever in today’s delicate global business environment. The world is more connected and open, with businesses at the fore front at this major shift.
If your organization wishes to be a part of this new positive shift, here are a few characteristics to look at:
- Open Minded Leadership
Executives of the past had a more controlling role, and authoritative style of work, in today’s infinitely connected global world, shaped by personal freedom and mobile technology, as well as social media, leaders need to interact with a much wider audience on an equal basis. They need to have an open dialogue and be receptive of opinions and ideas in a more democratic way. This type of interaction simply affirms and promotes a nurturing culture to the benefit of not just the organization but society in general.
- New Value Definition
If pleasing shareholders was the main agenda of the past, the new shift of consciousness today, goes beyond that and centers on creating bigger value. Stakeholders are the new players working towards creating that value driven by new principles. Value that supports the environment, the health and well-being of employees, and nurtures communities and worthy causes.
- New Responsibilities
We can no longer ignore environmental issues, sustainability, and regeneration of resources and workforce. Responsible strategic and business operational models are the new norm, and companies who neglect that are jeopardizing their future.
- People First
Some of the biggest companies in the world now, like Facebook and Google, offer the best working environment promoting creativity and independence. Enjoyable work places, collaboration, and empowering small teams are leading indicators of progressive business culture. People are not just employees, they are participants and contributors. When the personal interest overlaps with the company’s purpose, greater growth is achieved. Recent data analyzing companies’ performance, proved that those type of progressive organizations now consistently outperform the older types of mechanical, authoritative style ones. The central idea here is that businesses are more successful because of the people who build them and operate them. Providing the space for personal growth is the best strategy to nurture your enterprise’s growth too.
There are plenty examples of more socially conscious enterprises, non-profit organizations and businesses who are very committed to the new attitudes.
Let’s hope that many more follow in their footsteps, and choose life-affirming and purpose driven practices.
For Further Reading –
Author: Helene Laffitte
Civil Engineer by training (Ecole des Ponts et Chaussees), our CEO has held several Executive positions in Operations, R&D, and Procurement and Industrial Strategy for one of the biggest Energy Companies in the world. She left Europe for the US in 2011, and, after completing an MBA at Columbia Business School, launched her 1st consulting practice. After exchanging with peers and customers, she launched Consulting Quest, a global performance-driven consulting service platform. “The idea, at first, was to provide disruptive solutions for both clients and providers. I combined the experiences of my co-founder and mine to start Consulting Quest, a disruptive start-up that leverages big data to improve the performance for both clients and consultants.”