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Unconventional wisdom is required in tough times

Conventional research tells us that many organizations utilize less than 50% of their human potential. My experience in large blue chip South African Companies and overseas multinationals confirms that is about right. It is certainly off the pace or below par. There is always an opportunity to improve human performance and productivity - and take it to a whole new level.

What is your measure of human performance and productivity? How do you compare with the conventional “about 50%?” How do you compare with your competitors.

There are several very practical and effective ways to increase your productivity and reduce human capital costs. The conventional starting point is your Company performance measures. Your Scorecard / Dashboard (not more than 5 / 6 key measures) should reflect daily on your screen saver every morning you log on. Like your airline pilot – you need a Dashboard.

The Scorecard / Dashboard is conventional wisdom. Unconventional productivity improvements are created in the process of setting your dashboard measures. The actual process of setting these measures and targets - creates

the opportunities for productivity improvements. The process highlights the benchmarks the gaps and the (ever present) opportunities.

Many Companies do have measures in place – targets and actual. However - an external fresh and unconventional analysis - creates opportunities for improvements. Do you need a new fresh look at the measures in your core business? Conventional scorecards have too many measures. Have you captured the absolute essence for your dashboard? The key 5 / 6 key outputs of your organization that captures the return on your human capital? What are they? And how do you rate against your competitors?

The next step is to leave no stone unturned in terms of finding productivity improvement opportunities. Every Company has several opportunities to improve their productivity - through a focused attention on these opportunities. If you do not define your next level performance (in business or in sport) sooner or later your competition will do that for you. Guaranteed!

A Ten Point Checklist to cover all bases – with an unconventional eye to ensure all improvement gaps are taken.

(1) Structures – flat or pyramid? Does the structure underpin the dashboard and scorecard? Does the structure optimize the strengths of the people? Is the structure flat enough? Does the structure reflect your Company’s priorities and focus? Does the structure reflect your core business? (2) Staffing – have you got the right people in the right jobs? (See end quotation from Jim Collins – author of best selling research “Good to Great”)

(3) Reporting lines – clean / clear or matrix reporting lines? (4) Work activities in direct line of sight with scorecard measures? (Critical look at all activities in line with scorecard / dashboard outputs)

(5) “Work Out” checks to eliminate duplication / overlap or under lap? (6) Simple / clear “One – Pager” performance

measures / KPI’s for each job (Not the normal conventional Job Descriptions that gather dust in the HR filing system) (7) Simple easy to use Performance Management System (Appraisals) that measure performance accurately / regularly (One Pagers) (8) The same simple practical performance management system which ensures ownership and accountability of the individual and the team (9) The system also ensures the training / development of every person – plus more ownership of their own growth and development (10) Team ownership and 360 degree performance feedback and ownership.

“The most important decision a CEO must take is to ensure that the right people are on the bus – and sitting in the right seats on the bus. Thereafter – most things take care of themselves “ Jim Collins – well known author of best seller – Good to Great.

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Brief background to Tim Southey

Tim Southey is an acknowledged expert in human performance improvement and human capital cost reduction. He has substantive work experience with blue chip Companies – Shell International / De Beers / Woolworths / Truworths and Norwich Life. In addition he has overseas experience as a Director for a multinational Company in the Manufacturing and FMCG sector. He also has sports management experience at the top level – with Nick Mallett and Jake White and the Springbok team – and he was Manager of

the South African national cricket team – the Protea’s. He has recently been assisting a large manufacturing firm in the Western Cape. His approach and methodology is very practical and effective.

Contact details – email – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Mobile 083 259 1726 and landline 021 683 4426.