Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

#Markt und #Mittelstand-Kolumne “Aus sicherer Quelle”: Von Meetings, bei denen jeder alles sagt

Dienstag, März 20th, 2018

„LASST UNS MAL ZUSAMMENSETZEN“ – so beginnen die Meetings, von denen jeder weiß, wie sie ausgehen. Es wird geredet, bis alles von jedem gesagt wurde. Eine Agenda fehlt, die Beschlussumsetzung bleibt dürftig, wenn überhaupt …

Lesen Sie hier weiter (PDF) MuM_03_2018_Quelle

Mandat Wachstums-Wochenstart Nr. 216: Mitarbeiter? Keine faulen Kompromisse

Montag, Juni 13th, 2016

Mandat Wachstums-WochenstartIn einer sehr gut angenommenen Bäckerei in Dortmund erfreuten sich die Kunden regelhaft an der Freundlichkeit der Mitarbeiter. Wir wurden von ehrlich freundlichen, aufmerksamen, ihren Beruf schätzenden Menschen bedient, der Dialog war stets locker.

In der jüngeren Vergangenheit ist festzustellen, dass das Personal rege wechselt. Die neuen Mitarbeiter sind ein kleines bisschen weniger freundlich, nicht gerade unfreundlich, aber sie machen nicht mehr den Unterschied aus, sie sind eher geschäftsmäßig, abwicklungsorientiert geworden. Beobachtet man das Treiben an der Theke, stellt man eine höhere Nüchternheit als zuvor fest. Korrekt, aber nüchtern.

Für diese Beobachtung kann es mehrere Ursachen geben: Die eine ist, dass die ursprünglichen Mitarbeiter das Unternehmen verlassen haben, aus welchem Grunde auch immer, aber es würde am ehesten für schlechte Unternehmensführung sprechen, denn Mitarbeiter kommen zu einem Unternehmen wegen des Unternehmens und sie gehen oft wegen der Führung. Es könnte auch sein, dass das Unternehmen, das über mehr als 50 Filialen in mehr als einem Dutzend Städten in Nordrhein-Westfalen verfügt, so stark wächst, dass Top-Mitarbeiter als Multiplikatoren anderswo eingesetzt werden und sie deshalb nicht mehr zu sehen sind.

Eine hohe Wahrscheinlichkeit besteht aber darin, dass der Prozess zur Sicherstellung der Mitarbeiterqualität nicht mit dem Wachstum standhält – eine große Gefahr für alle wachsenden Unternehmen. Man will wachsen, es bestehen Marktchancen, man stellt Menschen ein, die früher nicht dem hohen Qualitätsanspruch standgehalten hätten, gern unter der Vorgabe, dass es so schwer sei, gute Leute zu finden. Das Resultat? Man wird mittelmäßig, das Wachstum wird langsamer. Steuert man nicht gegen, kann es sogar kippen.

Wir sagen es in all unseren Wachstumsprojekten zu all unseren Klienten: Machen Sie bei Ihren Mitarbeitern keine Kompromisse, schon gar nicht in der Wachstumsphase. Stellen Sie niemanden ein, bei dem Sie denken “Das wird schon irgendwie”. Es wird nicht. Und das Prinzip “Hoffnung” funktioniert auch nicht.

Five Minutes for Growth: Sie erhalten jede Folge unser Video-Serie, es geht Ihnen nichts verloren. Infos hier, freie Episoden auf meinem Videokanal, alle Episoden in unserem Shop.

Internationales Marken-Kolloquium im Kloster Seeon am 15. und 16. September 2016.

„Wachstumsintelligenz – So gelingt Wachstum im Mittelstand“ ist auch bei amazon erhältlich.

© 2016, Prof. Dr. Guido Quelle, Mandat Managementberatung GmbH, Dortmund, London, New York.
© Sprinter: mezzotint_fotolia – Fotolia.com

“Verantwortung delegieren? Schnickschnack.”

Freitag, September 19th, 2014

Vor einiger Zeit sprach ich mit einem erfolgreichen Vollblutunternehmer, Mitte siebzig, taufrisch. Er hat seine verschiedenen Unternehmen inzwischen an seine Kinder überschrieben, alles läuft prima, der Unternehmer hält sich aus dem operativen Geschäft heraus und antwortet nur, wenn er gefragt wird. So wünscht man es sich. Seine Kinder (alle um die 40 Jahre alt) machen die Sache seiner Auffassung nach auch “ganz gut”, nur manchmal müsse man eben “sagen, wenn etwas Quatsch ist”. Das könne “auch mal zur Sache gehen”.

“Und wissen Sie, was ich gar nicht verstehe, Herr Quelle? Das ganze Gerede der jungen Leute von der ‘Delegation von Verantwortung‘. So ein Quatsch. Bei mir brauchte niemand Verantwortung zu übernehmen, das habe ich gemacht.”

Ja, und so haben sich die Zeiten geändert …

© 2014, Prof. Dr. Guido Quelle, Mandat Managementberatung GmbH, Dortmund, London, New York.

Streamline Your Routine Processes – Ritz-Carlton Naples

Mittwoch, Februar 27th, 2013

I am at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida for the fourth time since 2008. This is one of the best hotels in the world and although we are working here, I have time to spend some hours a day outside at the beach, on the balcony or at the property to enjoy the nice weather with temperatures in the mid to high 80s (25 to 28 degrees Celsius). It is high season here. The hotel is almost 100 percent booked which means that there are 450 rooms and at least 700 guests—not counting private parties and business meetings—who want to be taken care of, every day, 24 hours,.

