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Business Blind Spots – How To Know What You’re Doing Wrong

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Business Blind Spots|Business Blind Spots - How To Know What You're Doing WrongWe all have blind spots. For example, perhaps one we all understand is those who are angry or showboating often hide a vulnerability or weakness underneath. Someone becoming incredibly toxic and aggressive following a romantic breakup, for instance, is often hurting underneath, and that’s what will motivate their hard reaction. While businesses are nowhere near as complex as people, the idea of the eternal blind spot is something that carries with it a sense of validity. After all, if you do not look in those darker areas, you’ll be unaware of how to improve or solve them.

But how can you know what you’re doing wrong as a firm? This might be clear if you’re struggling to sell your products, or if your staff turnover is increasing due to a bad manager. That being said, what if your business is improving and successful? We might take this as proof that we are perfect in our efforts, yet of course, this is never correct. Thankfully, with the following advice, your operation will remain more self-aware than ever:

Thorough Inspections

Inspect your processes thoroughly. Leave no stone unturned. It could be that you’re spending way too much on inventory, you’re failing to turn your stock over efficiently, or you’re experiencing an unusually high number of product damages at a certain area of your manufacturing line. Thorough inspections matter, and they can truly make a difference – allowing you to potentially slash tens of thousands of yearly dollars that may otherwise have been written off. The same can go for business expenses from your travelling remote representatives, or even computing equipment being replaced by overzealous IT managers. You’ll fail to find anything unless you look.

Worthwhile Consultants

Using expert procurement consultants can help you figure out if your procurement process is running in a streamlined manner or not, and if you’re truly maximizing the deals you are able to gain through this process. Additionally, they will be able to suss out flaws in your communication, in your staff training, and also the crippling overspending you may be laying down in certain departments. Procurement is complex and that means it is rarely perfected. With a team such as this on your side, you’ll take every step to get there correctly.

Coherent Feedback

If you’re not investing in the internal communication and surveying structures that can allow for staff to report issues, and for those reports to be read and understood, and for practical fixes to be considered and put in place, then you have an issue listening to coherent feedback. Even if you do not act on every issue that you’re presented with, the willingness to listen to them and maximize your attention to possible solutions at least helps you lay those cards out on the table, even if you decide that now is not the best time to move forward.

With these tips, you’re sure to understand where you’re going wrong as a business, and you’ll more than likely take steps to avoid that in the future.

Human Feedback is the Greatest Path to Efficiency

Feedback, at its core, is simply information about the results of past action that can improve the results of future actions. An airplane’s navigation system, the thermostat in your home’s heating unit, and a flashing electronic sign that displays your car’s speed are all examples of feedback that drives improvement. The plane adjusts its course, the heat turns off in the warm afternoon, and you slow down to the speed limit. Each time an adjustment is made, a ‘feedback loop’ is completed.

It’s not happening in the workplace
This is so not the way information flows between human beings in the workplace. Although employees receive massive amounts of information via electronic sources, feedback from their boss – information that could help them improve performance – dribbles in at a very slow pace or not at all.

Why is this?


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About the Author

Anna Carroll, MSSW, is an organization development consultant, facilitator, coach, and speaker. She designs and leads training and group planning experiences and creates learning tools and assessments to speed up group success. Most recently, Anna has focused on how leaders and team members can overcome their barriers to exchanging valuable feedback in the workplace. Her book, The Feedback Imperative: How to Give Everyday Feedback to Speed Up Your Team’s Success, was published in July 2014 by River Grove Press.

Want to learn more? Visit Anna’s website: www.EverydayFeedback.com or contact her by email at [email protected].

Management Observation Program – Introduction

StrategyDriven Management Observation Program Introduction“You can expect only what you inspect.”
Military Axiom

Managers are responsible for establishing and reinforcing work priorities and standards of performance. Reinforcing expectations requires interaction with subordinates and is most effective when the manager personally observes, rather than reading or hearing about, performance behaviors and immediately provides feedback. Lasting individual and organization performance improvement occurs through ongoing reassessment supported by performance data collection, documentation, and analysis used to reinforce desired individual and group behaviors, modify counterproductive behaviors, and eliminate organizational barriers to performance excellence. A well designed and executed management observation program serves as an effective performance improvement and reinforcement tool to achieve these long-term performance changes.

The management observation program is an integral part of an organization’s evaluation and control program. By design, these observation programs compel direct management observation of and feedback on work performed while supporting the performance data collection and analysis needed to realize lasting, beneficial personnel and organizational performance change. They typically consist of predefined performance assessment scorecards, a data collection and analysis application, key performance indicators and reports, and a governing procedure. This procedure defines required observation topics, frequencies, and quality standards as well as documentation and feedback protocols and data analysis, trend reporting, and corrective action; all aligned to support achievement of organizational values and mission goals.

Focus of the Management Observation Program Category

Articles in this category will focus on the underlying principles, best practices, and warning flags associated with establishing and executing a management observation program aligned with organizational values and mission goals that effectively modifies personnel and organizational behaviors for the achievement of superior results. The following articles, podcasts, documents, and resources cover those topics critical to a robust management observation program.

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