Why establish a scorecard process?

A scorecard process helps define what your department and organization should be measuring. When organizations begin their journey of shaping data into metrics or KPI’s, many take the shortcut and report information that is easy to get, shows a positive picture of performance, or highlights tasks to accomplish. A balanced scorecard that shows all areas in “green” will not help your business improve!

When establishing your scorecard process, you need to develop meaningful metrics that identify the true health of your business. You need to see where you are doing great and where you’re trending downward. These metrics should be action-driven by the person/team reporting the information and connected to the strategic goals of the organization.

Competitive Solutions Inc. offers business consulting and Visuant, a business management software, to ensure your balanced scorecard contains the right metrics. For more information on business performance software and what it can do to improve your business, visit our page here.

Why are scorecards important for your business?

Do your employees understand how they impact their division, department, or overall success of the business? Competitive Solutions Inc has worked with hundreds of companies and has found most employees do not! There is often an enormous disconnect between the business goals and the employees’ actions.

Many employees are not able to understand if the business unit is winning or losing or how they contribute to the overall success of the organization. Business scorecards or balanced scorecards not only provide KPIs and metrics, but they help clarify what each department is working toward, so everyone is driving action on moving the business forward.

Interested in more information?

We have a free balanced scorecard guide that will help your organization called The Guide to Scorecard Fundamentals.

Follow the link to Request it here!

Continental Structural Plastics chooses Visuant® for Business Performance Process

Continental Structural Plastics (CSP), a world leader in lightweight composite materials formulation, advanced product design, and manufacturing technologies, has selected Visuant®, a Business Performance Software, to enhance their strategy execution framework.

Wayne Meyer, Director of Continuous Improvement, said when researching ways to improve their processes surrounding performance, accountability, communication, and meetings, he identified Visuant® as “the best overall solution to meet our immediate and future needs.”  He went on to say, “like many organizations, we had an uncontrolled number of Excel spreadsheets, were measuring KPI’s inconsistently across the organization, spending wasteful hours in meetings, and not holding the organization accountable to corrective actions. With Visuant®, all the data is in one place, spreadsheets are eliminated, and information standardized, giving leaders timely information to make more informed decisions.”

While the pandemic may have interrupted face-to-face meetings, CSI successfully conducted the training and deployment virtually. According to Wayne, CSP felt the deployment experience was “outstanding and as good as the training was, the follow-up support was even better. All 13 plants, 4 Regional Directors, and the CSP Leadership team were trained and the software deployed within 6 weeks. This turn-key approach of building all business scorecards, dashboards, and training of each plant on how to utilize the Visuant® system allowed us to remain focused on our core business while implementing a framework to greatly enhance future execution.”

Although CSP is still in the beginning phase of implementation, they are tackling the largest problems with the right resources. According to Wayne, “an interest in metrics has increased because they are more important to all levels of the organization. We have started the migration from storytelling to taking action.”

Learn more about Visuant here.





“Pressure Testing” your Business Processes

COVID-19 activated many Crisis Management plans within the industries with which my firm supports. As executives began to address, identify, and mitigate COVID-19 risks to their employees, facilities, and supply chains, many senior leaders either designed or activated their Crisis Management Strategies. Often these strategies led to daily meetings (sometimes several times a day), multiplying metrics, and more overall governance. No one would dispute that in a time of crisis, leaders need to have robust processes around communication, accountability, and performance. 

However, shouldn’t an organization’s current Business Processes be robust enough to guide the organization through both times of stability, as well as times of volatility?  While the “Content of Conversation” will certainly change, the overall architecture and structure of the processes should remain unaltered. Too often we see organizations abandon their current operating systems in times of market volatility, global disruption, and overall industry uncertainty for a model we call “Red Cape Driven, Heroic Leadership.” Yes, Leaders MUST Lead, but organizations must also be vigilant in ensuring their Crisis Management/Mitigation strategies aren’t creating a “Perpetuating Dependency” on the leaders to navigate the organization out of the crisis. Too often, the elements instituted in the Crisis Management Strategy default to being the daily operating rhythm. This “hyperactive” daily regimen ultimately creates organizational fatigue. Perhaps you are experiencing this today, with excessive Zoom calls, excessive data reporting, excessive virtual meetings – the fatigue is real and there is a longing to return to a rhythm that feels more predictive and stable. 

