Leading Business Strategies for Operational Excellence in 2024
- POSTED ON JANUARY 26, 2024
Leading Through Operational Excellence: A Guide for 2024
As we step into the new year, many of us set personal resolutions and goals. Simultaneously, the beginning of the year provides a chance to reset professionally, recalibrate expectations, renew goals, and refine business strategies.
Having worked with operational teams globally over my career, and now in my role as the VP of Business Operations and Customer Experience at CTI, I believe this is an opportune time to elevate and set teams up for success in 2024.
Let me start by defining what operational excellence means to me, as it’s a widely used term, but its interpretation varies across businesses. For me, it encompasses the following steps:
1. Review the “Why”
Establish a high-level, clear direction for the business over the next three years, with a focus on the upcoming year. Address questions about the overarching outcome, defining what the business stands for, business metrics, and the fundamental “why?”.
2. Stay in a Feedback Loop
Implement frequent and transparent feedback sessions. Setting clear goals at various levels and identifying areas of opportunity for individual team members empowers teams for independent operation and growth.
3. Keep the Process Flow Alive
Recognize the vital role of well-documented and efficient processes in running businesses by creating and continuously working on process documentation. Evaluate the relevance of existing processes and question their alignment with the current business environment.
4. Identify All Contributions to Success
It’s important to identify and track key metrics during the organizational goal-setting process. Making metrics public through the company empowers employees and provides real-time insights into their contributions to success.
5. Focus on Delighting Customers
Foster a culture where everyone considers themselves a customer, both internally and externally, by crafting policies that empower employees to creatively engage with customers while ensuring business protection. Encourage teams to think innovatively about enhancing customer experiences by using the net promoter score, which measures how likely someone would be to recommend a service, product, or business to a colleague or friend.
6. Empower Employees to Take Responsibility
Recognize the leadership role in creating an empowered workforce. Focusing on personal responsibility and self-leadership leads to paradigm shifts that contribute to a more responsible world. Encouraging leaders to model taking responsibility for their actions and influencing employees to do the same fosters a cornerstone of an empowered workforce.
These 6 steps show how achieving operational excellence requires a holistic approach that incorporates strategic vision, individual and team empowerment, efficient processes, meticulous tracking, customer-centricity, and a culture of personal responsibility.
Fostering that empowered workforce hinges on the leadership ingrained in the very fabric of an organization. At CTI, our focus lies in catalyzing paradigm shifts that contribute to a more holistic and responsible world. We consider this not only fundamental to self-leadership but also pivotal in guiding others.
Spotlight on Leadership
Instead of detailing how to create an empowered workforce, I want to shift the spotlight to you as the leader. Even if we don’t see ourselves as holding a formal leadership position within our organizational structure, we need to recognize that we lead ourselves and influence our environment. Acknowledging our responsibility for how we present ourselves, along with our impact on things within our sphere of influence, and taking ownership of that responsibility can bring about a transformative shift — not just in our personal lives but also in our workforce.
Allowing ourselves to show up authentically and assume responsibility for the unfolding events in our lives, while acknowledging the influence of our actions, empowers us to view situations from diverse perspectives. This, in turn, enables us to choose approaches that empower us the most.
Modeling this approach for other colleagues and guiding them to do the same becomes the cornerstone of cultivating an empowered workforce. As leaders, our individual commitment to self-leadership ripples through an organization. Leadership gives us the opportunity to create a culture of empowerment and responsibility. What intention will you set for your leadership in 2024?