Getting a Fresh Look at Your Products and Services

Every three months, a group of people from the organization—younger people, junior people, but never the same people—sits down and looks at one segment of the company’s products, or services, or process or policies with a question: If we didn’t do this already, would we go into it the way we are now? Every four or five years, that company has systematically abandoned or at … [ Read more ]

Internal Product and Service Fairs

Put on regular product and service fairs that allow all areas of your company to show off their results, explain what they’re working on, and swap ideas. A giant two-day fair at a large house-wares manufacturer resulted in 2,000 ideas for new products.

Use a Baldridge Award Application to Improve Your Business

There are myriad business competitions, which companies enter for myriad reasons. Opportunistic CEOs slap together applications for every conceivable prize, hoping to show off their accomplishments or secure a PR payday. But no one undertakes Baldrige on a lark. The application for the award runs to 50 pages, with roughly 250 questions covering every aspect of performance, from strategic planning and knowledge management to work-force … [ Read more ]

Corporate Tourism

Make sure that you and people throughout your organization spend lots of time in external benchmarking and “corporate tourism” mode, looking for good ideas to swipe. Many of the opportunities or problems you’re facing now are old hat to somebody somewhere. Learning from other people’s experiences — both the successes and the failures — can take years and millions of dollars off your learning curve. … [ Read more ]

A Better Approach to HR

Formerly, when operational people in the business units at Devon Energy did a search for a new employee, HR would hand them a list of candidates. It would be their job to decide which candidates to see and to sell the candidates on Devon.

Now, we in HR sit down with the business leader and talk about the need, and the strategy to fill the need. … [ Read more ]

Best Practices and Good Tries

Set up an internal “best practices and good tries” system, clearinghouse or network to continuously spread the learning about what works and doesn’t work across your organization.