With productivity on the decline over the last 50 years, it is more crucial than ever for organisations to create environments for rapid and iterative improvement to flourish in order to remain competitive. We were again privileged to host Organisational Improvement expert Brad Jeavons, joined by Shingo Institute Alumni Alex Teoh to talk to our sector about how businesses can quickly become agile in production and supply chains in the post-COVID world.
The tumultuous last six months has further highlighted the value of organisational agility, with success stories from the Australian manufacturing scene pivoting to service new markets with new products. Add to this the increased focus on digital ways of work becoming the new norm, as well as increased demand from consumers (with Australia Post last week recording a record of 2.35 million parcel and letter movements in a single day); it is clear businesses who remain reactive are quickly falling by the wayside of their more proactive compatriots.
What is the foundation of successful agile operations?
Successful agile operations are built on a pyramid of seven key elements across three levels.
Source: Alex Teoh (creator)
- Mindset. At the base of an agile organisation is clarity around mindset, or the “Why”; the rationale behind the need to change, and how this applies to the organisation, its teams, and individuals (to empower). A clearly defined “Why” is critical to driving cultural buy in at every level of the business. ‘
- Team. Team-centric culture drives accountability, communication and provides authority to individuals to make improvements. It also functions as the coal face of culture, with individuals typically aligning to their functional teams in day to day operations.
- Visual. In order to embed and further reinforce a culture of proactive ownership of the “Why”, visual management ensures improvement remains front of mind. Visuals create the backdrop for an organisation to demonstrate purpose and transparency in objective and performance outcomes at every level.
The engine of agile operations
Originating in IT, Scrum methodology provides the discipline for short, targeted improvements, or ‘sprints’ to be conducted and managed to meaningful iteration. Scrums allow for the ability to implement and validate solutions quickly.
Focus ensures actions are strategically aligned, allowing the ability to prioritize, target, respond and determine which improvement tools to deploy. This ensures improvements remain in scope to deliver value, without veering off course or running out of steam.
Alert serves as the real-time or interval monitoring system to continuously track operational performance and scan market conditions. The ability to quickly identify problems, opportunities, threats or vulnerabilities and respond; ensures solutions are proactive and pre-emptive to the needs of the market, business and teams.
Sustaining agile operations: the win
The win is the most commonly overlooked, but also the most critical function in ensuring sustainable Agility within an organisation. Creating a platform for recognition reinforces the Can-Do belief system and pushes staff to continue to challenge the status-quo.
About our guests
Alex Teoh has had a long career in improvement and intervention consultancy, helping organizations strategizing and implementing improvement. Alex’s long track record includes global brands, Government and Non-Profit organizations, across Asia Pacific and Australia such as Caltex, Airbus, Motorola, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Bayer, Pfizer and Schlumberger.
Alex Teoh is passionate about Organizational Excellence, Sustainable Improvement and Improvement Talent development. He is a renowned expert in Lean, Agile and Asset Management. He has been inducted into Shingo Institute Alumni and is a certified Shingo Institute Facilitators.
Brad Jeavons is an organisation improvement leader whose purpose is creating a better future economically, socially and environmentally for generations to come. Brad believes through helping organisations improve and achieve excellence using todays best practices we will achieve this outcome for our future.
Brad is the host of the Enterprise Excellence Podcast and Youtube Channel. This podcast has been established to share knowledge from global experts in Organisational Excellence. Brad is an award-winning author; his recent book Agile Sales outlines how to apply Agile to Sales and Marketing to amplify customer experience and business performance. Listen to Brad’s podcast on Enterprise Excellence.