This week’s focus: When I worked for Boots the Chemists, the UK’s largest pharmacy chain and health and beauty retailer, the company ran a major supply chain initiative. It was a multi-year programme and one of the key changes was a huge new warehouse, which was scheduled to take three-years to complete.

Except, it didn’t take three years to build; it only took a year. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the existing warehouse and so a different – and faster-paced – plan was developed. And, within 12 months, the new warehouse, together with 80-90% of the benefits of the programme, had been delivered.

I’ve been reminded of this story in recent days as I witness the pace and scale of the operational changes being made by many of my clients in response to the coronavirus crisis. There are three critical success factors:

  • Companies are not trying to do everything; they’re focusing on a few key objectives and getting their organisation’s collective shoulder behind them.
  • The leaders of these businesses are raising the bar and setting clear goals on their top priorities. They are being demanding of their organisations to deliver, but the best are also being supportive of their teams and removing the barriers to delivery.
  • The companies that are delivering the fastest and most effective change are taking a cross-functional approach, with constant communication and transparent performance management.

Applying these three factors – Focus, Leadership, Organisation (FLO?) – can transform any company’s ability to deliver at pace. Yet, in ‘normal’ times, many companies struggle to consistently apply these factors and, as a result, struggle to make change happen.

If this includes your organization, once we start to come out of this emergency, why don’t you review how you could go with the FLO to revolutionize your ability to deliver rapid change?

Off The Record: The Times They Are A-Changing by Bob Dylan

If your time to you

Is worth savin’

Then you better start swimmin’

Or you’ll sink like a stone

For the times they are a-changin’

How You Can Support SportsAid – And Get A Free Strategy Day With Me

This year I’m offering six small businesses a free day’s strategy session with me. All I ask of you is that you support one of SportsAid’s highly promising young athletes for a year. The costs is just £1,000 and you might find that you’ve helped a future Olympic champion reach the next level of performance – Jess Ennis-Hill, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Steve Redgrave and Daley Thompson are all SportsAid alumni!

So, if you own or run a business with annual revenues of £5 million or less and want to find out more, just click here 

© Stuart Cross 2019. All rights reserved.