From my room I can overlook a large part of the property and the gulf of Mexico and I recognize that a couple of things repeat every day:

  • When it is supposed to be a sunny day, about 200 or so deckchairs are brought to the beach every morning and are collected every afternoon (see picture)
  • Specific beach entertainment equipment is installed every day and is brought back every afternoon.
  • In the evenings, the pool areas are prepared for the next day so that they look the same each day.
  • And, of course, there are all the repetitive activities that happen in every hotel: preparing for breakfast, lunch, dinner, check-in, check-out, and so on.

Acknowledging that the hotel business is not a high margin business (except for high season) and that it depends on people—Ritz-Carlton’s “Ladies and Gentlemen are Serving Ladies and Gentlemen”-philosophy is known all over the world—routine processes need to be standardized to a very high degree in order not to lose time and money on repetitive operations. The efficiency I can observe is remarkable: There is no time wasted by unnecessary loops and the people still stay very friendly. There is no time wasted, because the time is needed to deal with processes that are not or can not be standardized; processes one need to put some thinking on.

To what extend have you standardized your routines processes? Are they as streamlined as they could be? Or are you talking about deviations in routines over and over? How often do you do something we call “failure work,” which means correcting things at management level that could have done correctly at an operational level? Do you feel you spend too much time on this?

Stop it. Standardize and streamline your routine processes, make people responsible, and make sure your routines are executed properly. You can’t afford using your profit to subsidize failure work in routines. You need your creativity, your time, and your money for more important things in order to grow your business.

Gulf view

Gulf view

(c) 2013 Prof. Dr. Guido Quelle, Mandat Consulting Group

The Art of Listening and The Art of Answering Questions

Dienstag, Oktober 30th, 2012

I usually stay in the Virgin Atlantic Lounge at Terminal 4 of JFK International Airport in New York in order to wait for my Singapore Airlines flight from JFK back to Frankfurt. Since the lounge has moved close to the gate it is really convenient to stay there. Last Saturday on my way back home I had plenty of time and I asked the lady at the front desk if from her experience of the last couple of days Singapore Airlines will board on time.

Her: “We will call the flight.”
Me: “That’s fine, but that was not my question.”
Her: “You asked me if Singapore usually boards on time.”
Me: “Exactly.”
Her: “It varies: sometimes yes, sometimes not.”
Me: “Really?” – Since this discussion led to nowhere, I waited until the flight was called (on time by the way).

Leadership lesson: Listen to a question and don’t just give someone an answer. Give someone an answer to a question they really asked. And, please, don’t say something like “it could be that way or it could be the other way.”

Cultural Differences – Singapore Airlines vs. Frankfurt Airport Staff

Dienstag, April 3rd, 2012

Most people who know me know that I am a great fan of Singapore Airlines and I try to use them as often as possible. Here is another example of the difference their employees make in regard to their contribution to the reputation of their company:

We landed in Frankurt after a most enjoyable trip from New York JFK returning from a fabulous week with members of the Million Dollar Consultant® Hall of Fame. I picked up our luggage from the conveyor belt to recognize that one of our bags was seriously damaged: One wheel of the bag was missing and zippers were missing, too.

The lady of Singapore ground staff whom I showed the bag said immediately “We take care of that.“ Unfortunately “We“ was not only her, but also two ladies from Frankfurt Airport.

The conversation that followed was mainly characterized by formal questions of the Frankfurt Airport ladies who were lead through a computerized process. Here are some of the questions they asked me:

• “Can I have your boarding pass, please?“ – Me: “Of course.“
• “The one of your wife as well, please.“ – Me: “Why? It is my bag that has been damaged.“
• “Which flight number was it?“ – Me: “Look at the boarding pass!“
• “What class did you fly?“ – “We flew First Class. Why don’t you look at the boarding pass you just asked me for?“
• “Do you have a baggage insurance?” – “I have no idea! Why do you need to know that?“
• “How old is the bag and what did it cost?“ – “Do you want to fool me?“

The lady of Singapore ground staff of course recognized my being really unhappy and told their airport colleagues to just fill out the form in order to help us leaving the airport. Unfortunately she wasn’t permitted to work herself on the computer.

While the Frankfurt Airport ladies still were very busy with the computer, the Singapore Airlines employee said the following: “You have two options: Option one is that you go to the Airport Baggage Service in order to see if they can repair the bag here or—what I recommend since I can imagine that you just want to get home now—you can call us to pick up the bag at your home or your office and we repair it or we send you the money for a new one.“ She was empathetic and I was happy.

This happened while the two other ladies were still fighting with their computer and with me, their customer.

It makes a difference how you approach your customers and clients. If you really want your business to grow, you need employees in every single department at every single position who have your customer’s best interest in mind.

Is this difficult? Sure, it is. But it is possible and some companies—like Singapore Airlines—are very close to that. Some companies—like Frankfurt Airport—will probably never get even to the undergraduate level. Ever.

Yours,
Guido Quelle

PS: This blogpost also appeared on Dr. Alan Weiss’s blog www.contrarianconsulting.com

(c) 2012, Prof. Dr. Guido Quelle, Mandat Consulting Group