The most successful organizations recognize their business processes must have the ability to be “Pressure Tested” not just in times of stability, but more importantly in times of volatility. To ensure this, I believe there are four Non-negotiable Processes that guide organizations in good times and bad, and if solidly built, these processes form a “Pressure Tested” Management System that will guide any organization from volatility to stability. While the “Content of Conversation” will certainly change, the systemic architecture should not. In essence, the organization should have “Thermostatic Processes” that enable active and timely organizational positioning. Reflect for a moment on your organization and ask yourself these questions:

1.     Does a “Business Acumen Process” exist that allows every employee to know if the organization is winning or losing?

2.     Does a “Communication Process” exist that allows leaders to operate from a position of offense, not defense?

3.     Does an “Accountability Process” exist where engagement can be measured empirically, not anecdotally?

4.     Does a “Behavioral Process” exist where there has been agreement on the ideal behaviors required of both leader and team members to support a process-driven culture?

If these questions seem abstract, I would suggest your current operating system would not pass a “Pressure Test” and consequently, the organization is most likely operating in the crisis-driven mode of “Red Cape Heroics.” 

As we look to the remaining months of 2020 and beyond, leaders need to take a critical look at their current operating systems. Is there organizational fatigue? Have the crisis management protocols morphed into a “hyperactive” daily regimen? Are leaders leaning too heavily into their “Red Capes” and circumventing team engagement?

To learn more about our four Non-negotiable Processes and how to “Pressure Test” your current system, please reach out. Our Process Based Leadership® Operating System coupled with our Visuant® Digital Management Systems creates a robust “Pressure Tested” methodology to guide your organization through times of both volatility and stability. To learn more, please reach out to syount@csipbl.com or info@csipbl.com

Are You Drowning in Data?

Data is so prevalent today in organizations. Marketing departments look at impressions, web site visits, time on web site, the Quality team looks at Right First Time, Scrap and Defects, Customer Service analyzes Customer Complaints, Time to Respond. The list of different data points goes on and on.

Too many times companies look at all this data simply because they have it. There is so much to review they become paralyzed by it and can’t decide if they are winning or losing. Eventually the team stops looking at the spreadsheet or the screen because it is no longer worth the time.

Meaningful scorecards have 15-18 metrics that speak to the day to day, week to week activities of the team. Just because the data point exist does not mean you need to review it. Individual teams need to decide, not someone in finance or in corporate, what metrics are important to them, what metrics they can impact with a behavior change or process improvement and what will create discussions around continuous improvement.

Every 90-120 days the team needs to set aside time to meet and discuss the metrics on their scorecard. What needs to come off, what needs to be added, do targets or thresholds need to change?

This practice engages everyone, it creates ownership in the metrics of the team and it motivates the team to deliver maximum effort and ultimately success.

Want to get your data working for you? Learn more here.

Roofs, Reflection and Focus

As I write this, I am serenaded by the sounds of hammering, banging, and footsteps. We are getting a new roof and the noise made me think about how each of us has been spending our time during the pandemic and “safer at home” period.  When we look back on this experience, what will we have done and what will we remember?  In my own life, I’ve found that seasons of challenge and adversity are always opportunities to grow.

My hope is that we have made time to pause and reflect on our lives and leadership. This morning, as the workers began the task of removing the old shingles from our roof, it reminded me of the steps we must take to peel back the layers of old patterns of behavior that we find ourselves in. We need to identify those that we fell into versus a mindful choice on how we will respond, behave, and live, in order to make room for new growth and new healthy habits.  If we haven’t done so already, today is a good day to reflect and peel back the layers.

  • Are my behaviors in line with my thoughts, beliefs, values, and how I want to be?
  • Am I making choices daily that contribute to me being the better version of myself?
  • What actions and behaviors do I want to keep as part of my foundation and what do I need to remove and replace?
  • What step can I take today to replace the old with an intentional and mindful choice of behavior and action?

For me personally, I’m working on patience and remembering to be kind.  Amidst the clatter and noise of daily life, take advantage of a few minutes for yourself to reflect and refocus.  You are worth it and it’s a gift that benefits everyone in our lives.

