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.

 

 

 

 

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.

Leaning into Your Processes in Times of Uncertainty

WOW! What a month…Thirty days ago we were experiencing the emotional highs of optimism, growth, and profitability and now the feelings of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty…
So now what…?
As leaders, we must “LEAN INTO OUR PROCESSES” in times of uncertainty. We have a moral obligation to our colleagues and our organizations to make the concepts of Clarity, Connectivity, and Consistency real and relevant. So, what does this look like in our new normal?
CLARITY – Creating a rhythm and cadence of information flow that puts leaders on Offense, not Defense. In these moments, we can’t operate from a leadership position of Defense. We must drive a system of proactive information flow. Whether it is a daily huddle, weekly meeting, or most likely a video/teleconference as we work remotely and practice social distancing, we must create and execute processes that bind us together both professionally and emotionally. Recently, I was facilitating a PBL® session with a senior executive supply chain team who were not co-located. As they were designing their processes around Clarity, they had a discussion regarding remote folks turning their camera functionality “on” so they would be participating not just in voice but in appearance as well. The team ultimately decided to allow camera functionality as an “optional” component of their process. Considering the events of the last week, I would strongly encourage all of us to turn the camera “ON!” A simple act that drives the personalized presence of our humanity and shared connection. Now is the time we must amplify and accelerate our communication processes to connect us not just organizationally, but emotionally as well.
CONNECTIVITY – The ability of people to know if they are “winning or losing” is never more important in times of uncertainty. While the “Content of Conversation” may look different right now as our metrics have gone a bit sideways, we must remember the health of an organization directly ties to the health of our colleagues. We are in unprecedented times where organizational ambiguity and uncertainty will be the norm for the short term. Keeping people connected to our shared purpose will create a “Confidence of Continuity” even if all we can share is “I just don’t know.” As leaders we must use our processes of Clarity to operationalize how we Connect every member of our organization to our shared purpose by demonstrating to them the Confidence of Continuity.
CONSISTENCY – Even with our processes, we are still humans with the human emotions of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty. It is because of these natural human tendencies that we must “Lean into Our Processes.” Let the processes help you maintain the Consistency your colleagues deserve – When our emotions are peaked and we feel like pulling back and circumventing the process, don’t! Use your processes to mitigate the natural pull of personality driven emotions. Let your processes be the stabilizing architecture your organization sees as their safe harbor during the storm. When we abandon or circumvent our processes we send the message that it is “every man/woman for themselves” – Creating a “Way of Work” that is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, no matter the emotional or environmental circumstances will give your colleagues the trust, stability, and confidence they need to move the business forward in this turbulent time.
As we start a new week, with what will sure to be new challenges and emotions, LEAN INTO YOUR PROCESSES with confidence and certitude, always remembering our “Leadership Obligations” to drive Clarity, Connectivity, and Consistency through our words, actions, and systems!
Stay Healthy and LEAD On!
Shane A. Yount, President, Competitive Solutions, Inc.

5 Tips to Improve Employee Engagement

 

5 Tips to Improve Employee Engagement

An astounding 70% of U.S. workers are either not engaged or are actively disengaged, according to a recent survey by Gallup. These actively disengaged employees are emotionally disconnected from their companies and as a result are less productive, negatively influence coworkers and more likely to miss work.

To engage employees means to have them recognize that they benefit from the success of the organization. Once they consider themselves partners in the organization, they will become better employees.  

Here are five tips to improve employee engagement in your organization:

  1. Communicate Expectations Clearly and Consistently – Let employees know the vision of the organization, as well as your goals and expectation.
  2. Listen to the Needs of Employees – Act upon employee concern whenever possible. If you cannot, then let the employee know why.  This demonstrates that you take the employee’s concern seriously even if you cannot implement a policy to address the concern.
  3. Give Feedback on a Regular Basis – This is an opportunity to update your employees of their performance; but in order to motivate, offer more positives than negatives.
  4. Maintain Positive Employee Relationships – Employees work harder for their superiors when they have a good rapport with them.
  5. Invest in Employees – Whether you provide them with the latest technology to make their work easier or provide them with training opportunities to build upon their skills, demonstrate your dedication to them.

 

Engaged employees care about the future of the organization and are willing to invest their time and abilities into the success of the organization.  

Contact us here for more information on how you can improve your employee engagement. 

5 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders

Five Communication Secrets of Great Leaders

It is impossible to become a great leader without being a great communicator.  It is the ability to develop a keen external awareness that separates the truly great communicators from those who muddle through their interactions with others. If you examine the world’s greatest leaders, you’ll find them all to be exceptional communicators. They might talk about their ideas, but they do so in a way which also speaks to your emotions and your aspirations. They realize if their message doesn’t take deep root with the audience then it likely won’t be understood, much less championed.  The following are several communication secrets that all great leaders share:

  1. Get Personal Stop issuing corporate communications and begin having organizational conversations – think dialog not monologue.
  2. Get Specific – Learn to communicate with clarity. Simple and concise is always better than complicated and confusing.
  3. Shut-Up and Listen – Simply broadcasting your message will not have the same result as engaging in meaningful conversation.
  4. Read Between the Lines – Great leaders have the uncanny ability to understand what is not said, witnessed, or heard. If you keep your eyes & ears open and your mouth shut, you’ll be amazed at how your level or organizational awareness is raised.
  5. Speak to Groups as Individuals – Great communicators can tailor a message such that each and every person feels as if they were speaking directly to them. Knowing how to work a room and establish credibility, trust, and rapport are keys to successful interactions.

