Converting Business Ideas Into Action

Situation

Business plans often don’t work out as we hope. It may be a matter of just falling short of last month’s production or sales target or a significant gap between what you thought could be achieved and what your team actually delivered.

It’s disappointing and annoying. Your best intentions for getting things done are derailed and blown off course. Your hard work and effort amount to not much where results are weak and well short of the mark. Worse still, you are being assessed on your ability to extract a high level of performance from your team. The situation makes you look ineffective.

Foundation gaps

A truck load of reasons can be put forward as to why business operations run out of steam and targets aren’t achieved. My experience, based upon working with many managers, workers and business owners, indicates four core reasons why well intentioned day-to-day operations, campaigns and projects fail to meet objectives. I call these “foundation gaps” as they are gaps in the basic building blocks of good business practices.

Foundation gaps:

  • Reluctance in learning from past mistakes
  • Deficient planning
  • Weak implementation
  • Insufficient monitoring and adjustment.

Overcoming foundation gaps

The Balmattum Management approach to overcoming foundation gaps includes six strategies.

  • Team leaders sharing ideas and plans for the future with team members and inviting their comments and ideas.
  • Gathering relevant and timely information from far and wide to contribute to effective decision making.
  • Actioning plans as soon as possible. Asking everyone concerned to get on board and make it happen. Delegating tasks and sharing the workload.
  • Team leaders with the courage to face challenges undaunted and persevering with action plans through to completion.
  • Demonstrating enthusiasm and encouraging team members to do their best.
  • Measuring outcomes, giving feedback to team members and making any necessary adjustments.

Team members’ ideas

A powerful strategy is inviting team members’ ideas to identify missed opportunities and solve operational problems. After all, they are the ones closest to the operational action of your business, and they experience inefficiencies and waste first hand.

That’s not to say that discovering team members’ ideas is always straight forward. Sometimes it can be difficult to extract ideas depending on how well previous contributions from team members have been handled. This underscores the need for sensitive and respectful handling of team members when seeking practical and innovative contributions from them.

Converting Business Ideas Into Action Program

In response, the Converting Business Ideas Into Action Program is an action initiative for overcoming foundation gaps and giving your business greater opportunity for success. The Program’s core is tapping into an often under-utilised resource, the thinking power of team members.

The Converting Business Ideas Into Action Program addresses specific business areas that you and your team have identified as requiring improvement. The program harnesses the combined thinking power of team members in drilling down to fundamental causes of problems and coming up with ideas for solving them.

Ideas are discussed, developed and fashioned into an easy to follow step-by-step Action Plan. Implementation support is provided as we all know that even the best laid plans may sit on the shelf gathering dust unless a concerted effort is made to convert good ideas into reality.

Seven principles

The Converting Business Ideas Into Action Program is based upon seven principles:

  • Team members’ ideas for improving how work is done are valuable as they are derived from first-hand experience of their organisation’s waste of time, effort and materials.
  • Team members’ voluntary contributions of ideas result in greater productivity and enhanced service quality.
  • Coaxing ideas from team members sometimes meets with resistance due to previous negative feedback.
  • Ideas are more likely to emerge where team members are invited to participate in solving problems and have confidence in the process.
  • Some ideas need further development in order to be job ready as they may have been intended for different situations.
  • Driving good ideas into reality requires leadership, commitment and persistence in order to overcome old ways and habits.
  • Enthusiastic, energised and focused team members are more likely to produce winning results.

Examples of team generated ideas converted into actions

  • Reducing waste of materials and labour by rearranging production processes making the cost of production more competitive.
  • Imaginative marketing campaigns attracting high numbers of enquiries.
  • Access to useful job tracking information enabling problem solving interventions to occur sooner leading to on-time deliveries to customers.
  • Fun business promotion activities enjoyed by customers and team members.
  • Better use of financial information for more accurately calculating a business’ financial position.
  • Informing existing and potential customers as to the full extent of a business’ service capability resulting in additional customers and increased sales.
  • Enhancing trust and co-operation between team members as they participate in enjoyable and interesting team building activities.

This program is designed to tease out good ideas from team members, prepare an Action Plan and provide guidance and support as your team takes action.

It’s simple: Good ideas left undiscovered and not implemented lead nowhere, whereas, good ideas enthusiastically put into practice and actively followed through can deliver stunning business success.

Program structure

The Converting Business Ideas Into Action Program is people oriented and workshop based comprising two modules:

Module One – Discovery Workshops x 2 designed to generate ideas from team members for solving particular business problems. These ideas are discussed and developed into strategies that underpin the Action Plan.

Module Two – Action Plan Implementation Workshops x 2 to support team members as they embark on the important mission of turning ideas into reality.

Content – Module One

  • Discovery Workshop #1 – Identifying issues and generating Ideas (3 hrs)
  • Discovery Workshop #2 – Deciding on Actions     (2 hrs)
  • Coaching by phone and email (1 hr)
  • Preparation of Action Plan by facilitator.

Content – Module Two

  • Implementation Workshop #1 – Kick-off (3 hrs)
  • Implementation Workshop #2 – Progress Update (2 hrs)
  • Coaching by phone and email (1 hr)
  • Preparation of Progress Report by facilitator.

Time frames

Module One is conducted during a period of two weeks.
Module Two is conducted during a period of two weeks.

Selection criteria

Business team:

  • Five or more team members
  • Being open minded
  • Willing to try new ideas.

Expected outcomes

Outcomes expected from the program include:

  • Bringing ideas to the surface by tapping into team members’ thinking power.
  • Discussing, evaluating and fashioning ideas into good ideas that address current business challenges.
  • Creating an achievable Action Plan that clearly explains what needs to be done to overcome problems. It’s a blue print for action.
  • Supporting team members by monitoring progress, offering encouragement and assisting them to maintain focus as they carry out agreed actions.

Program pricing

For program pricing please contact Andrew Dunning via my Contact Page

Andrew Dunning
Director

Balmattum Management

Improving business performance from the inside
PO Box 1916, Traralgon Victoria 3844, Australia
© Balmattum Pty Ltd


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