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Archive for September, 2010

Look beyond your sector if you truly want to make step-change improvement

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

We work with a very broad range of clients – manufacturers in the UK, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, law firms, defence and environmental service firms in the UK – helping them identify and implement major improvements and establish platforms for innovation. We often hear the word ‘focus’ in the consulting industry – meaning the importance of specialising in specific sectors. The argument being that you can best advise when you are an expert in a sector.

At Codexx we are contrarians on this point. We believe that in seeking to bring innovation and radical new ideas to clients, ‘more of the same’ is not what is needed. The water of Innovation is more plentiful when you have a broad and deep well of experience from multiple businesses across multiple sectors to draw from. So we find we are better able to advise lawyers on how to re-engineer their services through applying process thinking and lean techniques from our  industry experience; better able to advise a defence services firm on client focus based on experience with other professional service firms and better able to advise manufacturers on new service offerings based on experience gained in the service sector. We are also best able to challenge conventional thinking when the paradigm that we follow is what makes a successful business – not how business is done in this sector. There is a difference!

Of course our consultants have expertise in multiple sectors, but ultimately the experts are the clients we are advising – they know their business best.  Consultants should not seek to become more expert than the client in their business – unless they wish to join it!  Success in a consulting relationship occurs when there is harmony and rhythm between the value provided by the client and by the consultant. If either player is out of tune or seeks to dominate, the harmony is lost. In helping clients innovate their businesses, we at Codexx believe that the consultant must focus on providing the key elements of challenge and provocation, energizing the management and employees, creative thinking, applying best cross-industry practices and driving the change process forward in a structured way. In addition, with the goal of helping clients sustain and continue the change journey, we always seek to provide skills transfer, so that the client’s own people can drive change forward on their own after we have departed.

So if you are a manufacturer seeking to improve your make-to-order response time,  don’t look at how your competitors do it, instead seek inspiration and ideas from how Amazon runs its order fulfilment process. If you are a law firm wishing to streamline your Probate process, consider how manufacturers are applying Lean thinking in their business processes. Or if you are a professional services firm looking to improve your innovation process, learn from how product designers apply a ‘stage-gate’ new product development process.

The business world is like a giant supermarket whose shelves are laden with business models and experience – don’t limit yourself to shopping for your change ideas in the local corner shop that is your business sector….

Energizing Change

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