The Ed Eppley Experience
The Ed Eppley Experience

Episode · 6 months ago

Leveraging Your People to Improve Your Business


Do you ever get tired of the problems your people bring to you? Wouldn't it be great if instead, they would solve those problems? This minilog shares a time-tested approach you can teach your people. Not only does this process work, most people appreciate the opportunity it gives them to help the business. Best of all, you won't believe how much more time you'll have to do your job. This is five minutes that can dramatically improve your business!

Welcome to the ED apply experience. Minilog let professional management expert Ed apply inspire you to take action on building a more sustainable, smart and healthy business. Hey, it's at epple and once again it's a mini log your opportunity to get just three to five minutes of my thinking about ways that you could perhaps run a more successful business. This one is about leveraging your people to improve the company. What I mean by leveraging is tapping into the thinking, the ideas and the awareness that they would have of areas where the business is less than optimal. And I have a client that I work with about eighty people and they're doing a great job. fact, they're having some of the best results they've ever had. But I also know that the people below the owner... the organizational chart too often expect the owner, the CEO of the business, to find the solutions to the problems that the business is confronting. So we've kind of reversed that and we challenged the people below the President CEO of the business to find ways to make improvements for the business and rather than just giving them that assignment walking away, we also felt it was important to give them mechanisms by which they could actually figure out what the problems were and then how best to sell of them. So we took him through an exercise that you could probably call either an innovation process or create a thinking process, but what it really identifies as a couple of things. One, how you word the problem is really important to getting the right kind of thinking. So most people just stayed a problem. We don't have enough customers or our margins aren't high enough. They're usually stated in somewhat of a negative way, and so we need to change that thinking to be more of a possibility, of a that there is a solution to this. It's not just a problem, but...

...there's actually a set of conditions that, when those occur, could allow the business to be better. And so we call that I W WCW, which stands for in what ways can we improve margins? In what ways can we reduce voluntary turnover? In what ways can we improve customer satisfaction? Those questions, the stating the problem is the form of a question that's in positive outcome, really creates a much more fertile ground for thinking and causes people then to be better able to separate or take their thinking into two specific kinds of thinking rather than mixing them, which is where we get a problem. When we try to improve things. We need red light thinking, which is judgmental, which is what we do very, very well intuitively as people, and then we need green light thinking, which is limitless possibilities. Anything's good. In fact, more ideas are better than fewer and quantity is better than quality. It is when we mix green and red light thinking that people struggled to come...

...up with new ideas to solve existing or old problems. So we took them through some exercises where we had them discriminate or use very discreet kinds of thinking. First of all, let's be very judgmental about what's wrong with whatever the circumstance was. Let's identify all the data we possibly can and do that in a relatively short period of time. And it's amazing when you bring people who are not familiar with the process or the kind of work being done, how quickly they will pose questions about why do you do it that? Why? Why do you? Why do you tolerate that? In another words, they they get very curious about something that most of us would be tolerant of, and that's really is important. To to creating the right kind of thinking when we go for green light. Once we created that data of what the current situation was, then we turned them loose with a couple of constraint constraints. Number one, they could not judge any idea as it was being produced.

Secondly, they had to work privately before they could share so we we gave about three to five minutes to write their own ideas about different things that could be done before we allowed them to verbalize any of them. And then last when anybody's ideas were shared, all people could do was accept them, but also use those as a catalyst to create additional ideas that they were then responsible for writing down. So in the period of about ten minutes we would come up with fifty to seventy possible ideas for any one of the topics that we were dressing and now what they were prepared to do the then, as we sent them away for for that particular meeting, was to go out explore the possible ideas that they'd come up with and find three to four of them that they felt were worthy of pursuing and whether or not they should be, you know, come up with the recommendation about whether or not they should be implemented. The consistent outcome of all of this, folks, why I'm sharing this with you, was that each individual or department who embarked on this effort have...

...come up in the last thirty days with ideas that will improve the business, either because they've improved productivity or they've reduced cost by somewhere in the factor of fifteen to twenty five thousand dollars per area of the business where this was done, and recognizing this as in five or six areas, you can understand very quickly we're talking about six figures of improvement potential for the business and all of that coming about in a probably in about an hour and a half worth of work. Now why I like this and why I'm sharing this with you al the only is to one, to remind you it can be done, it should be done, but also for the benefit of the people who do this kind of thinking and it expands the way they view their jobs. So I found that people who go through this process really love knowing that they are contributing to the financial success of the business and making it better. Secondly, they come to realize this should not be a onetime event it should be an ongoing part of their job and something they should teach their people to you. And...

...then the last thing is, when you have this happening in multiple areas of the business at the same time, the momentum it creates, the energy it creates is something that every business owner, every CEO, every president wants. So that's our ideas today on leveraging your people to improve the company. If you want it more information about that, reach out to me at Ed at the EPI Groupcom and we'll talk more about it and how it can work for your business. Thanks for listening to the ED eple minilog. visit www the eply groupcom for resources, tips, eds, latest blogs and a free assessment on where to improve your professional management skills.

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