Understanding the Theory of Knowledge Management

We live in a crazy time! Knowledge is available to anyone at anytime and it is simply impossible to keep track of everything out there. But knowledge and its effective use still remains an important part of a business’s competitive edge. It did so 10 years ago and it might even be more prevalent in this ‘connected economy’ where we give out free knowledge in the shape of high quality content as a marketing effort. So how do we obtain, manage, create and retain knowledge in our businesses? I’m going to split it into several blogs and first take a look at the theory of knowledge management; if we understand what it is and how it works, we’ll get a better [...]

Operational Excellence: what is it and how does it relate to Lean?

Operational Excellence (OpEx for short) is one of those business buzzwords that you hear flying around but I’ve gotten feedback that it remains unclear what it is. So hereby my interpretation of Operational Excellence based on my own training and experiences. There are several reasons to want Operational Excellence: Lower operational costs Increasing quality Shorter throughput times Etc. Still, these reasons are not what operational excellence is all about! Creating all these benefits still does not mean that your business will actually grow or that you’re doing this in a way that is most beneficial for your customers, your organisation or your employees. The nuance lies in the way these improvements come from an organic flow instead of forced change. OpEx [...]

Performance Management: a simple introduction

Though vital for any organisation or entrepreneur, performance management is a loaded term and not one that appeals to most people as it has an air of ‘discipline and punishment’ around it. I’ve seen it done right and I’ve seen it go wrong; let’s first take a look at what it is. Simply said, performance management is done by business owners and managers to ensure that an organisation is doing the right things right. When the ‘wrong’ things are done or when things are done in the ‘wrong’ way these managers will then steer the processes or people involved in the right direction again. Performance management thus gives them the tools to define vision and goals and to communicate, measure, [...]

5 Should-Use Change Management Tools and Elements

Change management is all about making sure the change you want to make happen in your process or your organisation happens successfully. With successfully I mean that the change is not forced down people’s throats but guided in a humane way and where it sticks for the long-term. Last week I wrote a blog on the most common steps to successful change management (thanks to John Kotter). This week I will take a look at the most commonly used tools in change management. 1. The Case for Change One way to create that required sense of urgency in your organization (step 1 in Kotter’s 8 step approach) is to create a powerful Case for Change. This is simply a narrative that [...]

The 8 Steps of Successful Change Management

The field of change management is one that is widely written about but is apparently really hard to do. In fact, 70% of all organizational changes fail according to McKinsey & Co. Given that most organisations are currently in a constant state of change due to all sorts of reasons this number does raise some concerns. But let’s not judge too hasty and first take a look at the process of change. Organisational change or change management is a structured approach filled with tools and techniques for ensuring that a desired change within the organisation happens smoothly and successfully with all the desired, and lasting, outcomes. Often this happens in a project management environment. Harvard professor John Kotter defined 8 [...]

A super simple introduction to Lean

Lean is hot! It has been for a while and it will probably continue to do so for the coming years. Some explanations of Lean tend to be a little dry or overly complicated so hereby an attempt at a super simple introduction to some of the most important elements of the concept. With Lean you (attempt to) cut out everything that does not add value to the customer. In other words, all wasteful steps that a customer is not willing to pay for should be eliminated. Sounds simple right? There are 3 things that probably need a little more explaining though: Who is the customer? The customer is more than just the end customer, the one that pays for [...]