For more content like this, keep up with us on LinkedIn

Measuring Performance: Why Use a Scorecard

Measuring Performance: Why Use a Scorecard

“Scorecards make the meaning of success tangible for your organization.”

Scorecards are the performance management tool that compares strategic goals with results. This tool allows management to implement its strategy by aligning performance with goals. Similar to a grade school report card, the scorecard measures periodic results (weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually) against a predetermined goal, allowing users to gauge how their performance stacks up against expectations.

Scorecards drive better performance.   The evidence is clear that solid feedback enhances performance—at all levels and across all organizational units. When people and groups throughout an enterprise know how they are doing and what needs improving, they do better.

Scorecards implement strategy.  Scorecards translate your strategy into concrete terms and help you track its implementation.  Scorecards also reflect operational issues, they are developed in a way that specifically directs attention to your strategy and future direction.

Scorecards help ensure that you have the right measures.   A group of measures implemented without a well-thought-out performance model in mind or, worse yet, imposed from the outside, seldom bring new focus or drive desired actions. Effective scorecards are, by nature, consciously and purposefully constructed. In building one, you develop a logical structure that helps everyone know what should be measured, what belongs on the scorecard and what does not belong.

Looking for a free scorecard example for your industry? Click here to download 

Does your organization need help in building your scorecard?  Contact us here for more information. 

 

How to Develop Your Leadership Portfolio

How to Develop Your Leadership Portfolio

Whether new to a leadership role or a seasoned veteran, understanding your current capabilities and areas for improvement is a good start for building your leadership skills. As a leader, you may have to reinvent how you think, evaluate and engage others, and demonstrate behaviors. Successful leaders are willing to surrender to a journey of learning, growing, changing, and teaching others.

Develop Your Leadership Portfolio

Create a structured document to capture who you are as a leader today, the type of leader you want to become, and the path and actions you will take to get there. Be sure to include:

  • Leadership Self Assessment Assessment Results (Understanding Your Leadership Style)
  • Understanding Environmental influences on Your Leadership Style
  • Action Plans for Developing Your Leadership Style

The leadership portfolio will provide you a place to document who you are, who you want to be, and how you will get there as a leader. As part of your ongoing development, you should update your leadership portfolio on a regular basis to document goals, actions and achievements throughout your career.

Contact us here for more information on leadership training and coaching. 

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What Top Business Books on Organizational Transformation Aren't Telling You

 Why Your Business Books Are Failing You

We tend to over-complicate things in business, and when it comes to defining what successful business transformation looks like, we reallyreally, over-complicate it. Much of what constitutes organizational success comes down to common sense, but unfortunately, it’s not always common practice.

All the books will tell you a long-winded version of the same message: discover the keys, take the right steps, figure out the dysfunctions, embrace the challenge, ascend the levels, look within organization, look outside organization, develop the right habits, know the rules, break the rules.

Transformation shouldn’t be that complicated. If you’re looking for sustainable business success, it can be as simple as focusing on these 3 key things:

Measure, Act, Communicate:

  1. Getting the Right Metrics at the Right Levels

    • Too often we have metrics that people can’t control at their level. To make metrics meaningful the owners must be able to directly impact metric performance. Successful organizations break strategic metrics into key tactical components at each level and department of the organization. 
  2. Holding People Accountable for Metric Performance

    • Once appropriate metrics are defined and owners can impact and control them then they set up a non-negotiable accountability system. This system should be able to handle short-term – today’s work today – actions and more long term strategic actions that focus on recurring problem resolution. Accountability systems are a key part of standard work but one that many organizations struggle with.
  3. Structured and Business Focused Communication

    • Eliminate non-value meetings and focus on those meetings that drive the 2 components above and tie the entire system together. Every meeting should be metric and action focused with a standard format across the entire organization. 

The keys to a successful transformation are that simple. The next step is deploying them.

Want to learn more about total organizational transformation? Put down your book! If you want to tour a facility to see what the execution of these strategies looks like, and visualize what you can achieve in less than a year:

Click for DEPLOYMENT CASE STUDY

Make your program succeed with proven strategies to generate momentum and sustain long term change

6 Benefits of Benchmarking

The Benefits of Benchmarking

Benchmarking is a common practice and sensible exercise to establish baselines, define best practices, identify improvement opportunities and create a competitive environment within the organization. Integrating benchmarking into your organization will result in valuable data that encourages discussion and sparks new ideas and practices. At its best, it can be used as a tool to help companies evaluate and prioritize improvement opportunities. 

Join us for our next Benchmarking Tour and Executive Leadership Workshop at Rockline Industries this September 14-15, 2021. For more details visit our page here. You’ll learn specific strategies to improve accountability, engagement, communication and business focus and then see it in action at a world-class facility. Don’t miss this opportunity! 

Benchmarking can allow you to:

  1. Gain an independent perspective about how well you perform compared to other companies
  2. Drill down into performance gaps to identify areas for improvement
  3. Develop a standardized set of processes and metrics
  4. Enable a mindset and culture of continuous improvement
  5. Set performance expectations
  6. Monitor company performance and manage change

Sound complex? It doesn’t have to be.

Please complete the form to receive more information.

 

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