Category: Effective processes


Most of the business owners I know, were looking forward to the 25th December, not for the turkey and all the trimmings, the odd glass or port and the odd mince pie, but for the opportunity to simply ‘close shop’ turn off the emails and the phone and have some down time!

However, for me it gave the perfect opportunity to catch up with a whole pile of books I’d been meaning to get through, and to come up with some BRAND NEW CONTENT!

As a speaker I’m also looking to improve, and whilst the testimonials and feedback are always positive, there always the opportunity to further improve content or delivery.

This year, I’m particularly excited because my brand new keynote is something like I’ve never delivered before!  All the material is my own, its all been tested and I’ve got some amazing evidence through case studies (from my work as a success strategy coach within My TrueNORTH) to validate my findings.

Along with the keynote, I’m busy writing a book, recording a whole series of downloadable video’s and audio files and working with the IT team on a new microsite and all the SEO / Analytics data required to make this my best work yet!

In January 2017 I launched the ADD A ZERO Business Challenge, and this keynote supports this by challenging business owners to determine what it will take to ADD A ZERO!

If we always do, what we’ve always done…

If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always have, what you’ve already got

We know the quote, yet so many people in business and in life continue to do the same thing time after time after time expecting a different result.

I remember vividly joining the army.  I was a couple of years older than the majority of other lads joining into my platoon that September morning, as I’d already completed 2 years at college rather than joining straight from school.

I’d lived in my own flat, earned and managed my own money; I’d be independent for a few years already and thought I had a ‘head start’.

However there is a specific way to do everything in the army, from folding blankets to brushing your teeth, from ironing, shaving, polishing boots and walking EVERYTHING had to be taught to us as a ‘body of men’.

There is also the phrase “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” but the Army were adamant they would try anyway, and so rather than teaching ‘kids’ straight from school what an iron was, I had to unlearn everything I’d previously done, to then learn the ‘right’ way of doing things.

It’s funny that when we learn something, or often teach something to ourselves, we find A way of doing it that works for us, but then become so entrenched in that being the ‘right’ way that we defend it to the hilt whenever challenged without considering whether a different way might actually be easier, less time consuming, less costly and simply BETTER!

I’ve learnt over time to subscribe to another well know quote:

Before you have an opinion, walk a mile in the other persons shoes

At least your then a mile away, AND you have their shoes!!!

Never be fearful of change, its actually the new constant!

4 Step Business improvement process

The demand to improve your business continues to increase as expectations change, new technologies emerge and competition grows. An effective way to establish continual improvement within your organisation is to conduct regular Business process improvements (BPI)

Business processes can be informal or formal and touch a variety of company functions: information technology, employee development and training, customer service satisfaction, etc. Regardless of the process you are trying to enhance, the improvement procedure follows a similar path. Today we will cover the four steps in the business process improvement cycle.

1) Identify the Need for Change: The first step in the BPI process is to identify the need for change. A useful way to discover improvement opportunities is by conducting a process audit. The audit will identify current issues or potential risks for your company. From the audit report you will be able to prioritize your areas for business improvement. At this stage, you should also review how each process impacts your organization, resources and stakeholders (employees, customers, students, partners, suppliers, etc.).

2) Analyze Current Process: Once you have decided which process you are going to improve you need analyze the current procedure. This way you can fully understand the process from A-Z and set realistic improvement objectives. Regardless of the tool you choose for analysis (process mapping, operational surveys, cause/effect analysis, etc.)  you should consider the following questions:

  • What in the process is broken?
  • Which steps in the process create roadblocks?
  • Which step requires the most time to complete?
  • Which step causes the most delays?
  • Are there any steps that cause costs/resources to go up?
  • Are there any steps that cause quality to go down?

3) Obtain Commitment and Support: The third step in the process is to solicit senior management commitment. This is possibly the single-most important element in the process as the success of the project hinges on managerial support. At this stage you need to clearly present the necessity for change and how it impacts the organization. It is crucial that management understands the need for change to ensure they will support recommendations. As process improvement can be time and resource intensive upper-management support is a must.

4) Create Improvement Strategy: With the process analysis phase completed you need to develop your strategy. It is recommended that you include what steps in the process are broken, why and how they should be improved and any financial and resource implications. Answering how the process can be improved is a springboard to create your improvement objectives. It is recommended that you set realistic and measurable objectives that align with your overall strategic goals.

So how robust is your current system? You need to have the assurance that if ANYONE or EVERYONE didn’t show up tomorrow, a brand-new team could follow a series of instructions and the wheels of commerce would keep on turning!

We use an online based system named Touchstone to facilitate all our systems and processes, you can visit them to see more by clicking here: Touchstone

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