Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rainmakers 14 - The Myths of Full Capacity

Full Capacity is an estimate of possible revenue and a gauge for sales planning, by projecting output of resources, availability of materials, and logistical elements. Assumes optimal output with no disruptions or changes.

You can capitalize on an opportunity by busting the myths and leveraging their operations.

full capacity is the maximum output of the organization. No –more resources may increase production volume.

Myth: sampling throughput can project capacity. No – not each person works at their best pace for all hours on the job.

Myth: all resources are being used fully throughout the organization. No - starting up and winding down require different intensity and pace.

Myth: productivity is constant. No – productivity is increased by repetition.

How could you leverage ability and experience to help an organization at ‘full capacity’?

Definition: A Rainmaker creates a significant amount of new business for a company. The Sales Lab Rainmaker Series is one rainmaker technique for technologists during the first 300 seconds (five minutes) of the monthly Capital Technology Management Hub Meeting.

Here's the growing collection:

Rainmaker 14 – The Myth of Full Capacity
Rainmaker 13 - Making the Most of Opportunity?
Rainmaker 12 - The Future is NOW - Makers
Rainmaker 11 - What Have I Done For You Lately?
Rainmaker 10 - Tune Your Work for the Internet
Rainmaker 7 - Mark Your Territory
Rainmaker 6 - Networking IS Business
Rainmaker 5 - Start With an Offer
Rainmaker 4 - Time, Talent, and Treasure
Rainmaker 2 - The Name Tag
Rainmaker 1 - Gifts
And The First Rainmakers (11/3/10)
Go to:

June 12 is the next Capital Technology Management Hub featuring Sales Lab's Rainmaker 14 – The Myth of Full Capacity - 300 seconds of pure profit. The main speaker will be Cory Lebson of Lebsontech LLC, presenting User Experience: What it Means & Why a Technology Manager Should Care!

The Pivot Point Is About Transition

A Pivot Point is a 'game-changing' life event that you remember vividly forever, and it changes you.

Last Friday, Myron Radio facilitated a marvelous program at the Leadership Breakfast of Maryland; the core concept was the effect of pivot points on individual and organizational success.

Two stories which illuminate the transition effect of a pivot point:

As an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland studying business and economics, I experienced an ah-ha when a labor law professor opened my eyes to the difference between being a student and being a learner. My focus shifted from trying to discern what would be on the test to actually internalizing the material – linking it prior learning and experience. If it didn't fit I would find other viewpoints to better understand how it related to what I already knew. Suddenly I was using knowledge, instead of just storing it – and have continued to be a learner ever since.

In my professional career I was point-guy for my organization in a merger. The president of the acquiring firm open a discussion about my role in the combined organization – a lateral shift to VP of recruiting. To me recruiting is a functional role, not an executive one, and I shared my thoughts with him, indicating I would not be accepting his offer. With a clear mind, I went on to become a President and CEO.

Many of us realize while pivot points are the major shifts, often we suddenly see how a puzzle piece fits for the issue currently in our minds. For example, when reading the book Makers by Cory Doctorow, it became clear to me how the traditional business structure was evolving – a fictional work NOT about business yielded an explanation of the radical shift currently under way.

Being aware of these shifts, great and small, empowers the leader to transform an organization by creating an environment encouraging applied learning and innovation.

The key to future challenges are in the lessons learned during the journey from the present to the future.

Add to the discussion – share your experience with a Pivot Point.

Friday, May 11, 2012

What Happens When Leaders Ask 'Why Do We Do This?'

Young children are legendary for asking Why? Why? Why? when seeking to learn. Adults, however, tend to simply do what's been done before without asking – why do we do this?

An experience to consider. When appointed as head of operations years ago, I suspended a dozen reports compiled by the accounting department without announcing the change. Out of 200+ employees, one person called about not receiving a report. We continued that report and canceled the other eleven (which freed up ½ FTE in accounting as a result).

This brought into sharp focus the effect of doing something because: we've been doing it; it's a tradition; it's SOP.

A leader will not only question why but will also encourage the doers to ask 'why do we do this?'

Base evaluating why on:
  • Does it directly create sales?
  • Does it directly serve the customers' needs?
  • Does it directly support operations and production?
  • Does it directly advance the mission, vision, or progress to the goal?
  • Does it exist in a different form – e.g., stored data – can it be accessible as needed instead of compiling a report?
A significant factor in the current turmoil in the labor market is the obvious becoming clear – the computer is now doing tasks and processes, and fewer people are needed. For example - when you check in at the kiosk in the airport, you get your boarding pass, the passenger list is updated, your seat is confirmed, your connecting flight is notified you are coming, food provisioning is updated, and the pilot and cabin crew are informed you are boarding.

Visualize the effect of multiple individual processing that was eliminated by sharing the check-in information – resulting in less airline employee gate agents and less passenger lines. Computer vs. people is occurring in all sectors – corporate, non-profit, government, and small business, with similar results.

Process automation frees up individuals to do something else; however, currently there is a limited amount 'something else' available.

To re-frame the picture of jobs and roles, a leader can ask - What would directly improve key areas in the organization. Focus on sales, results, customers, and effective production – bundle tasks and processes together to define new jobs and roles, then train people on the technology – not the equipment, but how to produce results.

Have a story about 'do it because we do it' work or innovative job creating? Please join the discussion.