If you look to your team, are they motivated and moving in synchronized fashion, efficient and effective? Would you or could you call their efforts as precise as the movements found in a Swiss watch or more like the holes found in ripe smelling Swiss cheese?
All too often we get caught up at work in the functions we are doing and have to accomplish, goals that we need to meet, projects that need our oversight and people who need to be managed or have questions of us. Would you agree that it appears that many days you end up chasing you’re to do list, simply because our teams are not working in unison, unity and harmony? Could be!
Take a moment and look at your operation, at your processes/protocols and consider is your circle of production a Swiss clock, or is it smelly Swiss cheese full of holes?
If we truly believe that our employees, our “people”, are our greatest assets then we need to look at those assets and see if they are moving in harmony like that of the Swiss clock mechanism, or conversely are they stinking up the place with lots of holes throughout like the Swiss cheese. If you have cheese, then you need to ask can if a change can be made to maximize that asset and to get it to a point of precision movement? In some cases it will require an asset exchange that will allow for it to be better suited in another area. In rare cases that asset may have lost its value and is no longer producing and at that point we have found Swiss cheese.
Henry Ford commented on the synergy of Swiss movement as it relates to our best assets when he said “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”Those forward movements mean each cog in the precise symphony of the time piece is fulfilling their requirements advancing time. For this analogy time equals profits in the real world.
In any organization, the components must be at a point of alignment so the sprockets fit, day in and day out. When those two pieces suddenly or even from the beginning do not mesh, it quickly escalates to us to analyze the process and to set the course for correction on how to merge the components to operate efficiently and effectively. So how do you merge those components? First, look to the artisan who crafts fine watches and creates the precision movements; look at the details that are put into the product long before the product is assembled. What are you doing to fine tune and finesse those people in your organization? Do you analyze your own cogs, to see what the fit is? Are you investing in training, whether it is sales training on the basic elements of how to discover, qualify, present products or services and ask for the sale? Are you providing training on the psychology of the sale or the products you sell to the businesses or clientele you have or hope to reach? Reach out and ask your team if these components would be helpful in bringing them closer to being the precise time piece you desire.
In another option, have you ever considered that simply identifying the component that we thought would be the best fit with another sometimes ends up being not compatible at all, for a variety of reasons. Interchange or switch those elements with other assets to gain. You may find that another person is better suited, has increased or different interpersonal skills that end up working in closer harmony to provide better service and better products to your customers and better work environments..
Identifying where the Swiss cheese is located in your organizational environment does not take a long time, nor does it take a great deal of work. The people in your organization that just don’t fit correctly, quite frankly, STINK, and you as an owner or manager or principle know it! What are you going to do about it?
Now, just because it or they smell, only identifies them as cheese, it does not necessarily make it a bad thing. Swiss cheese can be a benefit to many organizations, you just need to locate where it fits best to maximize the benefits of all parties. As you know Swiss cheese is the main ingredient in lots of very tasteful sandwiches and recipes.
As an example; if you know that you have a strong closer, but he or she struggles with add-on sales or the supplemental service plans you offer, use the precision technique of pairing. Pairing most often will increase production and selling skills of both members of a paired team. Sales associates that are paired will typically result with increased sales, along with increased profit margins. That is a recipe for success and it becomes a win for everyone. How? Simply by recognizing the movement of the individual components. Spencer Johnson who authored “Who Moved My Cheese said, “Movement in new direction helps find new cheese.” So do not be afraid to look for the new cheese or have others do it for you by allowing everyone to become better simply by change, which makes everyone more efficient and effective and helps to find new cheese.
Change is never easy, and it comes with frustration and irritation, but usually you will find it also comes with praise and acceptance as well. Those last elements however arrive only after a period of time adjustment when folks realize the change was for the benefit of all to execute precision timing. So are you willing to look the other way while all of the rest are gazing straight ahead for the benefit of everyone involved?
Dare to be different and find your precise time piece today, talk to your team and look and listen for the Swiss cheese, if you can’t make the change at least make a great sandwich.