1. Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Key Challenges

    January 21, 2018 by ahmed

    Speed and the ability to adapt to changing market conditions are a significant challenge for business.

    The threat of new competition (the #1 driver), rising customer expectations, expanding markets, and digitalization are the key drivers of change. These are driving force behind the every increasing need for Operational Excellence, especially for end-to-end Business Transformation, and rapid, agile, flexible solution offerings and execution.

    BTOES01

    New technologies and innovation acceleration are disrupting all traditional industries and markets. Start-ups no longer have major barriers to entry, computing powering is accelerating, and business models are being disrupted in just a few months, causing massive pressures on margins.

    Every change in the market affects how a company operates and performs, often dramatically. And these days, it is difficult to respond to one disruption before being thrown off course by the next one. Advanced technologies, increasing digitization such as AI, Robotic Process Automation, Machine Learning, IOT, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Data Analytics, Advanced Robotics, 3D Printing, Mobile Applications are just some of the technology shifts.

    These digitalisation’s’ bring a quantum leap in productively improvement, but consequently leaders have to rethink their operations end to end, including how to incorporate digitalization activities along the whole value chain, e.g. use of big data in customer operations, or 3D printing technology in manufacturing.

    Teams will need to embrace a culture of operational excellence, reimagined operations every day, foster open communication and faster decision-making. Product development, procurement, supply chain management, production system design, and all manufacturing and services will need to be transformed. Operational Excellence professionals needs to adapt and actively embrace all these new technologies and the new business models they create to ensure the organization is always at the cutting edge of execution excellence.

    Whether its the need to keep up with new technologies, the pressures of implementing and sustaining a fully-fledged culture of Operational Excellence, or encouraging the allocation of resources and buy-in for Operational Excellence projects, it is clear that Operational Excellence practitioners are facing a period of incredible change and upheaval.

    Exceptionally savvy companies manage these changes by developing end-to-end global operating strategies that enable profitable growth that take charge of innovation execution and stay nimble enough to respond to rapidly changing condition. Strategies that embrace and thrive on the power of technology to drive innovation.

    Operational excellence is a key attribute of leading companies in any industry. Through the combination of the right business strategy, the right technology strategy, the right operating model, and the right execution path, companies ride out recessions more successfully and emerge from them more quickly, developing competitive advantage regardless of economic conditions.

    Operational Excellence Key Challenges

    • Rethinking operations end-to-end, incorporating digitalization / new advance technologies along the whole value chain.
    • Adapting and embracing new technologies and the new business models.
    • Cultural Transformation and creating a culture of Operational Excellence and Innovation.
    • Implementing effective Change Management programs.
    • Driving Corporate Culture Change and How to build and transform Organizational Culture.
    • Leadership Understanding, Buy-In, Support and Sponsorship from ALLLeaders is critical. Operational Excellence needs commitment; resources and this cannot be optional.
    • Sustaining a Continuous Improvement Culture (Key to this is Leadership Buy-In)
    • Achieving an Enterprise-Wide Operational Excellence Strategy
      End-to-end business transformation, with all departments’ processes working in unison at scale to aligned goals and priorities.
    • Keeping up with new technologies, relative value relevance, and the creation of new opportunities. AI, Robotic Process Automation, Machine Learning, IOT, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Data Analytics, Advanced Robotics, 3D Printing, Mobile Applications are just some of the technology shifts.
    • Integrating New Advanced Technologies
    • Acquiring and managing start-ups
    • Changing Customer Demands & Channels
    • Building New Competitive Advantages.
    • Integrating CI methodologies personalized to the organization.
    • Ensuring initiatives are aligned with key strategic priorities, across the organization.
    • Failure to innovate fast enough.
    • Building a culture of innovation & agile mind-set.
    • Changing Workforce, Millennial Generation, Freelance Culture, & Open Innovation.
    • Customer Experience Excellence in a less high touch environment.
    • If you are looking to address these challenges, these will be addressed by the most progressive leaders in the industry at the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit & Industry Awards (BTOES18)

    The agenda have been updated this week, below are some direct links.

    View Speakers

    View Agenda

    BTOES17 Highlights Video

    Prices go up on February 2nd, 2018, after that no more discounts.

    Register now and save up to $764

    Teams can obtain up to 50% off.

    View Team Discounts

    About BTOES18

    Forecasting 850+ leadership-level attendees, this summit is the largest gathering of progressive leadership-level executives within Business Transformation & Operational Excellence.

