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Managing for High Performance – Hands-on training!

Nimble recently conducted a 2-day workshop in Pune for senior employees of one of our esteemed client – New Western Carrier (NWC). The objective of the workshop was to make participants aware about what makes an organization high performing and what are KEY SUCCESS FACTORS for the organization as a whole. Appreciation of KSF’s helps leaders analyze and focus on organization’s performance in an objective manner.

Main topics covered in the workshop were:
1. Business Organization and Performance Fundamentals
2. Managing Your Work
3. Effective Teams
4. Importance of Attitude
5. Managing Individuals

Feedback from participants was very encouraging. Balance between fundamentals, practice through team exercises and participants involvement throughout was well appreciated. Use of Hindi as well as English helped participants understand the key concepts in a thorough manner. Nimble is proud to have added value to leadership team of NWC.

Should you want Nimble to facilitate a similar workshop for your organization, please get in touch:
Delhi – vkm@nimble.in
Mumbai – pawan@nimble.in
Pune – ps@nimble.in
Nairobi (Kenya) – karnika@nimble.in


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Absolute Revenue Management

Star sales personnel does not guarantee maximum sales. Instead, the organisation becomes highly dependent on him to get the desired revenues.  High sales should not be a flash in the pan but needs to be regular and sustainable. Achieve this through Absolute Revenue Management.

NIMBLE OFFERING:

Sales Strategy & Channel Management

The driving motive of doing this would be to create sustainable competitive advantages, maximize revenue and enhance profitability. Nimble would leverage quantitative and qualitative tools  to create / audit the strategy .  This would include collecting and analyzing  the internal performance data, looking at business models, environment study. This would be based on data, interviews and research. Depending on the focus of the company i.e. B2C, B2B, B2G or B2I one would decide the channels. Each channels needs to be optimized for the product revenue mix.

Brand & Communication Management

Branding strategy has an impact on the over all functioning of the organization. This defines the value proposition and the communication with the decision makers and decision influencers. Influence and effectiveness of Brand needs to be continuously evaluated. Nimble would study the brand and communication against their consistency, usefulness, accuracy and impact on sales.

Process Design & Implementation

Overall sales objectives including the channel sales expectations can be achieved only through efficient sales processes.

Nimble also supports organization in training, implementation and monitoring of the processes.  Nimble looks at processes to ensure that they are not merely operational but also support continuous improvement.

Skills, Targets & Compensation Management 

Any strategy or process  can not be executed without the availability of right skills. Measurability of the sales team and individual performance of the team members can ensure fare rewards and compensation. Skilled and performing employees can only be retained if they are  adequately and fairly compensated—in line with the industry norms. Nimble, assists organization to define the targets which are in line with the strategy of the organization, create a compensation strategy which includes the combination of salary, commissions / incentives and bonus. In addition Nimble also creates appraisal system which would cater to the succession planning and skills enhancement of the sales team.ARM

ARM ENSURES THAT YOUR ORGANIZATION IS MAXIMIZING SALES AT ITS BEST—IN SUSTAINABLE AND MEASURABLE MANNER DRIVEN BY SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES RATHER THAN ONE CHANNEL OR KEY EMPLOYEE.

REDUCE YOUR DEPENDENCY AND  RISK!


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Maximizing & Sustaining Revenue

How Can Optimization Of Sales Function Assist You In Maximizing Revenue & Sustain It Over A Period Of Time

Picture1Star sales personnel does not guarantee maximum sales. What it definitely guarantees, is high dependency of the organization on one or two sales people to get the desired revenues. High sales should not be a flash in the pan but needs to be regular and Sustainable.
Sustainability of high revenues is dependent on lot of factors including the quality of the sales staff. While organizations spend a lot of time and effort on optimizing the cost and reducing it on a continuous basis, surprisingly not enough effort is put to maximize revenues.
High and sustainable revenues can only be achieved by studying, optimizing and ensuring that all the steps to complete a sale are in place and operational. This would include direction, people, channels, processes, metrics and measures and the incentive structure.

Absolute Revenue Management
Targeting, planning, achieving and sustaining high revenues consistently.

ARM Components
ARM can be achieved by working on the complete planning to execution value chain of sales. The same includes for :
1. Sales and channel management
2. Branding and communication management
3. Sales process management
4. Sales skills and HR management

Picture1

Look at the following & ensure that your Revenue Management is Sustainable:
1. What is the sales strategy?
2. Does the sales structure support the strategy?
3. Have you looked at all the possible sales channels?
4. Are all the sales channels optimally utilized?
5. Do you have a high performance sales team ?
6. Is your brand and communication assisting the sales team?
7. Are the targets aligned to the sales strategy?
8. How is the compensation management?
9. Are the sales process aligned to the structure & strategy?
10. Is there a possibility to use technology to enhance the sales?


