How We See It

Like a machine, a business is engineered for a particular set of purposes or outputs. Envision a black box with a crank handle on its side as your “business machine”. Inside the box are gears and other devices – this is the economic engine of your business model. As you turn that handle you generate your desired business outputs; unfortunately as competition intensifies and customers become more demanding, you need to crank the handle ever faster to achieve the same results.

To improve business performance, there are two broad strategies available: concentrating on improving the efficiency with which the handle turns, and concentrating on improving your economic engine. The first set of strategies tend to focus on the more obvious “operational effectiveness” initiatives. The second set requires more insight and strategic clarity but, when done well, delivers significant performance results.

Finally, a “high performance machine” has to be matched with a compatible “high performance team” to achieve sustainable superior business results. Poor alignment between machine and team leads to continuing business under-performance and increased frustration on the part of the people involved.

In our engagements we work on both aspects — the business machine and the management team — to better align strategy with horsepower, business results with management attention units, and weekly actions with key business metrics. Our typical engagement model is laid out here.