    With over 100 speakers, over 100 sessions, 12 Keynotes, 9 Track Themes, 5 parallel tracks, 60+ track sessions, 50 roundtable discussions, 20 Interactive Workshops, 6 Thought Leader Panels, 5 Leaders Boardrooms, The Industry Awards Program, Site Visits, 20+ hours of social networking including 2 gala cocktail parties, dinners, numerous group activities, this is the ultimate event to benchmark, network and drive Operational Excellence to the next level.

    Focused on the key trends and pressing issues that matter:

    • Cultural Transformation
    • Strategy Execution
    • Innovation Excellence
    • Customer Experience Excellence
    • Leadership
    • Agility
    • Business Transformation
    • Operational Excellence
    • Process Optimization

    Register (early bird discounts end soon)

    BTOES18 will help you design and delivery value-oriented operational excellence transformations and take an end-to-end approach to achieving excellence in strategy execution.

    You will take away practical lessons on how to gain measurable benefits that transcend cost cutting to deliver revenue growth through execution advantage and rigorous process execution across the enterprise to deliver certainty of outcomes.

    We look forward to welcoming you in March.


  2. Increasing the uptake of benchmarking in the public sector

    January 6, 2018 by ahmed

    3rd progress sharing day 1

    The 3rd Progress Sharing Day of the 2nd cycle of Dubai We Learn Excellence Makers projects was held on 17 December 2017. This was an opportunity for 11 Dubai government entities to share progress on the benchmarking projects that they started in April 2017.The 11 benchmarking projects are:

    Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA):
    To raise awareness of the importance of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) registration to aviation safety and security with the purpose of increasing RPAS registrations from approximate 1100 in November 2017 to 4000 by December 2018 and to 8000 (by 30 April 2019).

    Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS):
    To develop and implement a world-class performance management system for ambulance services.

    Dubai Customs:
    To identify best practice in the Client Accreditation process, improve the Client Accreditation Program and set with 2 pilot entities from the Dubai Government the standards and benefits for the Dubai Accredited Client Program by March 2018.

    Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA):
    To identify and implement best practices in idea generation to improve employee engagement rate with the AKFARI Idea Management System from 20% in 2017 to a minimum of 40% by April 2018. Improving the Quality of the Ideas & Implementation Rate by 50%.

    Dubai Government Human Resource (DGHR):
    Launching Dubai Government HR Think Tank for future shaping, research-driven decision making and pioneering HR’s role for Dubai government.

    Dubai Health Authority (DHA):
    Within one year to develop & start implementing Dubai Diabetes prevention framework based on worldwide best practices to reduce the % of Pre-Diabetics adults from 15.8% (2017) to 12.5% (by 2021).

    Dubai Municipality:
    Identify and implement best practices in managing, sharing, and utilizing knowledge across the organization through an effective Knowledge & Innovation Hub that is able to create a robust base for innovation and increase the utilization rate of knowledge sources.

    Dubai Police:
    To find and implement best practices in vehicle fleet maintenance in order to improve productivity of Dubai Police Mechanical Works department to world class target or levels.

    General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs Dubai (GDRFA):
    To identify and implement best practices in enriching a “Positive Energy Culture” at General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs-Dubai.

    Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA):
    To identify and implement best practices in transforming a traditional management system to a self-managed system by 2021, that engages, empowers, and enlightens employees leading to elevated levels of employee happiness, innovation and productivity. Inspired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum “we are building a new reality for our people, a new future for our children, and a new model of development.

    Public Prosecution:
    Our aim is to increase to the applications submitted electronically by cases parties from 75% to 85% with a focus on increasing App usage and to improve the electronic services provided to the applicant by March 2018.

    All project team have been using the TRADE benchmarking methodology to find and implement best practices. Currently, most teams are at the Acquire stage of TRADE searching for best practices within Dubai, UAE, and internationally. The TRADE methodology consists of five stages;

    1. Terms of Reference – plan the project: This stage involves selecting the aim of the project, forming a project team and developing the Terms of Reference (TOR). The Terms of Reference provides the foundation for a successful project.
    2. Research current state: The second stage involves researching the extent of the current problem/issue and identifying and understanding the current practices.
    3. Acquire best practices: This stage involves identifying which organisations are likely to have superior practices and finding out what they do differently. Various methods can be used for learning from other organisations such as internet research, surveys and site visits.
    4. Deploy – communicate and implement best practices: This stage involves communicating best practice findings from the Acquire Stage to the relevant stakeholders, deciding what should be changed with the current practice/process and implementing the changes.
    5. Evaluate – evaluate the benchmarking process and outcomes: This stage is designed to make sure the project has delivered the expected benefits that were outlined in the Terms of Reference. It involves undertaking a cost and benefits analysis and a review on how well each stage of the benchmarking project was undertaken so that this learning can be applied to future projects.