Tonda Tan SPHR/SHRM-SCP, Business Process Consultant/Coach at Competitive Solutions, Inc.

3 Ways to Optimize Productivity in Fragmented Workplaces

With fast-changing markets, fragmented teams, and unprecedented business disruption, so how can new work management approaches help leaders optimize productivity on the right work?

Productivity has long been a central measure of business success. Now, as the world faces challenges and disruptions associated with a global pandemic, priorities and success criteria have shifted.

Looking after the wellbeing of ourselves, our families, and our colleagues comes before everything else. But as we all adjust to life working from home, one of the things keeping business leaders awake at night is how to keep their fragmented teams productive on the right work.

So let’s look at what does productivity look like today?

In the current environment, we need to rethink what we mean by productivity. Leaders need to appreciate that employees working from home now have other demands on their time, whether homeschooling their children or caring for at-risk relatives. Productivity in our new world of work means keeping physically isolated individuals focused on the right work, in the time they have available. It’s about prioritizing work and being able to adapt to changes on the fly. So here the top 3 ways to optimize productivity!

1. Agility

More than anything else, the digital age requires businesses to be operationally agile. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, businesses were up against more change and disruption in markets than ever before. Such a disruptive environment means companies need to be able to respond quickly to changing priorities and demands. The ability to work quickly and ensure you’re focusing on the right activities at the right time is particularly important now that employees are juggling work commitments around personal and family priorities. Agility demands capacity, flexibility, and velocity. Businesses need to have sufficient capacity in terms of resources and expertise to complete the work they need to do. They also need sufficient flexibility in systems, processes, and technology to enable a rapid response to changing priorities. And they need to be able to work at sufficient velocity to switch between priorities and get tasks completed on time.

2. Autonomy

To achieve such operational agility, employees need autonomy. It’s important to think about how people want to work and to let them get work done in their own way. By enabling people to be masters of their own domains, you give them the confidence to work freely and productively. Such empowerment needs to be supported by the right information, customizable technology, and clear leadership. Any technology chosen needs to be easy for everyone in your organization to use in their roles. We use Visuant to drive our business and global customers!

3. Alignment

If people are working autonomously, you need to have checks and structures in place to ensure they work in a way that is aligned with your company strategy, departmental goals, compliance requirements, and other business imperatives. Alignment is all about transparency, ensuring people can see how their own work connects to your company goals. Using IT solutions that enable cross-departmental visibility throughout the organization will allow employees (wherever they are working) to see how their work connects to company objectives and impacts results.

So in today’s fast-changing and fragmented world of work. Striking the right balance between these three interdependent attributes above is the key to overcoming operational friction that can slow growth, hinder transformation initiatives, and stall productivity.

Looking for an easy to use management tool, which consolidates all your data into one location and provides you with dynamic dashboards? Check out Visuant® Business Performance Software here.

Michael C. Watkins Jr., Sr. Director of Info Technology, Competitive Solutions, Inc.

The Beauty of Change

It is in times like these that I am reminded of the definition of change; to make or become different.  And I think that sounds beautiful, inspiring and even exciting! 

The reality is, as exciting and beautiful as a change can be, it can also be hard, disruptive and unwanted.  To make or become different requires an ending to what is today, a new beginning for tomorrow, and a transition process for what is to become. 

Tips on transition management.

  • Identify what you can control and focus on that
  • Feel your emotions
  • Engage in a visioning activity for the future
  • Seek information and engage in intentional communication
  • Experiment with new ways of working, thinking and connecting
  • Learn something new
  • Embrace the power of positivity
  • Take one action every day in support of your new beginning

What is one thing that would you like to change in your life? 

How are you transitioning through change? 

We would love to hear you have embraced these tips within your work and life as you create something different.

Everybody has the capacity for change, it is the journey of the transition that is the struggle.

Patricia Crabtree Votino, Director of Leadership Development, Coaching and Consulting Services at Competitive Solutions, Inc.


Working Remotely During Challenging Times

From stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and face masks at the grocery store, who would have thought just two (2) short months ago, our world would change so drastically!

