Our usual approach when working with clients is to invest significant time in developing a deep understanding of the firm, understanding the challenges and pain-points and diagnosing the root causes. Based on our experience we have devised a list of ten things that we know can have real impact on performance.
Few of these will be new and most of them are standard best business practice. Firms know they need to take action but many points on this list are in the ‘just too hard box’ or ‘not quite ready to do that’ drawer. We all know that the world of change is increasing in intensity and could catch many firms out in the near future.
So why not begin the decade with a real drive to push performance and effectiveness across your firm.
1. (Re)create a clear vision for the firm and unite the organisation behind it
2. Create (and communicate) 3 to 5 simple strategic objectives to drive the firm towards the vision in 2020
3. Critically assess how the firm is currently performing against the ‘components’ of performance. For example:
4. Spend time thinking about how the firm can take steps to drive progress in three areas that will have real impact on performance:
a. Developing a real ADVISORY approach to clients – this means shifting the focus from providing services to clients, to understanding their wider business challenges and designing solutions and support mechanisms to help them
b. Changing the pricing model from cost plus (and worrying about the competition) to pricing based on the real value created from helping with client problems (see a above)
c. Creating clear niches and ‘expert’ sectors where proven and unique solutions can be developed, and credibility and brand can be built.
5. Become obsessed with CULTURE. Spend time assessing the formal expectations of culture (the ‘packaging’), the brand, the website messaging and the values – and what is really ‘inside the package’. How the business is really behaving, who are the heroes and role models, what behaviours are rewarded and punished, how decisions are really made and what customers and suppliers really see and feel in their interactions.
– What is the gap?
– Is the culture ‘right’ to deliver the strategy and vision?
– If we are changing anything about who we are, where we are going and what we will be focusing on – then what part of the how (our culture) do we need to re-define and embed?
6. Focus on how you can help your people improve their individual performance. For example
7. Empower individuals to take responsibility for their own outcomes and results. Clearly defining expectations, providing performance support, encouraging learning from failing and demonstrating real trust will help pass ‘ownership’ of performance over to individuals.
8. Switch the focus on your business KPIs away from internal measures to external measures. If you truly want to become trusted advisers and business partners to your clients then there needs to be a move away from utilisation, recovery, chargeability and productivity lag targets to client defined lead KPIs. For example:
9. Oh… and this may mean….. dropping TIMESHEETS!
10. Communicate, communicate and communicate…constantly, repeatedly
theGrogroup are experts in advising organisations on how best to improve performance by effectively executing and embedding required change. We do this through our proven approach:
If you would like to discuss how we could help you in improving business performance, and individual and collective people performance, please contact Kate on 01892 610060 to arrange a meeting with one of our expert consultants. No charge, just coffee will be fine!