    One advantage from having multiple benchmarking projects in Dubai We Learn is that the teams can help each other. For instance, there have been a number of benchmarking visits conducted between the teams and sharing of knowledge on how to conduct benchmarking projects. For example, Dubai Health Authority are leveraging off General Directorate Residence and Foreign Affairs project on positive energy as a means to assist their own project on diabetes prevention. They are evaluating how “positive energy” activities could be used to change the eating and well-being behaviour of pre-diabetics.

    3rd progress sharing day 2Dr Robin Mann addressing the 11 project teams

    In the next 3 months, the project teams will be finishing the remaining stages of their projects and submitting a benchmarking report for evaluation.

    Dubai We Learn is a Dubai Government Excellence Programme (DGEP) initiative that is run in partnership with the Centre of Organisational Excellence Research (COER), New Zealand. For more information about this initiative refer to the recently published Dubai We Learn book.

    If you work for a Dubai government entity and would like to put forward a project for the 3rd cycle of Dubai We Learn to start in September 2018 please contact Ahmed Abbas ahmed@bpir.com, for an application form.


  3. Dubai We Learn book launch – 13 benchmarking success stories

    December 26, 2017 by ahmed

    DWL Book

    On Sunday 17 December 2017, the Dubai Government Excellence Programme (DGEP) and the Centre for Organisational Research (COER) celebrated the publication of their book titled “Achieving performance excellence through benchmarking and organisational learning”. The book describes Dubai We Learn’s Excellence Makers Program and showcases 13 successful benchmarking projects undertaken by Dubai government entities from 2015 to 2016. The benchmarking projects focussed on a broad range of issues including innovation, employee happiness, smart government, purchasing, knowledge management and building employee competencies and skills.
    The book summarises how the projects were undertaken, results achieved, lessons learnt and key success factors. Dr Robin Mann, Founder of COER, explained at the launch that, “The purpose of the book is to show how benchmarking can be used to instigate change and produce major breakthroughs in performance. It aims to encourage more Dubai government entities to start their own benchmarking projects and conduct them in a structured way utilising the TRADE best practice benchmarking methodology. In addition, the book shares some fantastic best practices that can immediately be learnt from“.

    DWL1Book

    All projects used the TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking methodology to manage their projects and identify and implement best practices. On average projects identified between 30 to 99 potential actions to implement with savings and benefits for the Dubai government and citizens in the millions of dollars. Four of the projects achieved 7 star status for their role model application of the TRADE methodology.

    TRADE stages

    Dr. Ahmed Nuseirat, General Coordinator of DGEP, closed the book launch by saying, “The benchmarking projects are helping Dubai government entities to become world-leaders in public service. Due to the success of the Dubai We Learn initiative we are already looking forward to a 2nd volume of the book in 2018“.

    The book can be downloaded from here.

    Presentation video clips from each benchmarking project are available in the www.bpir.com’s Award winner reports section. Join BPIR to access the reports and many other features.

    Sign-up up to COER’s newsletter to receive future updates on COER’s work.


  4. Where do you draw the line on staff engagement

    December 22, 2017 by ahmed

    staff

    Originally posted on CustomerPlus by Richard Beevers

    Are your people operating at anywhere near 100% of their capability?A simple exercise I use on leadership development programmes is to ask participants to draw a line as high as they can on suitably positioned flip chart paper. I then invite them to beat their first attempts. Second time around, person after person achieves a higher line and when I raise energy levels in the room by encouraging clapping and cheering the improvement becomes greater and greater. People become gripped and strain every sinew to achieve more.

    I have done this with hundreds of delegates and never has anyone failed to beat their first attempt.

    But why, when the first instruction is so clear? Draw a line as high as you can.

    The exercise always generates a fascinating discussion about who performed best. Was it the person who drew the highest line? He just happened to be very tall. Was it the person who showed the most improvement? Or had she underperformed first time round? Was it the person who showed the least improvement? He was consistent but had he underperformed twice? Can people always operate at maximum levels without burning out?

