As an Operational Excellence (OpEx) consultant, I am always looking for ways to help companies gain access to the tools and methodologies that can help them improve.
- Large corporations generally have the resources to maintain a staff of process improvement experts to stay on the cutting edge of the methodologies and to drive continuous improvement.
- Other large organizations can work with international consultants to get similar benefits.
- Small and mid-sized companies have to look for more cost-efficient ways to get the most out of their business improvement efforts however.
Recently, I have developed an approach to operational excellence that makes these powerful methodologies more accessible to small and mid-sized organizations. This approach, which I call the Procurement Ready Roundtable™, takes advantage of a peer learning model.
CEOs and Executives from non-competing companies meet regularly to draw on each other’s knowledge and experience to solve business issues and capitalize on business opportunities. This is accomplished by open discussion of high priority business opportunities and issues along with presentations from outside experts. These sessions are led by a trained facilitator.
How does this approach make OpEx more accessible to smaller businesses and organizations? The easy answer is that it allows the businesses to share the cost of obtaining the required expertise and OpEx leadership. A good facilitator, especially one with an OpEx background, can make sure the group is focused on solving operational issues in a structured way and give the team access to powerful OpEx tools. The cost of having the facilitator in the room is shared by all of the participants.
The real magic of this Procurement Ready Roundtable™ methodology comes from the peer learning approach. Guided by a skilled facilitator, any individual has access to the expertise of all of the other executives. Leveraging the collective experience of the room almost always produces a better result than going it alone. Over time, the individuals in the room develop into a powerful team that can help any business leader address his or her most challenging issues.
Need proof that this works? Organizations using a peer learning approach have reported growth as much as 2.2 times greater than non-participating companies. So what are you waiting for? Join a group or start one and reap the benefits.
About the Author
David Powe is the partner and lead consultant at AIOPX Management Consulting. AIOPX helps businesses increase profits, cash flow and enterprise value through the application of Operations Excellence methodologies. David can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585-704-6241.