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Numbers can sometimes be misleading

As a consultant, I was taught to quantify things while giving recommendations to the client.

Here is the reason why – Imagine I am giving a presentation to my client and I tell them the same thing in two different ways:

First, there is high chance you would be generating more revenue as the market is also growing very fast.

Second, your company’s sales increase at average rate of 4% for 8% increase in the market growth. Since research shows that the market will grow at the rate of 8% next year, your sales is most likely to increase 4% next year.

Out of the two, which one do you think is more convincing? Obviously the second one, right? From the second statement, the client has the reason to believe WHY they can expect more Sales!

Hence the consultants heavily rely on Math while drawing conclusions. While math might be true, (if done correctly) it may mislead. Here is an example to illustrate the same. Let’s assume the Revenue of a company to be 10 Million. The immediate reaction would be that, the company is doing well. Do we have sufficient data to recommend it is good? What if the COGS to get this revenue is 11 Million. In this case, the company is suffering a loss which is bad. Hence the revenue of 10 Million alone is not sufficient enough to say whether it is good or bad. OK. Let’s assume Net Income of 1 Million. Math tells the profit margin is 10%. Now, 10% profit margin is good or bad? Again I would say the data is insufficient. Why? What if the profit margin of our company was 17% last year.  In that case, the client’s profit margin is good, but not as good as last year. However, still the data is not sufficient to say if 10% is good or bad because we do not know the profit margin of the competitors. What if the profit margin of competitors is 7% this year.  It means that the entire industry is not performing well and though our profit margin has decreased, our market share has remained constant or it has increased.

Hence the problem is not with numbers itself. The problem is the way we analyze the case using the given numbers. A good consultant is one who asks relevant questions with the given numbers to come with analysis.

bharath

Bharathwaj Mohan

bm@nimble.in

Management Consultant


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AN ENDLESS JOURNEY INTO THE WORLD OF PROCESSES

In the life of any organization, there are many milestones which have historic value in the growth of the organization. One such milestone is the commencement of Process Mapping and it’s documentation. CEO’s take this decision for various reasons. Some amongst them are – it is fashionable, it is a prerequisite to getting ISO certification, competitors have done it, mistakes and errors are

Figure 1 - Picture from http://indiantraditionalgames.wordpress.com/category/project-phase-1/lattu/ See the attention being paid to the Top by the boy!

Figure 1 – Picture from http://indiantraditionalgames.wordpress.com/category/project-phase-1/lattu/
See the attention being paid to the Top by the boy!

happening all over the place, key employees have left and people have no body to guide them and so on. Whatever be the reason, it sure is a celebration mile-stone, equivalent to individual’s birthday – to be celebrated each year – but with added responsibility for status review each quarter!

When a CEO triggers the Process Journey – he is expected to make two promises:

  1. To personally support the efforts till the documentation and initial implementation is completed.
  2. To personally review the progress of continued usage and improvement at least every quarter.

The first promise is obvious. The importance of the second promise is better understood if we imagine that initiating this project is like keeping a top (Indian Lattu Wooden Toy) spinning all the time. By nature, the Top continues to spin and remain vertical due to rotational momentum / gyroscopic effect. As soon as it stops, someone has to again provide the requisite energy. All processes are like spinning the top – they require a constant watch and external support (motivation?) to keep them going.

Top is a physical entity and it is easy to know when it needs support. How does one know when the Process Journey needs external support? Like a human system, when one is unhealthy, some uncomfortable symptoms develop. We have a choice to ignore them. But being responsible for our own bodies, we normally don’t ignore them. However, similar symptoms pertaining to process failure are likely to be ignored – by participants, process owners as well as other stake holders, unless management is vigilant. What are these symptoms? Some of these can be:

  1. Some employees stop measuring or recording the process outcomes. These are generally those disgruntled employees who feel that sharing data would make them less important. They have been approached almost by everyone in the past for each and every thing. They have been useful and had long innings with the company and follow orders only of very senior management only.
  2. Many fields in the data formats / forms remain unfilled or left blank with no-one asking “Why?” or even revising the format. I have seen it happening in many organizations. When asked about the reason, I was told that this data is very difficult to get. When I countered that why has the form not been revised, everyone was surprised. It never occurred to them that this was their own form and that process owner has the liberty to make changes in the form.
  3. Formats are filled and submitted. However, no one analyses the data or checks the satisfaction of the operations. Since analysis is not done, no feedback is given. Once this is observed by the employees, they get demotivated and slowly start taking casual approach to following the processes.
  4. Check lists are not taken seriously and are just signed for having been complied. As an example, a check list in an EPC company required that before a drawing is approved for construction, all points on a check list be confirmed. One check list point required that it has been assured that the outer end of the foundation is at least “x” distance away from the nearest foundation. Even though it was confirmed, frequent foundation interference was reported from site. In spite of frequent training and follow-ups, this error continued. Management then changed the process and now enforced that for each foundation drawing, the distance to the nearest foundation shall be written. This way, the designers were forced to look seriously and dig that data. This succeeded and the number of site issues reduced.
  5. Formats are filled with cooked data. Supervisor himself is not convinced of the utility of the form and therefore fill the formats based on their gut feeling rather than ground reality. This shows a behavior called “Compliant” rather than “Contributory”.