    This simple exercise tells us a lot about staff engagement. The fundamental learning point is don’t assume people will always do their best. You have to engage with them. Constantly, consistently and constructively!

    There are many models of staff engagement and in bringing these together the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has proposed six themes:

    • Meaningfulness of work
    • Being able to feed your views upwards
    • Senior management communication and vision
    • Supportive work environment
    • Person–job fit
    • Line management style

    These themes fit very well in Daniel Pink’s best seller Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Pink suggests that once people believe they are paid fairly these factors lead to better performance, not to mention personal satisfaction: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

    So where do you draw the line in your efforts to engage your staff?

    Do you emphasise and promote the purpose of your business? Do you let your people have a real say? Do you help them to be the best they can be?


  5. Automobiles, Blind Spots, and Organizational Strategy

    December 8, 2017 by ahmed

    rear-view-mirror

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Harry Hertz

    Fall 2017
    How does an organization identify its potential blind spots? This is one of the most common questions I hear from people conducting strategic planning processes.

    To begin answering the question, I have a simple analogy that can be used as a springboard to organizational strategy. That is, today’s cars are equipped with three rearview mirrors and often a backup camera. The mirrors and camera let you visualize what is behind you, a place you have already been. They identify “competitors” from within your clear line of sight, but they do not tell you much about them. They are your “in-industry” competitors. Some cars have an embedded blind spot mirror in the outside mirrors. The blind spot mirrors allow a view of those close to you, potentially ready to overtake you. This is an important piece of trend data that puts you on the alert and identifies competitors from within your industry who might be ready to speed ahead and overtake your leadership position. However, what you really want to know is what lies ahead!You can look out your front windshield and see the road immediately ahead or use GPS to see the road a few miles or even hours ahead (the short-term horizon). This is all helpful information, but you really want to be able to look a year or two ahead and know what road you should be on and what the traffic (competition) will look like. Will you be on the same old roads or a new road (new products and services)? As a driver today, you want to know if you will be driving a car or using another mode of transportation entirely (deriving from new industry competitors or new travel modes within your industry). Will your competition be driverless cars or a hyperloop? Can you predict those new competitors today and plan accordingly? Can you even identify those non-industry competitors? These are the real blind spots you want to know as part of strategic planning, not the extrapolated data from a “rearview mirror.”At each stage of this blind spot analogy, you were broadening your view, eventually redefining your industry from personally driven automobiles to people moving. This could lead your organization to a major shift in “product line” and services, if you want to sustain the organization and its competitive position.

    The 2017-2018 Baldrige Excellence Framework describes blind spots as arising from incorrect, incomplete, obsolete, or biased assumptions or conclusions that cause gaps, vulnerabilities, risks, or weaknesses in your understanding of the competitive environment and strategic challenges your organization faces. Blind spots may arise from new or replacement offerings or business models coming from inside or outside your industry (as you currently define it). To conclude the analogy, competition could come from driverless cars or driverless car services that take you from chosen point to point (a new business model) or from outside your industry (significant changes in mass transport or hyperloops, for example).

    Where do we find the wisdom to recognize that our industry is people moving, not automobile manufacturing? How do we find what Donald Rumsfeld, the former Secretary of Defense, called the “unknown unknowns”? Kodak invented the digital camera but believed it was in the film industry/printing business, not the business to create memories that could best be shared online, digitally. It even realized that a “Kodak moment” was worth sharing but did not see far enough ahead to predict the business model for future sharing.

    In the remainder of this column, I will explore common traps that lead to blind spots, then explore some don’t do’s, and finally, how to look for blind spots.

    Blind Spot Traps
    I have identified seven common traps that lead to blind spots. Many of the traps arise from the work of Professor Bettina Büchel at IMD.

    1. Seeing what we expect to see: This is the theory of incongruence. We don’t see what is incongruent with our current beliefs and frame of reference. I remember seeing a video in which we were asked to count the number of times a basketball was passed; none of us noticed that a gorilla was walking among the players because we were so focused on basketball. We pay selective attention to our area of focus.
    2. Misjudging industry boundaries: We narrowly define our industry based on our current products or services and how they are used today.
    3. Failing to identify emerging competition: We don’t see emerging competition because they do not do things exactly as we do. They are tackling a different problem from our “blinders-on” perspective.
    4. Falling out of touch with customers: We think we know what our customers need and want. We have been serving them for many years and believe in their loyalty. We do not seek their input on changing needs or unmet desires.
    5. Overemphasizing competitors’ visible competence: We focus on our competitors’ current offerings and assume they will continue unchanged. We do not think about the research and development they may be doing on a disruptive product, service, or business model.
    6. Allowing organizational taboos or prohibitions to limit our thoughts: Our practices or policies can limit our thinking. We fail to question practices and policies that may be outdated or incongruent with current technology or regulation.
    7. Relying on history: This is the way we have always done things. We let our historical patterns guide our future.

