Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What Should Employees Do? Focus on the Purpose and Improve

What should your employees be doing? by Harry Hertz, the Baldrige Cheermudgeon

Employees all have four common requirements to guide them:

- keep each customer (loyalty is critical)
- find new customers
-get as much money as possible from each customer (as long as it is moral, legal and ethical) - you are in business to earn money
- look for efficiencies (not based just on cost-cutting, unless it comes from elimination of waste). Cost-cutting alone leads to cutting services that customers or employees value.

If point 3 is causing concern for public benefit organizations, reword it to "maximize return on investment from each customer (keeping it moral, ethical, and legal)".

I don't agree with number 3. I think Jeff Bezos says it well: "There are two kinds of companies, those that work to try to charge more and those that work to charge less." I would rather be a customer AND invest in those organizations working to charge me less instead of an airline, for example, following point number 3, as stated.

Also that lists seems to have nothing about "respect for people" one of the 2 pillars of lean manufacturing. The two underlying principle of the Toyota Production System are continuous improvement (kaizen, genchi genbutsu, challenge [don't accept that things can't be better]...) and respect for people (respect and teamwork). And missing much of what Dr. Deming said about purpose.

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