The Great Game of Business is a company whose origins were from the Springfield Re-manufacturing Corp, (SRC). For those who do not know about Jack Stack and Springfield Re-manufacturing, I will be writing more about this great story of American Manufacturing ingenuity in future posts. Suffice it to say, Jack Stack and his smokestack industrial Midwest manufacturing companies are the real deal. Key learning from the SRC story are all rolled up into an Open Book Management Concept they call the Great Game of Business, and it is an awesome system to utilize if you want your company to succeed and thrive for decades to come.
In one turnaround I was leading, a member of the senior leadership team was always in agreement with everything we discussed and pleasant to be around, but was quietly and effectively undermining my efforts to discover variances that were causing waste numbers to be excessively high. His department was causing the problem by using materials that were over specification because the correct inventory was not available when needed to meet order lead times. This senior manager didn’t want to spend the time or energy to solve it. Instead he tried to bury the data with evasive maneuvers. His passive/aggressive behavior proved not only costly to the company, but fatal to his career.
Congratulations! You’ve just been hired as CEO of a company in deep financial trouble. The ownership and board of directors have given you free reign to do your job, and you feel up to the task of leading the effort, but you have limited time to turn this ship around, and get it moving in a different more profitable direction.
What will be your plan starting Monday, your first day on the new job… the first month…the first six months. How will you evaluate and manage the company and its processes. How will you engage with the customers?
Innovation can be iterative and lineal, as in re-engineering a product component or a work process. It can also be transformational, when entirely new technologies are discovered, such as life changing medical devices like the pacemaker, the Cochlear Implant, or the personal computer. Others come to mind, such as the automobile, or the internet.
Leaders in the New Economy must orient their companies to identify all customer touch points in every work category within their organizations, creating innovative processes which MAP to the customer experience. Then, each mapped process must be tested refined and improved before formal implementation. Enduring companies today have the Customer Experience at the core of what they do, and have customer experience mapping processes in place to prove it.