How to Look Like a Workflow Genius
It was early 1999. In the conference room of a manufacturing company in Kansas, a software purveyor had finished his pitch by asking if anyone had any questions. The company was desperately worried about the potential Y2K computer threat and saw it – as many companies did – as the opportunity to “upgrade” their software and improve their workflow.
The marketing manager expressed concern that the company was about to spend nearly a million dollars, but the new software would not address one of the company’s most problematic workflow issues. The software salesman says it could be done for an additional $300,000, but it would take at least nine months.
The marketing manager replied, “That’s insane! An idiot could do it in half the time!”
The general manager queried, “Are you absolutely sure?”
“Yes, sir. And it can be done off the system, then integrated with the system.”
To which the GM replied, “Well, you’re the biggest idiot I know. (you had to be there), Make it happen.”
Become an Advocate of Continual Improvement
Workflow improvement is typically viewed by employees either as an unnecessary diversion or someone else’s job. To the contrary, without continual improvement, businesses begin to die. Many employees resist workflow improvement because it means change. They have found their comfort zone and they want to stay in it. Others resist because they don’t understand the reason for the change.
Becoming an advocate for continual improvement gives you a platform for helping both groups of employees buy-in to the concept. This is a matter of endurance and consistency – and setting an example that demonstrates that you not only advocate workflow improvement, but that you also embrace it.
Become an Agent of Change
Every employee makes a choice to be a whiner or a winner. Whiners complain about the way things are, yet they also resist changes to the way things are. Winners may complain, but they DO SOMETHING to address the inefficiencies they see. They are willing to take an active role in improving the processes that are hindering progress.
Let’s go back to that conference room in Kansas for a minute. The marketing manager had absolutely no programming experience. All he knew was that the company should not have to pay an exorbitant $300,000 for a workflow remedy nor could it afford to be without the necessary process in place. Because of his strong advocacy, the GM appointed him as the agent of change.
Become Aware of the Available Opportunities
The key to becoming a workflow genius is not in seeing a problem. Chances are that you are not the only one who sees it. The key is to be the one person who is willing to create and implement the necessary changes. To do that, you will need to:
- Believe that it can be done and that you can do it.
- Obtain the support of upper management (to avoid wasting time).
- Create a provable plan (to demonstrate workability, efficiency, and effectivity).
- Obtain the approval of upper management (to move on to implementation).
- Teach employees why the change is happening (to gain cooperation).
- Implement in stages (to avoid workflow disruptions and unintended consequences).
Don’t Try to Look Like a Genius
Focus on improving the business. Your success will cause others to see you as a genius.
Oh, the guy in Kansas? With the support of management and the help of others who saw the need, he succeeded. He was later named vice president of the company.
Never before in all of history has there been the powerful resources available to improve workflow performance and look like a workflow genius. We encourage you to watch our demo, then contact us and let us show you the tools that make workflow improvement easier to manage. You may be amazed at how we can help.