Mastering 8 Dimensions of Excellence Training

How to Align Strategy, Culture, Customer Experience and Measures of Success

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Cultural change is among the most complex endeavors a leader can pursue. That leads many organizations to get stuck on operational, internally process-focused, project-driven improvement efforts rooted in manufacturing practices with limited relevance for today’s knowledge age enterprise and its customers.  This workshop solves those constraints with a unique system and road map that is easy to understand, fast to execute, customer-focused and strategic.  Proof of effectiveness is in the millions of dollars saved, time reductions of 80%, tidal waves of customer kudos and recognition of excellence routinely earned by practitioners.  That can be your future.

Transformation leaders like you have high expectations, a vision of the possible, urgency to engage others, risk tolerance and are impatient for results. All you need is a clear and proven path to success. Join this stimulating, interactive and entertaining session for a thought-leading and pragmatic approach. It will strengthen your ability to achieve strategic outcomes, convert customers to fans, link values with measures and engage employees. Come with a team and leave able to immediately begin deployment. Get enlightened, inspired and equipped for results!

This fast-moving, content-rich workshop uses an elegantly simple framework and new tools to integrate with and transcend practices such as Lean, Six Sigma, ISO 9001, Baldrige Award Criteria and related approaches. Your world-class presenter and best-selling author uses a jargon-free style to deliver content customized and relevant to everyone in a knowledge-intensive enterprise. This session is designed to create heroes who are able to excel, engage and excite.  Leave with a practical new way to:

  1. Define and visibly improve customer success
  2. Concretely connect strategy, performance measures and high-impact change
  3. Integrate and advance your existing initiative(s) to the next level (including Lean, Six Sigma, Baldrige, ISO 9001, Operational Excellence, Lean Six Sigma, HCAHPS, VOC, and more.)
  4. Achieve results you never thought possible

The Challenge

Mastering 8 Dimensions of Excellence Training:  How would you feel to discover your car engine was only running on one or two of its eight cylinders? Whether your “car” is an organization or a key project, you wouldn’t knowingly continue to drive it that way. This session will enlighten, inspire and equip you to get all 8 cylinders working together like you never thought possible. Is your transformation initiative a success when processes are improved, costs are cut and performance is measured in ways customers don’t care about? Hardly, but the mirage is tempting. Change initiatives often promote customer success as a priority but put all the attention on improving process. That’s fine, but it only improves performance on 1 of the 8 Dimensions. Like tuning up one of the eight cylinders on your engine. Learn about how to integrate the other 7 and get stunning, sustainable results. As an executive or change leader, you will see how to remedy common obstacles preventing excellence:

  • Internal focus: process improvement without first uncovering, defining and measuring customer outcomes
  • Ambiguity: confusion about what “service” means and who “the customer” really is
  • Intent without method: desire to understand the voice of the customer with only ad hoc methods
  • Complexity: tools developed for manufacturing operations are difficult to apply to service and knowledge work
  • Initiative proliferation: so much to do, we forget what the goal is
  • Measurement imbalance: emphasis on what we and third parties value, little on customers’ priorities
  • Activity-oriented strategic plans: meeting milestones are confused with achieving results
  • Execution weakness: stops, starts and changes in deployment delay getting to “done”

Learning Objectives

This fast-paced, interactive Mastering 8 Dimensions of Excellence Training shows you how to:

  1. Use new tools to connect strategy, daily work and customer insight
  2. Make the most intangible knowledge work concrete, measurable, repeatable by design
  3. Move from an internal, process-out focus toward an outcome-in culture of excellence
  4. Determine who “the customer” really is in every context and why it matters
  5. Uncover, translate, design for and satisfy the Voice of the Customer
  6. Objectively measure squishy and seemingly immeasurable customer perceptions
  7. Use a critical, unrecognized societal change to achieve leadership
  8. Inject existing initiatives with a strong customer bias, strengthening what you do well
  9. Identify and eliminate common barriers to cultural change, using 6 levers for dramatic and sustainable transformation
  10. Use a new method to rapidly identify and cut over 50% of process time, cost and waste
  11. Apply insights Steve Jobs, Herb Kelleher, Patch Adams, Jeff Bezos & others mastered
  12. Strengthen the four dimensions most performance measurement systems miss
  13. Prioritize and frame projects for optimum initiative and strategic success
  14. Avoid surveys that ask the wrong questions of the wrong people, creating distraction
  15. Assure any improvement effort yields at least a 5:1 return on effort

