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Tag Archives: Improvement

Benchmarking is a systematic tool that allows a company to determine whether its performance of organisational processes and activities represent the best practices.

Benchmarking models are used to determine how well a business unit, division, organisation or corporation is performing compared with other similar organisations.

A benchmark is a point of reference for a measurement. The term 'benchmark' presumably originates from the practice of making dimensional height measurements of an object on a workbench using a gradual scale or similar

The term 'benchmark' presumably originates from the practice of making dimensional height measurements of an object on a workbench using a gradual scale or similar tool and using the surface of the workbench as the origin for the measurements.

Traditionally, performance measures are compared with previous measures from the same organisation at different times. Although this can be a good indication of the speed of improvement within the organisation, it could be that although the organisation is improving, the competition is improving faster...


  1. Internal benchmarking (benchmark within a corporation, for example between business units)
  2. Competitive benchmarking (benchmark performance or processes with competitors)
  3. Functional benchmarking (benchmark similar processes within an industry)
  4. Generic benchmarking (comparing operations between unrelated industries)
  5. Collaborative benchmarking (carried out collaboratively by groups of companies (e.g. subsidiaries of a multinational in different countries or an industry organisation).


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Posted in Resource

Too often we don’t spend enough time clarifying what we’re really aiming to do before we move to action.

It’s all too easy to set objectives that are so general that we don’t know exactly what we’re trying to achieve, or whether we’ve achieved it.

A structured approach forces us to think more deeply and methodically about what we actually want. Perhaps the best known of these approaches is the SMART acronym.

This is a practical, straightforward tool, which can be used for both professional and personal planning.

There’s quite a wide range of variations in the way SMART is defined, and in this quick guide, we outline one of the most popular.


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The implementation of any change will always have an impact on employees, processes and ways of working.

The most important thing to remember is that by identifying potential issues before the change initiative gets underway, plans can be put in place to minimise any possible impact. This simple activity provides a framework which can be applied to any pending change, allowing you to decide how to approach the change, as well as identify and mitigate any risks to your team.

There are four steps to the technique:

  1. Identify where or what the change is going to impact.
  2. Consider who the change is going to impact.
  3. Understand how the change is going to impact.
  4. Determine when the change is going to impact.

1. Where or What - make a list of all the potential areas of your team that could be affected. In particular, consider:

  • Once the change is implemented will your existing processes still work, and will they still be the most efficient way to work?
  • Will anyone in your team need new technology or hardware as a result?
  • Is the change limited to a few people in your team or does it spread across a number of areas?

2. Who - identify all the people that will be affected by the change. Consider: (more…)

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Q. What is Lateral Thinking?

A. Lateral Thinking is the mental process of generating ideas and solving problems by looking at a situation or problem from a unique perspective. It is the ability to think creatively or “outside the box.”

Lateral thinking involves breaking away from traditional modes of thinking and discarding established patterns and preconceived notions.

About Lateral Thinking:  Lateral thinking is a term coined by Edward De Bono in 1967 in his book  The Use of Lateral Thinking. De Bono explained typical problem-solving techniques involve a linear, step-by-step approach. He believes more creative answers can be obtained by taking a step sideways to re-examine a situation or problem from an entirely different viewpoint.

Lateral Thinking Techniques: Lateral thinking techniques provide a deliberate, systematic process that results in innovative thinking. By using these unconventional thinking techniques, lateral thinking enables you to find creative solutions that you may otherwise not consider.

Below are seven techniques to help you elicit creative ideas that can be both novel and useful solutions to a problem.

  1. Alternatives: Use concepts to breed new ideas
  2. Focus: Sharpen or change your focus to improve your creative efforts
  3. Challenge: Break free from the limits of accepted ways of doing things
  4. Random Entry: Use unconnected input to open new lines of thinking
  5. Provocation and Movement: Move from a provocative statement to useful ideas
  6. Harvesting: Select the best ideas and shape them into practical solutions
  7. Treatment of Ideas: Strengthen and shape ideas to fit an organization or situation


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This CIPD report provides practical examples of how organisations have approached transformational change.

It contains three sections which refer to examples from the four case studies and focus on:

1. the key themes identified from the four case study organisations on how to land transformational change

2. how approaches to transformation have changed

3. how the roles of HR, OD and L&D in transformation have changed.

The report concludes with recommendations for landing transformational change. The appendix contains detailed case studies of the four transformation processes studied in BBC Worldwide, HMRC, News UK and Zurich UK Life.


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Can Scorpions Smoke? Creative Adventures in the Corporate World by Steve Chapman.

Imagination, creativity, improvisation and play are not words that adults normally associate with their work, but many secretly lament their absence in everyday life.

They are also words that many of us wouldn't put at the top of our curriculum vitae either. However, the world is changing and the emergence of an Age of Applied Artistry is calling for modern organisations to take the development of these skills more seriously, as they become capabilities that are not just nice-to-have but essential for survival in the corporate world of the future.

This book crashes together ideas from the world of Organisation Development (Od), gestalt psychology and improvisational theatre and distils them into some simple stories, concepts and practices that anybody and everybody can experiment with in order to awaken and unleash their own creative spirit.

It is an unusual, entertaining and insightful mix of biography and field guide that helps defrost the little creative genius inside of us all.

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Companies run on good ideas.

From R&D groups seeking pipelines of innovative new products to ops teams probing for timesaving process improvements to CEOs searching for that next growth opportunity—all senior managers want to generate better and more creative ideas consistently in the teams they form, participate in, and manage.

Yet all senior managers, at some point, experience the pain of pursuing new ideas by way of traditional brainstorming sessions—still the most common method of using groups to generate ideas at companies around the world.

In this McKinsey insight brainstorming becomes “brainsteering,” and while it requires more preparation than traditional brainstorming, the results are worthwhile: better ideas in business situations as diverse as inventing new products and services, attracting new customers, designing more efficient business processes, or reducing costs, among others.

The next time you assign one of your people to lead an idea generation effort—or decide to lead one yourself—you can significantly improve the odds of success by following the seven steps explained in this report.


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