Archive for September, 2011

Business Should Learn From The NHS

There are many occasions when I observe teams that are dysfunctional and not producing the results anticipated. So it was a delight to have experienced first hand a team that through great management, understanding of what needed to be done and an ability, of the whole team, to explain to outsiders what was happening.

A Great Team

Not for the first time (Two years ago I dislocated my shoulder) I find myself in complete admiration for the doctors, nurses and assistants in the UK’s National Health Service. Last week my Mother suffered a heart attack and had to be rushed into hospital. For relatives under such circumstances it’s a frightening time for the patient and an anxious time for relatives.

From the motorbike paramedic to arrive first, to the ambulance crew, A&E staff and cardiac recovery team at the Royal Glamorgan Hosptal everyone worked in calm, professional and well rehearsed precision. As a result my Mother is still poorly but out of danger.

Business could profit from studying the technique
Business could profit from taking lessons in the training, management and delivery of the service that our professional medical teams deliver to their customers.
So it’s a Thank You from me 

No comments

More Change for Insurance Companies

Having just paid my car insurance fee that, despite having nine years no claims bonus, rose once again I was delighted to hear that referral fees are to be outlawed and that The Office of Fair Trading is putting motor
insurance under the spotlight after premiums rose by
40% on average in a year.

First step in tackling dysfunctional compensation system

The Association of British Insurers – said it welcomed the announcement. As reported by the BBC, Director General Otto Thoresen
said: “We are very pleased that the government has listened to the
insurance industry’s campaign for a ban on referral fees.

“Banning referral fees is an important first step in tackling
our dysfunctional compensation system, and needs to be accompanied by a
reduction in legal costs and action to tackle whiplash if honest
customers are to benefit from these reforms.”

Change in culture and teams
Insurance companies, law firms, garages and other interested parties in the referral system merry-go-round will have to change their systems and their teams to reflect these changes.  That either means redundancy or allocation to other jobs (on the basis that the entire system doesn’t move underground).

Reduced bills

It’s interesting how there is expectation that once the system is outlawed and the teams that manage the current the system are disbanded, saving employment costs, and the huge compensation costs reduced that insurance premiums will fall.

I will await next year’s policy renewal notice with interest!

No comments

Could Layoffs Create A Future Problem?

CNN reported that HSBC has announced that 3,000 people – roughly 10% of its
workforce – will be out of a job by 2013 and are part of the bank’s plans to eliminate 30,000 positions worldwide.

Other banks making huge numbers redundant include Bank of
America, the largest bank in the U.S., plans to shed between 25,000 and 30,000 jobs as reported in the Charlotte Observer . In Stockholm, Nordea, the largest bank in the Nordic region is to cut 2,000 workers. The Dutch bank ABN Amro has announced that it will cut 2,350 jobs. The Daily Telegraph has reported that Lloyds TSB will be cutting 15,000 jobs, Barclays 3000 and Goldman Sachs 1000.

A payroll cut is instant money
Banks are looking for ways to boost their
bottom lines – and as employees
represent around 60% of a bank’s expenses a payroll cut is instant

Another reason is that as banks increase salaries and reduce bonuses they find that whilst bonuses could be easily adjusted to reflect the bank’s financial performance, salaries are a fixed cost. So rather than axe bonuses, banks are axing bankers.

A future problem
In my experience when team personnel are restructured there is the need to restructure work processes and determine new targets and work outcomes. In effect there is a NEW TEAM and new teams are likely to achieve their anticipated results only 60% of the time.

This failure rate (40%) can cause huge losses on the bottom line and delay mission critical outcomes unless clear management of the transition situation is carefully implemented. In my experience the more team change that’s implemented at the same time the more likely there is to be a failure. 

No comments

Why is no-one accountable?

I was asked last week what I felt was one of the biggest mistakes in sales team management and my answer was “lack of accountability”. Though I wasn’t talking about allocating blame for missed sales targets!

Lack of Sales Accountability:

Blaming poor sales results to uncontrollable forces such as
competitors, the economy, poor marketing or poor management is often the starting point for sales teams that seek to justify poor sales. There will be times when salespeople exceed monthly targets and others when they fail to meet monthly target. There is an urgent problem if the sales team fails to exceed target 80% of the time and when they do fail to reach target the shortfall is greater than 15%. 

Who is responsible for the lack of performance?
However, when failure does happen too often it’s because the business lacks a clear policy of sales
accountability. Sales people that under perform will often not accept personal responsibility, instead they will blame the economy or other reasons. Sales management are often no better and will blame training or marketing and so on.

All good sales teams benefit from an accountability policy. Accountability doesn’t mean having people accept failure as if they were in a confessional. It does, however, involve the whole team as well as any support mechanisms such as training and marketing in determining the aspects that went wrong during a given time period and then the maturity and ability to determine how to improve the situation.

Creating a culture of sales accountability doesn’t happen
overnight but it’s an essential aspect of having a successful sales team.

No comments

UK Business Leaders Aren’t Impressed

A survey has found that UK’s leaders aren’t impressed with the work that their own companies are doing to develop their next generation of managers.

Management Today writes that figures by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, just four in 10 leaders think the measures their company has put in place to coax out their employees’ inner CEO is ‘highly effective’ – which means six in 10 don’t.

The survey asked 367 leaders about their leadership development programme and found that two in 10 actually think the LDP’s in their own company are downright ineffective. As MT so rightly asks: “Considering they’re the people in charge of their companies why they sort it out?

In the long run it’s likely to be a costly error but then again few people in charge have the vision to find and develop the person who will eventually replace them. Instead the tendency is to get rid of the threat!

No comments