When I look
over the shoulders (metaphorically speaking) of the employees of my clients, I
often see them doing unnecessary work and making things harder for themselves.
someone to do a series of tasks, assuming that person will find the most
effective and efficient manner in which to complete these tasks. All too often
the process used is far too cumbersome for the task at hand.
In part it
is because no one taught them the simplest most effective system to do their
tasks – instead in the misuse of the concept of empowerment they were told to
figure it out themselves. In my opinion that is management abrogating
reason is because people invent these elaborate systems to prevent embezzlement
or fraud – often the solution is far more costly than the real risk
involved. Yes, we need checks and
balances – but sometimes we go way too far. It’s a challenge for me to help
these people realize that some of what they are doing isn’t worthwhile.
Many of us
in both our public and private lives are looking for ways to save money. For
some, it means cutting out spending on things we want. These people talk about
“tightening the belt.” But I find that people waste money doing work or using
things that are unnecessary. By just working smarter they can save lots of money.
cases processes are redundant and time and money are wasted. Ask yourself these
you double tracking simple tasks that are already tracked in business
you spending too many dollars to protect against the possibility of a one in a
you have more than one department working on the same tasks, not knowing what
the other is doing?
you making it difficult for people to communicate with each other when they
need to check in with each other frequently?
you providing your staff with bits and pieces of the information they need
rather than giving them the whole information?
you have endless unnecessary meetings? Could some of these be eliminated? Shortened?
Less people needed to attend?
We Don’t All Know All the Answers
getting outside expertise to work WITH your team enables everyone to look at
things differently and to find more effective and less-costly solutions to
I don’t do
my own taxes – because to do so would require extensive new learning annually
for just me. It doesn’t pay. On the other hand, my accountant learns all the
new laws because he or she is applying them to hundreds of cases.
service my own car. I don’t know how. I don’t want to know how. I use people I
trust who are reliable and ethical. They
do a far better job than I ever could, even if I learned how.
Labels: cost savings, increase productivity, process improvement, work smarter