What do Strategic Thinking, Operational Excellence, Continuous Improvement, and Employee Engagement Have in Common?
Strategic thinking, operational excellence, continuous improvement, and employee engagement have many things in common. They are all driven by a core set of inextricably linked operating principles. They:
- are all part of a company’s Business Hierarchy of Needs®.
- all involve a focus on long-term goals and objectives. Strategic thinking is the process of considering long-term goals and objectives and identifying the best course of action to achieve them. Operational excellence is the ongoing effort to improve efficiency, productivity and quality with the goal of delivering high-quality products and services to customers while minimizing costs and maximizing profits. Continuous improvement is the process of regularly reviewing and improving processes to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Employee engagement is the level of commitment and involvement of employees with their work and the organization.
- involve the use of data and metrics to track performance and make decisions. Strategic thinking requires the ability to identify and analyze patterns and trends in the market and industry, while operational excellence and continuous improvement both rely on metrics-driven decision making. Employee engagement also requires the use of metrics to measure and track employee engagement levels, performance, and accountability.
- require effective communication and collaboration among different levels of the organization. Strategic thinking requires leaders and managers to be able to communicate a clear vision, value proposition, Most Important Goal, and strategy to employees, stakeholders, and customers. Operational excellence and continuous improvement require collaboration and communication among employees, leaders, and different departments. Employee engagement also requires effective communication and collaboration between management and employees.
- all require a focus on customer satisfaction. Strategic thinking involves considering how to meet customer needs and expectations, operational excellence aims to deliver high-quality products and services to customers, continuous improvement seeks to improve internal and external customer satisfaction, while employee engagement is what delivers it.
- rely on technology to provide actionable data and insights. Strategic thinking requires market, product and customer performance data. Operational excellence requires decision making based on business performance metrics while continuous improvement efforts are directed by performance data on specific business processes – quality, productivity, cost, lead time, and other key metrics. Employee engagement is enhanced by technology’s ability to provide all levels of the company with insights to the performance of teams and individuals as well as deliver products and services on time and at the lowest possible cost.
- all require a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Strategic thinking requires leaders and managers to constantly assess and adjust plans based on changes in the market and internal and external influences. Operational excellence and continuous improvement both involve a focus on learning and improving processes. Employee engagement requires a culture that values and encourages employee development and growth.
In conclusion, strategic thinking, operational excellence, continuous improvement, and employee engagement are all closely related in that they all involve a focus on long-term goals and objectives, use of data and metrics, effective communication and collaboration, customer satisfaction and a culture of continuous learning and improvement. See the recipe for bringing all of this together in my new book: Strategy Realized – The Business Hierarchy of Needs® – Turning Strategy into Results
At Group50® Consulting, we are committed to help you develop and implement business strategies that deliver operational excellence by leveraging strategic thinking, employee engagement, continuous improvement and technology. You can talk to a strategic planning and implementation expert by sending a note to email@example.com, calling (909) 949-9083 or requesting more information here.
About the Author: Jim Gitney is the CEO and Founder of Group50® Consulting, and the author of “Strategy Realized – The Business Hierarchy of Needs®” which summarizes a framework for creating a business that leverages topics in this article. (You can find out more about the book and acquire a copy by clicking on the image to the right).
Founded in 2004, Group50®consulting is focused on working with middle market companies to significantly improve their productivity by leveraging people, process and technology as part of a company’s strategic plan. Group50® consists of consultants who have spent their careers in corporate America learning how to optimize businesses. We specialize in working with senior leaders to develop and implement strategies that accelerate top line and bottom line performance.
Strategy Realized – The Business Hierarchy of Needs
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