Today’s headlines are signs of the times aren’t they…a deficit of 17,000 jobs in January, Microsoft bids $44 Billion for Yahoo and Exxon announces $40 Billion in profits – a record for any company ever. I don’t know about your politics, but I think we’re upside down and inside out. American business needs to get its act in gear as does our leadership. Thankfully, change is inevitable. Notwithstanding global commerce, elections and interest rates, there are changes that can be made at the micro-level in our economy. If each company – no matter how large or small – were to earnestly engage in discovering efficiencies, lubricating innovation and creatively marketing new productsin new ways to new customers, we’d be harnessing the best of American business acumen and the spirit of entrepreneurship. All 3 of those activities have at least one thing in common: they’ll benefit from and be accelerated by workflow and business process analysis.
Layers of Opportunity – Efficiency, Innovation, Growth
For every business process, there are layers of information and activity that can extend into the domain of planning and execution. There is a layer of business rules, many of which may be challenged to find efficiencies. There is a layer of knowledge management that can provide for greater customer service and satisfaction. There is a layer of process management that graphically aligns people, actions, and systems with quality, output and outcome – all of which can be leveraged for the sake of innovation and product/service design for the sake of growth and the bottom-line. There is a layer of agility that comes from the speed with which an organization can adapt to changes in their market and there is a layer of accountability and performance metrics that serve all 3 goals every company should have in mind right now.
Work Smarter Now
The urgent need for companies – large and small – to work smarter now is compounded by the fact that competitive forces exist around the world. The world of business is flat in that the tools and tactics of driving efficiency, automation and innovation are democratized and accessible in every corner of the world to virtually anyone. That said, you don’t need expensive software. You don’t need to hire new talent. You need a whiteboard. You need MS Excel or Visio to get started. You need a few books and pointers. You may need a consultant to get you started. This is a grass-roots effort that begins with line-staff and managers looking for opportunities to save their own jobs and promote growth. This is also the work of executive teams who make the bold decision to uncover, discover, discard and design efficiency, innovation and growth throughout their organizations. This about making the right decisions right now.
ACTIVE Workflow Analysis and BPM
I stress “active” because I believe we should be racing right now. It makes no sense to be passive and reactive when the downward spiral is already making audible sucking sounds. Stop blaming the housing market and China and get into action. Analyze your business – government, non-profit or for-profit – and inject the good sense that will restore your performance. Laying people off is not the answer. Withdrawing is not the answer. Blame is not the answer. Action is the answer and it begins with assessment and evaluation of where you are now and how you act in the present. Break it down and make it better, smarter, faster and stronger.