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Word count: 700 =========================================== Summary: Reducing costs through wholesale layoffs may provide quick hits on balance sheets, but its clumsy blows can disrupt operations. Brent Filson shows operations leaders a surprisingly more effective way to achieve cost reductions as well as enhanced efficiencies. =========================================== Ringing Doorbells Without Howitzers by Brent Filson
Many operations leaders have been there, done that with re-engineering. And they report, in effect, that process is like ringing a doorbell with a howitzer shell.
Reducing costs through wholesale layoffs ostensibly tied to ultimate results provides quick hits on balance sheets, but its clumsy blows can raise hell with operations.
Operational results can be achieved consistently with precision and power not when people are taken out of organization but instead put back in.
"Putting people in" doesn't mean adding headcount but instead putting people into mix of vital factors that contribute to operations results — having power with people, not over people.
Just as we're supposed to use only a fraction of our brains' capabilities, so I'm convinced, working with businesses in major industries, that few organizations come close to achieving their potential operational results.
That's because many operations leaders ignore one of most important aspects of operational effectiveness: human heart.
When I speak of heart, I speak of that intuitive, emotional, feeling aspect of all of us.
No question: It's not just technology and equipment that drives operational success. It's employees. Clearly, they must be skilled and knowledgeable, but they also must be emotionally committed to their work. They must be motivated.
Yet most operational strategies and programs focus on rational not emotional/motivational considerations and so let great opportunities slip away.
To understand how quantum leaps in results can be achieved, far beyond re-engineering's capabilities, let's view operations three big drivers —— cost-reduction, productivity and efficiency — in terms of motivational factors.
Cost-reduction: Operations founder when they fail to achieve continuous cost-reductions. A leader of a world manufacturing organization told me, "One of my most tenacious leadership challenges is motivating employees to never stop getting costs out of our plants and processes."
Lesson: Cost-reduction is a leadership issue. It's an issue in which leaders don't order people to do a job but motivate those people to want to do job. It's in realm of want to that significant cost reductions take place.