(Here at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit praying for God to give me new insight to help me in leading with Operation Christmas Child. To learn more about OCC click here...)
Creating an Organization of Excellence and Efficiency
I want to thank all the employees and volunteers that have organized the Summit and I congratulate all of you for making a decision to grow and improve.
Here’s what I would like to do. I’d like to look at a business you have or one you’d like to create and ask how you create it or lead it forward.
To start a new company: Ask which industry? Now, what market segment? The next decision is how am I going to be successful in it? Simply, you have to be more sufficient to the market you serve than the competition. In order to do that, you have to know what the customer wants. You also have to be efficient to be sure the product costs you less.
In order to be the most sufficient and most efficient I need leadership to do it. How good do we want to be? In everything we do, no matter what market, we are creating excellence in what customers want—better than the competition. Part of what you have to excellent in is service and caring for the customer. The customer wants three things
1 the product is perfect
2 that you serve them timely
3 that you care
If your hospitality is great the customer will return. How good are we at hospitality? 1500 years ago it was written to the monasteries how to serve people:
--All guests who arrive should be received as if they were Jesus Christ Himself
--Honor should be shown to all and complete humility should be shown to guests who are arriving and departing as if it were Christ Himself
--After a guest has been received, let a superior sit with him and break his fast for the sake of a guest.
--Let the Abbott give the guest water for their hands and wash their feet
--All guests should be received with kindness and care
--Let two monks be appointed to the kitchen for a year and given all they require so they can serve with honor; when they are not busy let them help someone else; this applies to all jobs across the monastery
Where does today’s management come from? Created during the industrial revolution by a man named Taylor—before this time it was the proprietor who ran the business and also talked to the customers. Management should be managing processes and product.
Leadership implies we are going somewhere and we need to align people behind us to go somewhere. Leadership has the ability to close the eyes and dream about a place in the future. Leadership has to question: is this destination I see good for all concerned? (customers, employees, society) We don’t look at those values anymore; we look at our own values. How can I lead if I don’t have anything steady to look at as my destination.
The first day your business is open is the first day you can adjust the behavior of your new employees. You can’t adjust behavior after age 16 unless there is a significant event that takes place in the life. We do not let employees go to work without repeating the key elements of our company. Align the employees behind the expectation of the customer.
Is the total focus on people? Align your employees behind value in life. Tell them how they will benefit if your business is excellent. This communication must go on the first day. We shouldn’t hire human beings for function; we hire them to be part of a purpose—part of a dream. They have to know what the dream is. You repeat it and continue to communicate it. Human beings cannot relate to orders and directives; they relate to motives.
Efficiency also has to be taught and shown. We don’t give people more than they want. We’re not going to give them 24k faucets. That would be wasteful.
Efficiency is not cutting costs; it’s eliminating unimportant work. When you build this business you understand what the customer wants. If you manage right you look at every input you have. If the ketchup costs $1.50 a bottle but you negotiate to get it for $1.49 you are ahead of the competition. If you do it with every item you just became efficient.
The greatest saving is the elimination of defects. If you could eliminate 20,000 defects you would improve your product and lower your cost. There is huge money to be saved in that efficiency.
I opened the first Ritz-Carlton hotel. The number one complaint was slow room service. Two years later it was the same complaint. We created a team to explore this and discovered there was a long wait for the elevators. Then they discovered housekeeping was propping the door and the problem was they only had two sets of linen for each bed. Now another manager is involved and the root problem was finally discovered--in order to cut costs they had cut a set of linen per bed. Customers were lost because of this cost-cutting.
Empowering is respecting employees and customers. Love your neighbor as yourself. God bless you.