Javier is a young tour guide, Until recently, he had a lot of work. He speaks Spanish fluently, and as a result he had, among is other clients, many Birthright groups from South America.
And then came the Coronavirus, and Javier found himself without work, and with the realisation that life is unlikely to return to how it was anytime soon.
A medical start-up I worked with in the past faced a considerable schedule delay. I suggested the CEO display the company's goals and schedules in a prominent location, breakdown company goals to personal ones assigned to each managers, and thus delegate responsibility to them.
In my last article I discussed strategies for businesses during the Coronavirus crisis: the gazelle and the hedgehog strategies. When the gazelle senses danger it raises its head, looks around, and runs forward. At times it will change direction, but will always continue moving and keep its head up.
My last article dealt with the question – how to approach the crisis in your business. Among other issues, I discussed employee retention vs. employment costs. In this article I'm going to take a big step forward, and present the opportunity this crisis offers you, to engage employees with company goals.
We can be sanguine about the Coronavirus or be concerned or frightened – but we can't ignore the dramatic effect this crisis has on the global economy. In this article I don’t intend to give instructions like those issued by the government, about crowds and the like. I write about the business aspect, with all the issues you should deal with.
One of the immediate and daily examples for this technique, also mentioned in the book, is shaving razors. Until 1971 only one blade was commonly used. Then Gillette released a razor with two blades: one pulls the hair and the second cuts it.
Later, they added a third, and even fourth, blades. I stopped at three blades.
At the time Moshe was the CEO of Eyal Optics, and I was just starting as the CEO of Shamir Optical Industries. Shamir Optical and Eyal Optics had a complex relationship. On the one hand Eyal were our clients. We supplied them with glass molds for manufacturing plastic multifocal lenses, and they owed us a lot of money. One the other hand, Eyal were our "home lab".
wonder of wonders, CEOs who aren’t machine-maintenance people, are sure they "know enough", or "know best", how to maintain the "human machines" in their company. And if not the CEO, then one of the executives will be able to do it, in addition to their regular job.
At first results seem great. Especially when before the authoritative manager there was an indecisive one. Now decisions are made quickly and everybody falls in line. But this kind of management suffocates the company. It suppresses positive initiatives and when the authoritative CEO makes a mistake no one will dare correct them or point out the possible harm.
We're nearing the end of 2019, have you prepared a work-plan (and budget) for 2020? Maybe you have a three-year or five-year plan? If the answer is no – this is the last chance to do so. And maybe you think work plans aren't necessary?
The kibbutz assembly needed to approve participation of a team from the company in a professional conference in Italy. I remember a heated debate. Travelling abroad was rare, and every trip was a cause for envy. In the assembly, a suggestion was raised – instead of one of the executives, "Sarah", a kibbutz member, will go, because she hadn’t been abroad yet.
In this part I mean to focus with more detail on each method, and see the differences between the levels of familiarity with the method and its use, and the success it generated. As you'll see, there are methods which are widely used but fail to generate success, while contrastingly there are methods which are rarely used, but the majority of managers who've used them report success.
I examined 13 well-known and proven management methods from all over the world, which I myself use, and asked the participants to rank them through three questions: familiarity with the method, experience with the method, and how successful it was for them.
I drew a big pyramid on the board, with him at the top, below him 8 VPs, and at the bottom 10,000 employees. I asked – how can you guarantee they'll efficiently produce quality products, if they aren’t engaged or invested in company goals?
Dividing the product to its two parts, which traditionally would have been one whole (the frame and the temples), and the possibility to create different and varied pairings, created something different. Unlike the usual product. This was a case of very interesting innovation. It enabled the company, for instance, to offer clients a vast number of choices for a relatively low cost. At the same time, this new method gave clients a feeling of independence and customization. Creating "a personal look".
