What Makes a Good Company Great?
Best Practice CEO, Kobi Simmat tackles one of the most commonly pondered questions in the business world head on.
Let me just start by saying that there’s a lot of uncontrollable variables in play when it comes to this question, but one variable that you’re in firm control of is how well your organisation reflects on its operations and consistently looks for areas of improvement. You might not be able to control the way the market changes, or a possible disruption of your industry, but if you utilise and leverage the benefits of a quality management system, your organisation is significantly better equipped to take on the challenge than an organisation without one.
One of the most powerful lessons a quality management system imparts is the belief that every organisation can improve; no matter how you’re performing. The words business and complacency are antonyms: they just don’t work well together. A system like ISO requires you to first, recognise this, and then act upon it. Your recipe might be working well for you right now, but it’s unlikely to have much in the way of longevity- little does for organisations that are trying to out-compete each other. Another key aspect of a quality management is the emphasis on the customer experience, assuring that none of your customers feel violated when dealing with your organisation.
Protect those who you seek to serve
Specifically, a quality management system that is focused on building a business management system that works to ensure the requirements of the people you seek to serve are met. What promises do we make to the people we seek to serve?
The most successful strategic cycle of a business management system in my experience has quarterly reviews. This process aligns well with quarterly financial reporting and allows the organisation to review the high level KPI's across all parts of the organisation that contribute to the overall performance. Simply put, if a management system executes on the objectives and requirements of any priority stakeholder for the organisation, then you are well on your way to the pleasant by-product of a quality management system.
Vision & Mission
Moving onto the crux of this article, the need to outline your organisation’s vision statement, as well as the mapping out of a mission or plan of attack that will get you there. Strategic review sessions are one of the most commonly forgotten bedrocks when it comes to organisational improvement, which is astounding considering the fact that when you’ve refined your meetings, they’ll become one of the most enjoyable parts of the year. A general rule in this context is to run these meetings quarterly, and each session should be attended by the executive team that clearly understand your operations. Think of these sessions as a health check on every aspect of your organisation, your opportunities, risk and direction over the near and distant future for the team. You can’t expect everyone in your organisation to put these important elements up implicitly- sometimes you need to be explicit to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Better still, bring a dashboard of statistics to help you track performance and identify areas that need improvement. One of the benefits of letting the data do the talking is you eliminate possibility of personalities, opinions and egos getting in the way of improvement, allowing a handful of objective numbers to provide you a fact-based picture of where and how things are.
Strengthening this component means getting everyone in the organisation 100-percent on the same page with where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there. Utilising the right people is obviously an essential piece of the puzzle here; we’ll cover the difficulties in finding the right people as well as ways to give your staff more direction in future posts.
In wrapping all this up, what separates ordinary organisations from their extraordinary competitors is more often than not the principles and outcomes that are at the bedrock of a quality management system.
If you believe that you organisation can, and indeed, should be performing better- you’re already on your way. The system gives you the tools to help you on your journey, but you still hold the keys- so start driving down that road to happier customers, more productive staff, streamlined performance and of course, more profitable results.