Are Your Leaders Change Ready?

Whether the implementation of a strategic initiative or a reaction/response to an event at the team/individual level, change is inevitable, it is a part of every successful organization and is a necessary component of growth and innovation.

Yet, so many leaders struggle with knowing how to contend with the barriers to change and report feeling unequipped to handle the wake of feelings that result from change such as burn-out, resentment, confusion, and mistrust.

Simply put, our leaders are missing the necessary skills to guide themselves and their team through transition, leaving them feeling frustrated and overwhelmed right alongside their employees.

Are Your Leaders Change Ready? 

Do they understand their role in communicating the need for change?  Are they believable?

Do they connect the need for change to the desire of people to change?  Are they influencers?

Do they understand that all change happens on an individual level?  Are they equipped with understanding how to use various change and transition management models such as ADKAR or Bridges?

Do they engage in understanding or avoid conflict?  Are they able to engage in two-way dialogue with the intent of understanding and overcoming barriers to change?

Competitive Solutions Inc. can help equip your leaders with the skills to manage change and transitions. Contact us at for more information on our Transition and Change Management course.

Shane Yount featured on NAMES Podcast

Shane Yount, president of Competitive Solutions Inc, was interviewed for the BluEPodcast produced by Executive Platforms in May 2021. Host Greg Ebanks and Shane discussed how the pandemic has “Pressure Tested” management systems. Unprecedented change and challenges have faced organizations across all industries. “Red Cape-Heroic” leadership can be necessary for managing a crisis, but it cannot become the perpetuating force driving the organization forward.

In this episode, you’ll get insights on:

  • How the pandemic has impacted operating structures
  • Management Systems during a crisis: Leaning In versus Building New
  • Data Literacy: Building the framework to deliver meaningful innovation
  • Creating a “Thermostatic Management System”

This podcast led up to the 2021 North American Manufacturing Excellence Summit (NAMES) where Shane presented “Does your Manufacturing Management System Work? Four Steps to an Accountable and Engaged Workforce.”
Listen to the full podcast here!

If you would like more information on this topic, white papers, and our presentation at NAMES, click here.


Why should you Audit your Scorecard Process?

Once the initial battle is over in identifying what KPIs to measure and the tracking of data begins, many organizations tend to lose focus or become complacent over time.  Here are some common situations that arise that cause loss of focus:

  • People changing roles
  • Data is not populated on a regular basis
  • Red KPIs do not have a corresponding corrective action
  • Business priorities change to meet customer/market demand
  • Inconsistent meetings to review the data

Competitive Solutions Inc. recommends an annual audit of your scorecard and key performance indicators to ensure you are tracking the right data at the right levels. Change in your organization is inevitable. Your balanced scorecards are not a “set it and forget it”. It is a living, breathing part of your organization’s success or failure.

Interested in more information? We have a free guide that will help your organization implement balanced scorecards called The Guide to Scorecard Fundamentals. Download it here!

Stuck and need ideas on what to measure in your company or department? Click here for free scorecard examples. You’ll find lots of different industries and job functions.

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 or

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.

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