In Part I of ‘Think Like a Consultant’ – I outlined the three critical skills you must have. The ability to OBSERVE, ASK and LISTEN.
It doesn’t matter if you are a new hire a few years out of college or on the cusp of retirement. If you want to bring true value to your company beyond just getting through the daily grind, you have to raise your head and survey your surroundings. One of the best ways I know of to do this is to KEEP AN OPEN DOOR and KEEP AN OPEN MIND! I always welcomed and encouraged feedback from our administrative employees. Some of the best things we did in my company towards creating greater efficiency was based on recommendations from employees.
A good example of this is an employee who keys in accounts payable all day. She comes to you and says, I could do this a lot faster if I had a scanner on my desk (or you can fill in the blanks here). She is a capable and trusted employee who has proved her value over and over. Therefore, I made sure she had a scanner on her desk that week. Don’t dismiss out of hand requests from your staff for products they perceive will make their jobs better. Try your best to do what you can do for them.
In Part II, we presented two common scenarios where the controller fixed the problem at hand but failed to look at the underlying ROOT cause. You must review the PROCESS and insure it is not flawed.
In Part III, we followed up on the two scenarios presented and looked at suggested policies, procedures and documentation.
Depend on your staff/team to be your eyes and ears so that you have insights you would otherwise not gain into what I call the life cycle of your company. Show respect for their thoughts and ideas. But most importantly, ‘Think Like a Consultant’ so that you can keep your company constantly moving towards efficiencies and policies and procedures that help reduce failures in those areas that you are charged with overseeing.
NEXT MONDAY – I’m going to talk about some of my favorite business books and a few I plan to read. Let me hear from you. I welcome your thoughts and feedback.