One the biggest challenges I hear from friends and colleagues is how they can effectively work remote, stay engaged with their teams, while balancing the demands of the family. With so many balls in the air, it can be very distracting and challenging to focus on what is important to your business life.

Here are some things that I find beneficial for success:

Communication – While such a simple thing, communication is even more important in today’s new dynamic. Without that ‘face time’, the opportunities for your staff to proceed down an unproductive path, churn or disengage are high. The old adage ‘out of sight – out of mind’ comes to mind after hearing so many different stories recently.

To help overcome this, setup daily ‘checkpoints’ with your staff. While you do not want to become intrusive or perceived as ‘micro-managing’, checkpoints are a great way to connect. And these just don’t have to be business calls! Spending a few minutes to see how everyone is doing. This helps keep people motivated and engaged.

Accountability & Expectations – Based upon many different studies over the years, this was one of the biggest challenges, even before COVID-19. Employees want to understand what is expected of them and how their role connects to the larger picture of business success, but without clear expectations they often feel lost and disconnected.

Spend the time outlining clear expectations of the people working remotely. Whether it be clearly describing the task required or outlining the specific deliverable dates, let your staff know your expectations. Implementing a visible action register is one great way to accomplish this.

Metrics – With many of us working remotely, leaders today struggle on how to maintain the focus on what is most important. This is especially true with leaders that attempt to ‘measure everything’ or use Excel spreadsheets that lose data integrity because they get emailed around.

Narrow the focus of the metrics you measure to those that truly matter and move the business forward. Implement a meeting process that reviews your scorecards on a more regular basis. The goal here is provide the information in a timely matter that helps your business react and adjust to these unprecedented changing market demands.

Remember, in many cases your staff can no longer walk down the hall to ask the questions. They are expecting you to provide an environment where they can feel and be successful!

Paul Campbell, Senior Vice President, Competitive Solutions, Inc

9 Tips to Maximize Productivity at Your Home Office Workspace

Whether you have realized your dream of working from home or found yourself caught up in a quarantine or shelter in place directive, setting up a workspace in your home, can be a challenge. Regardless of how your new workspace came to be, it is important to create a space that maximizes productivity through process and physical conditions.  

Tips for Creating a Productive Home Work Environment

  1. Clear the clutter -a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind. Make sure everything has a place and begin and end each day with a clean workspace. 
  2. Place something in your workspace that brings you joy -this could be an object, a painting, or a plant. Choose something that might bring back a memory, spark creativity, or just serve to bring a sense of calm. 
  3. Let light in -choose a space with ample light and whenever possible opt for natural light.
  4. Establish physical boundaries -a room with a door works best if possible. This will establish a physical boundary if other individuals are home and provide privacy for phone calls and remote meetings. 
  5. Keep a dedicated workspace -don’t leave work items all over the house. This will avoid misplacement and accidental use by another person in your home. 
  6. Check in with your senses -hearing, smell, sight, touch, and taste. Eliminate distracting noises, consider soothing background music or white noise.  Is your office space appealing to your sense of smell, sight, and touch; Is your chair comfortable?  Ensure you take a break to enjoy your café (kitchen); take the time to make a healthy lunch and enjoy it in another part of the house.  This will give you the mental break to re-engage.
  7. Ask yourself, do I have the right tools to do my job? – if the tools provided are not working for you, change them up and explore other options. What worked for an occasional Friday working from home, may not work now that your workspace is at home full-time. 
  8. Engage with others – check in with others, visually whenever possible. You still need to build and maintain work relationships.  Consider scheduling a virtual lunch or coffee break. 
  9. Establish your working hours and stick to them – this is important for both you and the other people in your house. This will cause less interruptions in the long run, if others know your work hours and can rely on you to keep them.  It is also good for us in general to take time away to focus on other things and reenergize ourselves; whether this be a game with your child, some exercise, or reading a book, it is important to take time out. 

What in your work environment would you change to increase productivity?

Tonda Tan, Business Proces Consultant/Coach at Competitve Solutions, Inc.

Error: Please enter a valid email address

Error: Invalid email

Error: Please enter your first name

Error: Please enter your last name

Error: Please enter a username

Error: Please enter a password

Error: Please confirm your password

Error: Password and password confirmation do not match