“Unused data is as good as “DEAD” – occupying costly space in files or data storage system.”

There are many more types of symptoms, but as we can see they are mostly linked to human behavior and motivation. No amount of coxing or requests or reprimands or consequences would work, if the culture has been allowed to deteriorate systematically by not keeping the second promise of the CEO i.e. “To personally review the progress of continued usage and improvement every quarter.” The top has stopped turning without the external stimulus – the never ending journey has ended! Watch out for symptoms and take timely actions. CEOs just can’t delegate every thing – some promises must be kept at all costs.

VKM Profile Picture

V K Mehandru

vkm@nimble.in
CEO


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Challenges and Ways to Overcome them during the Change Management

As a business consultancy, one may have to work for different industry types, people, products etc. However the ultimate goal of all businesses is always common – “Maximization of the revenue and profitability of the business by bringing efficiency into the systems”.

Change management is a passage for individuals, teams, and organizations to reach to a desired future state.

However challenges with the companies are that they are too much stuck with their existing systems that they are not ready to move to the new systems easily. It becomes worse when the Top Management themselves are involved in micro management and are not ready to accept the change. This gives the leverage to Employees and they become extra reluctant to the changes.

For most organizations, preparedness begins at the top and this means that leadership – across all levels – must have absolute clarity in purpose and focus; there must also be connection with a vision and/or opportunity. Identification of System Champion is also very crucial part. The System Champion needs to explain the significance of the change in systematic manner and shall be assigned the responsibility of discussing it with the team members. System Champion shall also audit the development on regular intervals and ensure that the changes in systems are sustained.

change management

 

One shall also discuss the expected outcome of the action points and the consequences if not adapted properly. Most of the implementation does not get full effectiveness due to the internal politics of the organization. So one has to extra vigilant to ensure that things are not getting out of hand.

I have often observed that Stakeholders tend to think what’s in it for me. It is one of the most crucial hurdles which is caused due to rigid systems and mentality of the management. Now in such scenarios the expectation of the stakeholders shall be managed by explaining the rewards attached to the change. It could include the periodic incentives, appraisals on their current roles and salaries based on their performances.

Lastly, if you decide to bring some changes in the existing system of your organization, it is important to assess the overall objective and expectations of the outcome of the change. Only then you should prepare yourself to act upon the requirements for change to avoid business disruption.

Pranav Singhal

ps@nimble.in
Business Consultant


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USE HISTORY TO MAKE HISTORY!

When I joined Board of a 30 years old manufacturing company, I was naturally curious to know it’s history. It was a small company, mostly founder lead.  Since there were no documents or presentation to go by, I had a sitting with the owner and heard the history – first hand from the man who had been responsible for the growth of the organization.

The experience revealed more than mere facts – “Moments of Glory” – MOG and what the owner valued worth-while contributions. If you have to survive in a company – you need to quickly understand what is valued there and what are MOGs in the eyes of the Boss. This chat helped me as a good starting point.

The next step was to put MOGs on a time line. That is when it started making sense! On a time line, you can easily see the gap in years between the MOGs. I probed more to fill the gaps by involving some senior employees. Some more additional data came out to fill the time-line. Discussions with the team revealed that the MOGs happened because of owner’s single handed drive to grow the company. His team contribution was missing in the growth story. It was agreed that from then on-ward, a yearly review of the performance of the company would be done in the month of December to record the current year’s MOGs and some thinking on what should be done next year. It sort of prompted the organization to develop a Strategic Plan for the New Year.

In my training sessions to corporate Leadership, I now ask each participant to draw a MOGS Time-Line (5 years) to understand what they consider MOGS! The outcome is very revealing – try it yourself!

Possible take-away from this exercise is:

  • What is considered MOGs by each member of the senior leadership Team.
  • How well the Team is aligned?
  • Is there any Strategic Direction of the Team?
  • Is the team proud of the organization’s past?

A few twists would help make this exercise more interesting. If the time line can include growth elements like Revenue / Profit, appearance of competitors on the time-line, new products added, significant improvement history of products, new offices and global spread, partnerships / acquisition history etc. – all the better. It might show relationship between MOG’s and why they happened!

desert-wallpapers

 

Such exercises help Teams to think Strategic – easy way to align and change culture! So go ahead and Use History to Make History!

VKM Profile Picture

V K Mehandru

vkm@nimble.in
CEO