How to increase productivity – 5 key strategies to growth By Vijay Mistri

Recently, I was chairing a financial reporting board meeting for a manufacturing organisation. All board members were well immersed looking for the usual variances in expenses and other comparison figures.

What I realised was that though they did have a hang of what was going on, there were 5 key ingredients which would make a positive contribution to the overall mix. I have seen many organisations miss out on these crucial elements which changes the level of effectiveness in the collective decisions made.

  • Unification on the purpose: the core existence of the organisation was not fully embraced from my observations. The discussions were based on reports, rather than linking to long term sustainable thinking. A board must be unified at the top with clarity of where the organisation is heading. I call this SPOD (Specific point of destination). A clear outcome ensures that road blocks are overcome with ease.
  • Asking pertinent questions: There was lack of quality probing during the meeting. Board members must ask questions which will enable them get a deeper insight. A single additional insight can change the choices that directors and executives make. Sometime ago, a company saved a major cost simply through asking a simple, yet key question which was -‘can anyone come up with a better alternate?’ The rest of the executive team went back to the drawing team and came back with two alternates – both proving to be beneficial. The level of ownership needed to be elevated.
  • Execution of decisions: The board made a few decisions which were to be implemented and executed within a stipulated deadline. The challenge was that some of the action steps were not taken on a timely basis. This led to delays and misinterpretations which caused frustrations to the board. Clarity in timelines is exceptionally important.
  • Financial Relevance: Another adverse trigger I observed was that the company lacked a proper understanding of the financials. Key components to a sound decision making process includes relevant financial know how. Understanding financials and the ability to interpret financials with ease and contribute to the decision making process, is mandatory.
  • Executive coaching: A few of the executive team members had doubts and did not contribute to their fullest ability and capacity. Upon probing further, I realise that many executives had a sense of fear. A sound level of constant feedback and coaching which is planned, having the right intentions is an absolute must. This allows the whole team to correlate and align the organisational goals with ease.

It is crucial that director training is an ongoing process with specific result oriented outcome which is growth oriented for the organisation. A clear deep understanding of the business model must be fully embraced by all members and a clear intention which is unified at the top becomes a key priority and focal point. In order to sustain in a competitive market, directors and executives must work with an action plan which is revisited frequently.

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