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Do not jump to conclusions. This does not mean replacing people with machines. If a task can be automated, it should be. Do you know why? Automation replaces repetitive tasks. Repetitive tasks can then be replaced with higher cognitive activities. If an individual spends 30 minutes a day on, let’s say, inputting data into a stand alone spreadsheet and this activity could be inputted directly into an existing integrated system, then that individual would have 2.5 more hours a week to spend meeting critical objectives or creating solutions. Multiply this by many individuals and you can see impact.
Tip #5 Schedule time to think
This does not imply that thinking is not going on; it’s just that we get too caught up in action and seldom take necessary time to stop. Stop to think through a challenge, stop to evaluate strategy, and stop to contemplate about anything. Since inaction is perceived as not progressing, we discourage “thinking time”. This is why outsiders are often able to see what we cannot. It isn’t that we cannot see it; it is just that we have not taken time to slow down, observe, think, and contemplate. When planning your week, schedule time to think.
Tip #6 Beyond customer experience
We all know that servicing customer is paramount. We know it, but many fail to meet minimum expectations. And sometimes we do not realize we are not meeting expectations. Customers are more demanding than they used to be. Develop a profile of most discriminating customer for your product or service. Describe them as best you can. ·What do they want in product or service ·How quickly do they want it ·What are there expectations regarding phone inquiries (When they have a question, how do they most prefer to access information) ·What is optimum sales experience from first contact to order taking to actual purchase ·What is their packaging preference ·How do they define perfect transaction ·Etc.
Once you have developed this profile, start by taking action to provide level of service expected by most demanding customer outlined above, to all customers. Once you have achieved this, then take just one profile element point and determine how you can expand on experience, giving even more. Then take next and next.
Tip #7 Go out on a limb
Remember old saying, nothing ventured, nothing gained? Well, it is true. Do not limit yourself by being afraid to take chances. Of course, you will not always succeed, but not only will you learn great lessons, but you will also create breakthroughs. Each failure should be viewed as a step closer to success. The odds are on your side. This does not mean that you should take action without proper preparation. Take necessary precautions, evaluate alternatives and try it.
Do you see how these tips can improve your performance? Improving performance will allow you to grow in a number of ways. Grow by being more responsive, understanding customer better, increasing your flexibility, utilizing employees better, encouraging creativity, reducing bad decisions, and multiplying your strengths.
Copyright © 2004, Kay Graham-Gilbert
Providing knowledge, not just information is our quest. Kay Graham-Gilbert, author and executive of Interactive Consulting has an extensive background in creating effective operations. She invites you to learn more about practical business strategies to put into action now by going to http://www.interactiveconsultingusa.com/results1.d