The subtraction used by Itamar isn’t only of a key or other accessory whose role in opening the door is eliminated. The essence is simple and smart management of the right to open the lock and enter a home, club, center, pool, etc. Instead of the subtracted key, the system utilizes an accessory most of us already have: a smartphone. I believe anyone managing a community center or using one often appreciates Nemlock's use.
Nestle is a world leader in constant improvement and striving for excellence. And the Sderot site, with approximately 650 employees, is without a doubt one of their leading sites in all aspects. Nestlé's motto, which you'll find displayed at each one of their sites and to which everybody strives, is "0 waste, 1 team, 100% employee involvement".
Facit is a famous example, but there were others. A recent example from Israel comes from the world of cellular parking services. I heard it from Ro'ee Elbaz, Pango's CEO ever since it was a small startup of four employees. In 2007 a tender for cellular paying services for parking was published by the center for local government.
A few weeks ago I met with Rona, a brilliant entrepreneur, and we discussed setting up her business. Towards the end of our meeting I suggested that, alongside starting her business, she could also take over her accounts management. "Why?" she asked amazed. "That way you'll have better control of your expenses", I answered and added, "It's very simple, and will save you money too. When you have a small business it's important. "
The local market is growing more competitive and diminishing, customs defenses are disappearing and imports make sales harder. Both Gad and Shim'on have turned to exports. They don't only compete with each other, but with the global market.
As kids we played the game Telephone. We sat in a line, the first kid whispered something in the ear of the second, who whispered what they heard in the ear of the third, and so on until the last in line. Of course there was a considerable difference between what was originally whispered and what the last kid heard. That's how it is. There's a gap between what we thought and what we said, and an even greater one between what we said and what was heard and understood.
American companies reward participants based on how much money was saved for the company as a result of their proposal. The rewards average 458 USD. Comparatively, Japanese rewards average 3.88 USD (less than a hundredth of American rewards).
I used to manage an organization with several hundred employees, under a collective agreement. The premium paid to employees who exceeded production goal was set in the collective agreement, old an anachronistic. It wasn’t a real encouragement and it didn’t contribute to motivation, and didn’t change employees' way of doing their work.
Israel added that Tomer was unwilling to teach other employees to operate "his" machine. It was clear that Israel postponed meeting Tomer as much as he could that morning, and once we finally got to him they communicated poorly. I couldn't understand what Tomer was saying and I'm not sure Israel clearly understood him either.
Our event focused on changing the production department and increasing efficiency. The team led a radical change in the department, including opening a wall which separated the two parts of the production space. On the third day, Osnat, one of the team members, burst into tears and couldn’t continue. She went home and returned to work only after a week of sick-leave.
I write a lot about getting employees invested, about efficiency, improved service, measuring indicators, and precision work with employees and clients. But if, at the same time, you have to lower prices in order to preserve clients in a competitive market, and to supply custom products to every client – you might find yourselves running fast in order to stand still. There's a danger that increased profit as a result of improvements in production will disappear compared to competition in the market, and at best you'll maintain low profit margins.
In it they could see how, at the end of the work day on Thursday, at three in the afternoon, the door to one of the departments was left open. Actually, it wasn’t a door, but a wide gate, made of two metal doors. Its width is about three meters, its height about four meters.
The CEO is in charge as far the law, the share-holders or the board of directors are concerned (meaning he's the one accountable). So he must ensure the company reaches its goals and targets, first and foremost profit and resiliency. Of course the CEO's instinct is, then, to be involved in everything, and try and personally lead all processes in the company.
About a year ago I started working with a medium-sized company, about 200 employees, and a shift-supervisor listed as CEO a consultant who would come to the site once a week. I asked what job the actual CEO did, and he said he had no idea.
Recommended frequency for discussion of indicators: I recommend all indicators' results be discussed by management once a month. At least once a week, they should be discussed in dedicated improvement teams with the relevant manager (operations, sales, finance, marketing, etc.) or their representative. Some indicators should be shortly analyzed daily, as needed.