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Organized Improvement

Continuous improvements in any area eventually transform the operation.

The next policy for the change leader is organized improvement. Whatever an enterprise does internally and externally needs to be improved systematically and continuously: product and service production processes, marketing, service, technology, training and development of people, using information. Continuous improvements in any area eventually transform the operation.

However, continuing improvement requires a major decision. What constitutes “performance” in a given area? If performance is to be improved, we need to define clearly what “performance” means. For example, a major commercial bank decided that the way to improve performance in its branches was to offer new and more advanced financial “products.” But when the bank introduced the new products in its branches, it rapidly lost customers. Only then did the bank find out that to customers, performance of a bank branch means not having to wait in line for routine transactions. The bank’s solution was to concentrate the tellers at the branches on the simple, repetitive, routine services, which require neither skill nor time. The new financial products were assigned to different groups of people who were moved to separate tables, with big signs advertising the products in which each table specialized. As soon as this was done, business went up sharply, both for the traditional and the new services.

ACTION POINT: Make systematic improvement a priority.

Management Challenges for the 21st Century

* Source: The Daily Drucker by Peter F. Drucker

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