When we’ve done something enough times, whatever it is, after some number of repetitions we know what to expect, riding a Learning Curve no doubt. Readers of this blog likely know we study how highest performing teams continuously improve their collaborative work — their business process. We’ve distilled what we’ve learned into the Process Triage Decision Cycle and designed a one-day facilitated immersion experience that has become our flagship service. It’s a great way to launch and/or focus your continuous process improvement culture. It’s also very figured out, with typically superb reviews and results.
But last week’s triage with the Product Management team from Redemption Plus was exceptional. Ron Hill’s company, on its face, sells toys — about 1,200 SKU, constantly updating them to lead their markets needs. But what they really do is Enrich lives through insights that empower. Oh yeah – we sell toys, too.
It gets better — from their ‘About us‘ page.
We mine data, including our observations, experiences – proprietary knowledge! – to discover hidden nuggets in the relatively worthless ore; insights that change the way our industry does business and empower customers to reach their loftiest goals. We focus on continuous improvement by eliminating waste & rework, thereby making us more nimble and efficient. We also utilize ethnography – the study of how people live – to better understand the inner workings of your business, discovering valuable ‘unspoken needs’ along the way.
To the point, the typical triage workshop reserves attendance to a select group of the experts in the process being triaged. Host managers (hosts) typically limit the number of observers for good reasons; it’s expensive to pull someone away for day or the triage team prefers to clean their own laundry privately. Jennifer Hantsbarger, Ron’s triage host and product management team leader bravely invited experts upstream from her process — from marketing and sales. She invited her downstream customers including experts in fulfillment as well. Imagine your own expert process team studying what to improve with both your principal supplier and customer looking over your shoulder! While it seems reasonable, in practice it takes guts.
Or it takes a very special culture to foster this kind transparency.
So it was a delight to see the above-the-norm experience survey results — averaging above 9 out of 10 points for all experience survey questions, and the highest recorded score ever for ‘Confident that leadership will follow through on our improvement recommendations.” –– an average 9.0 out of 10 possible.
Their team picture says it all!