Takeaways

  • A self-assessment revealing excellence strengths/needs in four key areas of leadership
  • The easy-to-apply framework showing where your current initiatives really focus and what actions will leverage them
  • A tool that removes “service” ambiguity, making intangible work concrete and measurable
  • Project criteria shown to increase satisfaction & workforce capacity, saving cost and time
  • An easy to understand, step-by-step method for defining what your customers want
  • An Excellence Framework that balances customer and enterprise values
  • Tools to (a) differentiate 3 roles a customer can play in any context, (b) discover whether the customers with most power have it appropriately, (c) identify the priorities that are/aren’t measured.
  • The method for connecting strategy to daily work, applicable to everyone
  • The new book by Robin Lawton, Mastering Excellence: A Leader’s Guide to Aligning Strategy, Culture, Customer Experience & Measures of Success (2017)

Intended Audience

This training is for change leaders, initiative champions, work groups and teams responsible for conceiving and executing top-flight performance improvement and innovation your customers and colleagues will notice, love and want to emulate.

 

Outline

Day 1

1.The 8 Dimensions of Excellence framework

  • Self-assessment: your strengths on customer knowledge, strategy and improvement
  • Balancing customer and producer priorities
  • Separating process, product and outcome expectations
  • Aligning mission, strategy, measures, customer values, behavior: Roadmap & steps
  • Ambiguity and use of six levers for your own leadership and cultural transformation
  • Vital Lies: constraints on excellence

2. Redefining Knowledge and Work as Products

  • Four key questions that advance traditional management of excellence and quality
  • The remedy for the six reasons service is so difficult to define, manage and improve
  • How to define “service” and knowledge work as measurable products
  • Connecting strategic direction to daily work, relevant to everyone
  • 1969 and the #1 characteristic driving enterprise growth (think Steve Jobs)
  • The fastest growing product category you could be in (but probably aren’t yet)
  • The key things we should know (but few do) about every product
  • Identifying the “root cause” of failure and success: A $20 million case study

3. Laser Focus on the Customer

  • Unambiguously determining who “the customer” is in every context
  • Differentiating the three roles a customer can play, and why it matters
  • Enhancing success by empowering the right customers
  • What we should learn from Jimmy Carter and Elon Musk

4. Summary of Day 1, case study for reference, morning assignment

Day 2

1.Integrating The Voice-of-Customer, Innovation and Great Design

  • Ten reasons surveys fail and how to improve success
  • The “word formula” questions that always uncover what customers want
  • How to separate the 12 critically different customer voices
  • Balancing competing interests for a win-win
  • Convergent versus divergent thinking: Why GE never made candles
  • Using the Innovation Roadmap to drive WOW!

2. Measuring the Seemingly Immeasurable, With & Without Surveys

  • Why and what to measure while avoiding overkill
  • How to translate squishy perceptions into objective measures
  • Building the product/service design table

3. Rethinking process

  • The two processes to keep in mind as separate
  • Activity versus product flow
  • The minimum six measures to know and report on every target process

4. Connecting the Dots and Taking Action

  • Deployment with high potential, high readiness, high visibility
  • Heroes, not martyrs
  • Leadership’s role and the action plan

Results

Users of the 8 Dimensions framework and underlying Customer-Centered Culture (C3) system of tools have achieved impressive successes as a direct result, many within only two years of initial deployment, such as the following examples:

 

Healthcare

  • Improved healthy cardiac discharge rates in 50% less time by engaging patients in a new way.
  • More than tripled the participation rate in wellness programs, uncovering unintended disincentives that were actually offending some of those most wanted as participants.
  • Improved both patient and professional satisfaction in multiple clinical contexts.

Industry

  • Increased monthly revenue by $8 million during the first six months, primarily by asking customers new questions along the lines of the C3 “word formulas” and establishing new performance measures.
  • Saved $18 million in procurement process costs in a high technology company.
  • Increased sales productivity by over 40%.
  • Achieved the highest project success rate in company history.
  • Repeatedly reduced customer-experienced response times by over 80%.
  • Achieved Malcolm Baldrige National Award wins and comparable recognition within two years of initiation.
  • Won best-in-class industry rank in customer satisfaction (autos, airlines, utilities).

Government

  • Improved agency ranking from 25th to 1st of 50 states, as judged by Governing Magazine.
  • Saved taxpayers $20 million in 18 months, contributing to Governor’s reelection.
  • Won top placement in annual international team competition, besting teams from Fortune 100 firms.
  • Shortened customer response times by 90%, affecting over 20% of adult citizens.
  • Won awards for excellence by major Federal agencies and state governors.

I can assure you I will think, act, work and do things differently as a result of this workshop! Your ‘real life’ examples were excellent. Rob’s enthusiasm is very contagious. I actually got energized by his energy!  I found Rob’s personal examples striking both intellectually as well as psychologically. Thanks!

 

Michael Fedock

Management Institute, University of St. Thomas