- Management pro-activity;
- Using the same “business problem-solution” tactics to look for inefficiency, stupid business practices, waste, and fraud;
- Exploiting the in-house experts who know the business processes the best.
…what framework do you fit these efforts into?
For these tactics to bear fruit, levels of management need to see not only the value of continuous improvement, but must be reminded to utilize their sense of inquisitiveness, and always look to do things “better, faster, cheaper, and smarter.” If people within organizations are coaxed to always do their very best (and that includes knowing the difference between right and wrong), they most likely treat the entity’s money as their own…and that’s a very good thing!
But…how do you get your people to that place? How do you maintain that attitude? How do you reward that behavior?
One (other) thing that can craze conscientious people in organizations is that they (we) need to hear key messages regularly, with conviction, followed-up by corresponding action. Your people are watching you, seeing if your behavior matches the messages, if you truly “walk the talk.” (Oops, sounds like one of those magical-mystery, here-today-gone-tomorrow, on-the-tip-of-my-lips, monthly-management mottos, doesn’t it?)
Fads abound, and the canned answer from the consultants, and public accounting, and the media is: “tone at the top.”
Well, I’ll call the real answer: “tone throughout.” That’s what has to be driven through the fads, in and out of all entity training, as an integral part of the interviewing/hiring processes all the way to reviews and compensation, and with reminders to all the functions throughout the year, just what behavior and corresponding action is to be expected…no doubt.
And if you behave otherwise, there are consequences.