June 13, 2012

Best practice or just talk?

I just read an article in a Danish news paper about a big wind turbine company who are close to become a insolvent. This company has in some eyes been seen as a company you could benchmark for best practice. Dont know why this was the case, but I think it's because of the company size. Just because they were big, had a big revenue, employed a lot of people, attracted all the best leaders etc. Well know the company performs really poor. They have had some technical problems with their products. The crisis have made changed the conditions towards payment of products. Before they received money when they got an order which changed to getting money when shipping the order. This means that the company needs more capital to run their business.

Lean, Six Sigma, Ballance scorecard you name it. All these theories would have helped in this situation but I think they actually used all these tools. But looking at their current performance one could argue for their efficient use of the different approaches. In fact you might be able to argue that it's because of the company culture, or lack of management support, lack of communication etc. All general causes to failure which in my mind is so easy to simply state. Sometimes I think these types of failures is used more as an excuse than actual facts for the root cause.

Similar to that they are used as excuses for failures they also seems to be used as general solutions for problems. It almost like problems cannot be solved without taking these aspect into account. Companies that want to become excellence has to work with the company culture through people etc. It all seems really logical and simple. Knowing that it is also difficult and something which should be seen as a journey.

But sometimes I think that theories have been invented based on a positive economy. Like Learn was "developed" by looking at Toyota and how they managed them self out of their crisis. Six Sigma was "developed " due to a high failure percentage. Both came because of a crisis but observed when it has become positive. So does this mean that what is observed is a solution to problems or is it more a description of a process taken by the company?

What examples has been found where implementing tools and techniques actually helped a company get out of a crisis? Isn't always the company own passion and creativity which generate the best suitable solutions? Why is it that we try to copy what other companies have done in the past for improving their business? Is that not going backwards?

Some companies can be seen as best practice one day because of a positive situation but when they start to perform poorly they suddenly become an example on how not to do it. This is logical that you should not copy a poor performance, but what about misinterpreting a best practice just because of the moment?

This company I talked about might have been interpreted as being a "good" company in the moment. They a good culture, good employees etc. But when their performance changes all these "best" practice suddenly becomes "don't do" instead. Like being wise after an event. Theories might seem to work in a healthy economy but do they actually work in a stressed situation?

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Pauline Mmbaga

    Its funny, I have asked myself this a couple of times too…when we look back at CBE, creating business excellence, not finding or searching for business excellence…why is it then,that businesses like you said, don’t concentrate on the unique employee competencies and create the best practice/solutions to fit them? These tools are all very relevant, but not always the solution. If we encourage using these “conventional” approaches at all times, we might hinder innovation and creativity of other best practice approaches which can be created…so I say create excellence, not mimic excellence.

    14 Jun 2012, 03:00

Add a comment

You are not allowed to comment on this entry as it has restricted commenting permissions.

June 2012

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
May |  Today  | Jul
            1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30   

Search this blog



Most recent comments

  • Hmmm, interesting idea Rasmus. I think some of us may be a little less eager than others to attach t… by Oritseweyinmi Barber on this entry
  • I too used blogging when I was stressed or had the well known write blockade. Thats also why I still… by Rasmus Gejl Kristensen on this entry
  • Haha that's nice about the commenting bit! To me though, it was nice reading other people's blog cau… by Pinthida Thanatipanont on this entry
  • Yes just as Tega is saying, most organisations look for other attributes other than just being an en… by Daniella Abena Badu on this entry
  • Interesting!! I think when companies set out to recruit people for a certain job position, they also… by Oghenetega Inoni on this entry

Blog archive

Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder