Every new CEO faces the challenge of inherited problems left behind by their predecessor. It’s just part of the job, but knowing this doesn’t ease the frustration. One of the most common challenges facing new CEOs is managing the aftermath of a change programme that was implemented to remove cost from the business as its only focus.
And although costs may have been reduced, customer experience and staff morale are likely to have been seriously impacted. You didn’t cause these problems, but responsibility for fixing them lies firmly at your door. Plus there’s the added pressure of knowing that you need to make a difference at speed and not just against costs but a balance of key metrics such as service, internal satisfaction and no doubt expenses.
The aftermath of poorly thought out change programmes
Where change programmes are implemented just to reduce costs, they often leave operations understaffed and delivering poor performance, leading to poor customer service which in turn drives complaints up and customer satisfaction down. With rework volumes out of control, expenses spiralling or with your business plans demanding more capacity in the future your challenge is to rescue operations as quickly as possible, without increasing resources.
“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.”
Getting back on track
The first step to getting back on track is to gain clarity of your operational capabilities and capacity. Achieving greater visibility of your operations will help to identify areas where there is inefficiency and duplication, enabling you to drive out waste and increase productivity. Ultimately, it’s about understanding what you can achieve with the resources and skills at your disposal.
A challenge shared by many CEOs in this position is a lack of operations experience. This can be a real problem because you need to make decisions at speed in order to drive rapid change, but there are likely to be many people acting as barriers to change, people who will say with authority that ‘what you’re asking can’t be done’.
Internal resistance usually comes in the form of persuasive, well-reasoned arguments demonstrating why change can’t be achieved, when in reality, what you need from your operational team is a positive mindset with the commitment to delivering the change that is required.
“For changes to be of any true value, they’ve got to be lasting and consistent.”
Overcoming barriers to change
A detailed diagnostic can be the key that unlocks these barriers to change. By pitching hard facts against personal opinion, a diagnostic will cut through any negativity by clearly highlighting problems and presenting solutions.
dhp deploys proven methodologies to diagnose your operational challenges and highlight opportunities you don’t even know exist. We’ll help you to identify and eliminate waste, improve efficiency and productivity, grow business capacity and improve the customer experience.
We have successfully achieved this many times, and we have empowered many companies not only to achieve operational excellence, but to foster a culture of change within front-line management and staff.
We understand the challenges you face because we’ve been there many times, and we know how to overcome them.