The business world continues to become more and more competitive every day. Organizations unceasingly look for ways to improve and adapt to the volatile global environment. Many tools and methodologies are well-known and available to support improvement. There are so many it can be difficult for a small to medium size business or organization to identify which are appropriate for its situation.
Fixing What Already Works is designed to share the experiences of two seasoned, successful, and award-winning business leaders to help show a path for smartly deploying these tools or their parts to improve operational effectiveness in businesses already doing well but needing or wanting to evolve to the next level. The book discusses and demonstrates how many of the most effective of these tools, philosophies, and methodologies have been used in part or in whole in the authors’ successes, but it focuses most on those impacting the organizational, environmental, and cultural aspects of the operations. These areas are often where the greatest challenges are faced in an established business.
The information presented in this book is aimed at helping organizations assess where and how they can improve, what tools are most appropriate depending on the organization’s maturity, and what aspects of these tools bring the greatest benefit. It also presents a roadmap process for implementation, while discussing many of the intangibles to consider along the way. Change is imminent, and controlled change is most desirable. Employing a process that unifies the organization around business critical objectives and then leverages the power of the appropriate tool or process is the best way to manage change. This “interactive organization” approach provides channels for the development of people and processes in any business environment and has been proven to be successful.
The situation presented in the book, while fictional, resembles many situations that the authors have faced in their seventy-plus-year combined careers. Each has had the challenge and opportunity to apply the tools and philosophies mentioned in the story on different scales—everything from fixing a poor performing segment of a production line to designing entire “green” facilities to operate under these principles. Our intent in writing this book is to share with the reader what we have experienced. In what it takes to make such transformations succeed, both in attitude and process; each is equally important. We have also drawn upon our personal experiences to touch upon many peripheral issues associated with such transformations all the way down to effects on personal behaviors and interactions at the individual level. This additional information helps to present a broader scope of considerations when change for improvement is implemented.