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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What Is A Business Excellence Program?

To understand what a business excellence program is, let's first look at what excellence is.

If you ask a roomful of business leaders: "What is your definition of exellence?" you'll get a wide range of responses.

Although business leaders vary in their definition of excellence, most agree that excellence is an ongoing pursuit in an ever-changing – and increasingly challenging – business environment.

Every situation is different, but typically our clients are already successful, already growing, but have difficulty meeting their next challenge. Frequent challenges mentioned by CEOs include:

  • Communication - departments/employees operate in vacuum
  • Accountability - things that should get done, don’t get done
  • Engagement - people don’t seem to care as much or aren’t sure of their role within the company
  • Alignment - people aren’t on the same page
The challenge for a business excellence program is to help leadership realize that their particular challenge at the moment is a symptom of a deeper need all growing organizations face: the need to systematically increase the capability of their organization to address future challenges.

BOTTOMLINE: Six Disciplines is a business excellence program. Years of research revealed to us that successful businesses all follow six fundamental disciplines related to strategy, planning, organization, execution, measurement and learning.

In our field research, we learned that a sustainable business excellence program must have the following four elements:

  1. A Repeatable Methodology-- to drive organization learning
  2. Ongoing External Coaching- to keep employees accountable and the program on track
  3. Pro-active Organization Alignment--a system to align the activities of every team member, every day and
  4. A Shared Learning Community— like-minded people… our clients, their employees, business peers, Six Disciplines coaches… all dedicated to accelerating learning and improving performance.
Our program uses a holistic approach to ingrain all six of these fundamental disciplines into the activities of every employee, every day. Simply put, Six Disciplines improves an organization’s ability to plan AND execute better—in a systematic, enduring way.

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