The book of the week was Outstanding! by John G. Miller. The book was... well... outstanding! I am a really big fan. The book is 47 ways to make your organization exceptional and I think that every single idea in this book is huge when it comes to making your organization run more effectively.
I wish I had time to dive into each of these ideas, but I will discuss a select few, in no particular order...
- Be Fast- It is the first chapter in the book and it's one that is very easy to work through within an organization. Look at what you do and where you can coach to shave hours, minutes, or seconds. The faster you are at each thing within an organization the happier the customers will be and they are a pretty important part within an organization.
- See Everyone as a Customer- The book talks about 360 degree customer service. You have customers that directly give you money in exchange for a service or product (these are external customers) and you also have customers that are working for you within the organization (internal customers). A customer is really anyone that has an expectation of you. If you internal customers as being just as important as external then everything runs much smoother. So be considerate and help your contractors, suppliers, office staff, etc. and you'll see tremendous results.
- Hire Character- If you are focused on anything within an organization while you do your hiring it should be character. Imagine you have two college graduates- one spends her time volunteering at the hospital 3 nights a week and manages to get pretty good grades and the other is a straight A student. Choose the one that exhibits the character. That will be the person that takes ownership over their position, comes in early, stays late, and thinks of ways to improve on days off. An organization filled with individuals with character is an outstanding organization.
- Never Forget Who Pays the Bills- It's all about the customer. I'm sure everyone has experienced those days when they see an employee that acts like you're more of an inconvenience than the person that pays their paychecks. I like to go into organizations that have employees that smile at me, have genuine concern for how my day is, and would bend over backwards to make my day even better.
- Coach, Moment to Moment- As a manager, it is your duty to coach your team. And more than that, the coaching should be constant. Never let your teams become stagnant or "good enough." Everyone can do better and hone the skills they have. If that statement wasn't true NFL players would just play games and not spend so much time practicing. Be the coach for your team and help them reach goals, and when they reach that goal help them reach the next one.
- Train- This is the most valuable expense a company can assume. Training individuals to be effective is the only way to make your organization effective. Too many organizations send their new employees into the gauntlet with nothing more than a handbook and a slap on the back. Moment to moment coaching is more important in the beginning stages of someone's employment than any other time in someone’s career. Be there for them and teach them.
- Encourage Each Other- It is very valuable for individuals within an organization to be there for each other. It is wonderful to hear a "you can do it" from a colleague. It plays into the morale within an organization and morale directly leads to effectiveness. Help your organization encourage each other by setting the standard. If you encourage someone, they are more likely to encourage someone else.