Use Your People Before Your Money

I was recently reading “Are Your Employees Drivers or Victims of Process Innovations?” and it brought up some interesting thoughts.  I have been writing about the challenges of business constantly focusing on the systems instead of the people, and here were several different examples of how doing just that had hurt organizations.

When most businesses are looking to make more money, they do one of two things.  They either try and find a way to increase revenue, or they look for ways to cut expenses.  Usually when looking for ways to cut expenses, they look at processes and systems.  The challenge that this article points out is that creates a focus on numbers and percentages  and keeps you blind to a huge asset you have: your people.

In many instances, organizations think that moving processes into the digital world will make it faster because computers can do something over and over without getting tired or making mistakes.  By simply digitizing the process, you are often making workarounds, mistakes and processes that were pieced together without an idea of the overall goal permanent.  Then you have a bad process that is faster and more efficient at doing things ineffectively.

Whereas, if you were to engage the people who are implementing the process or system day in and day out, you can find brand new ways to get the job done that are faster, cheaper and might even be able to make the entire process unnecessary.

For example, at a local manufacturing facility we were helping them to get their employees to work together more cohesively.  Part of this was developing stronger relationships with one another, and part was to look at the processes that they have in place and see how they could improve them.  One participant utilized both halves of that equation to collaborate with outside contractors and develop a system for tracking a process that was brand new and is now being put to use throughout the plant.

Companies have their most powerful asset in every part of their business: the human mind.  By tapping into that creativity and those perceptive powers, we have seen countless innovations be put into place.

Use your people first, and then take what they create and make better decisions about your expenditures.  It not only saves you money, but it can also create fortunes.

This is something that Dale Carnegie has helped many organizations with.  If you would like help doing this with your employees or yourself, call me at 515.724.3163 or email me at Ryan dot Lynch at Dale Carnegie dot com.  I want to help.

~Ryan Lynch