    In essence, we fall into rigidity traps, rather than questioning the status quo.

    Blind Spot “Don’t Do’s”
    Before discussing what you should do to identify blind spots, let’s look at some “don’t do’s” that organizations engage in.

    1. Don’t be a slave to strategy: In a world where technology, business models, economics, and global political environments are in a constant state of evolution, organizations need to be agile. Slavishly adhering to a strategy created several years ago can take an organization down a path toward obsolescence. An organization can devote years to an outdated strategy, achieve it, and fail as an organization. And if the organization does not fail, achieving an outdated strategy could lead to the conclusion that developing strategy is useless. Today, strategic plans need to be regularly reviewed and modified as conditions and opportunities warrant. The approach should be toward strategic thinking, not strategic planning as a periodic event.
    2. Don’t focus on fear: While a healthy respect for all sources of competition is important, fear should be turned into opportunity. Fear can stifle breakthrough thinking. Confront organizational challenges and seek to capitalize on them through disruptive ideas and new solutions, not extensions of old ideas. Explore new capabilities needed to pursue opportunities. As suggested by Clark in an HBR blog, war-game your potential failures. Perform a pre-mortem. Assume the idea will fail and look for options to avoid the failure.
    3. Don’t trust: Don’t rely on sources that we tend to give undue weight. Don’t trust the wisdom of the crowd. Group-think can lead to consensing on a safe path, rather than expressing bold ideas. Brainstorm with all opinions valued. Don’t trust instincts, seek data and careful analysis of implications. Perceptions can be clouded by personal biases. Don’t trust minimizers. It is easy to deny problems and assume things will get better. It is also easy to assume things are better than they appear. Don’t trust individual experts. Experts can get it wrong and different experts have different opinions and ideas. Seek the thoughts of multiple experts.

    Blind Spot Identification
    Finally, let’s explore the processes you should use to seek and identify potential blind spots.

    1. Explore upcoming technologies: Are any emerging technologies capable of being exploited for your next generation products or services? Are there emerging technologies that could create new industries that challenge yours? Are there new technologies that could generate add-ons to your existing offerings? If yes, would it be an intelligent risk for you to invest early and capitalize on your brand recognition to be a first entrant.
    2. Assess global trends: Investigate global changes in demographics, political environments, regulation, production and purchasing capabilities, and markets. Are there any major shifts likely that could impact your marketplace positively or negatively?
    3. Get out of your comfort zone: Break tradition. Shake up the norm. Try to identify and test your implicit assumptions. Take your leadership team to totally different surroundings. Get you news from a different source that has a different focus than your normal channel. Talk to people that you wouldn’t normally interact with. For example, if you are a physicist, talk to an economist or social scientist or industrial engineer. Ask probing questions. Try to talk to someone new on a regular basis.
    4. Seek employee input broadly: Discuss potential game-changing ideas with employees at all levels of the organization. Solicit and listen to their reactions. Solicit other ideas from them. Bring people together from different parts of the organization and different job functions to brainstorm together and to share what they are hearing or reading outside the confines of their workplace.
    5. Talk to your customers: Ask your customers about their unmet needs and desires. Talk to your customers’ customers to gain additional insight. Observe your customers in action to understand their behaviors and frustrations. Look for creative solutions.
    6. Broaden your field of view: Don’t assume companies or organizations will remain in current industry boundaries. Look at adjacent industries and benchmark what they are doing. Ask yourself what business are you really in (e.g. automobile manufacturing or people moving)? What is the ultimate goal or impact of your product or service for the user? Given global and technology trends is there a new business model you should pursue?

    Final Thoughts
    To find blind spots you need to look broadly and not be constrained by current biases and boundaries. You need to trust instincts less because they harbor your current biases. You need to seek new and different sources of information and synthesize what you learn. Verify your conclusions. Plan a specific course of action. Continue monitoring trends and your progress. Stay agile. Look not just straight ahead, but around corners.