• Guest Writer

How to enable business excellence and thrive in the digital-first era

Living in the era of buzz words, business excellence can be often thrown into the conversation because it sounds like something intelligent to say but in reality, it is a continuously evolving process that doesn’t happen overnight. Furthermore, moving towards heavily digital and remote-based teams, businesses often find themselves doing everything but to excel. So, what does it actually mean to be business-excellent and how to achieve that to foster the growth of the company?

To start with, business excellence can be tricky to define as it is often more of an ethos rather than a drop-down list of the tasks of each team member. Tho, it can be defined as a set of activities that enables the execution of a business strategy that is significantly better than the one of its competitors. The question is, is then business excellence a process or an end goal? To achieve business excellence is to realize that continuous improvement is inevitable and a vital part of the process. These steps are taken gradually over time to build and maintain these improvements. In other words, continuous improvement focuses on making each existing process perfect. However, it is only a part of the business excellence. In a digital-first era, business excellence doesn’t only mean maximining the profits or minimising the costs. In a world where teams are constantly connected yet not sitting in the same office, business excellence looks at building a strong company culture by enabling employees’ growth within their roles, giving responsibilities and opportunities resulting in a positive impact on the business performance.

The important question is, how to achieve business excellence in the digital-first era?

It is important to realize that the work starts from within the organization. The concept of business excellence should be familiar to every employee as it enables easier adoption of the practices necessary for achieving the desired results. It is crucial to not underestimate the importance of members understanding the common goal and purpose in order to ensure that everybody who contributes to the long-term vision uses his/her abilities and resources effectively.

In the millennial era, the top-down flow of directions is over. A collective approach has been proven to have a much greater impact on the employees' satisfaction which is inevitably translated into the customer’s satisfaction. Yes, the management still plays a crucial role in ensuring the strategic direction of the company remains the same. Therefore, success and business excellence can only be achieved when the constant flow of communication is not only enabled but encouraged in the organization. It is, therefore, crucial that each team member regardless of the position or location, understands the responsibilities and KPIs that come with the role.

Three Steps on how to reach Business Excellence

Get ready for things not going as planned

Having a general structure of the processes is great but it is important to be prepared for the situation where the abnormal flow occurs. Why? Not everybody possesses the same level of agility in uncertain times. Therefore, in the time of disruption, it is important to have a fall-back plan that employees can rely on while working on the swift recovery.

Be visual

Now more than ever it is so crucial for a business to establish clear flows within the organisation. Employees who are now often referred to as digital nomads might find much useful adopting and understanding company practices when using different digital tools designed for business to achieve operational excellence. The sooner you get accustomed to using several different digital tools the quicker it will be for employees to comprehend and adopt changes in the organisation as it evolves.

Quality management system

Using a quality management system will make it easier for you to enforce and moderate the previous steps to assist you in being recognised as an organisation that functions to business excellence. Focus on defining systems, policies and procedures with robust change control and work on creating a framework to demonstrate capability and competence for training and development of new employees or the employees that have changed the positions within the organisation. It is important to regularly revise the set policies and procedures as external circumstances might change them. Just consider a current situation, in the past, working 5 days a week from home would be unacceptable and yet, today it is a completely new normal standard. Therefore, it is essential to ensure the obsolete policies are removed and replaced by the ones that better reflect the current situation.

There isn’t a single formula that would fast-track the process of achieving business excellence but whether you are a Chief Executive, Senior Leader, Business Owner or Business Advisor, using well-thought-out practices and frameworks will help you gain a better understanding of the organisation’s strengths and identify the opportunities for improvement in the digital era. Staying agile, open-minded and innovative will ensure that in the long-run your business will be on the upwards slope trajectory.

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