Friday, August 12, 2022

Two approaches to doing more with less

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Shreya Christinahttps://cafe-madrid.com
Shreya has been with cafe-madrid.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider cafe-madrid.com team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

Carsten Thiel is a businessman with over two decades of leadership experience. He is CEO of the global biopharmaceutical EUSA Pharma.

The phrase “doing more with less” is one that has frustrated me personally in the past. My immediate reaction (and I’m sure many others feel the same) is to feel defensive: “I am an effective and efficient person; how do I do that?”

However, as a leader it is important to recognize the ego involved in this way of thinking. The fact is that no matter what industry you are in, it is inevitable that at some point you will be faced with the challenge of making positive change with limited resources. The smart, proactive leader doesn’t even wait for someone to tell them to do more with less.

The organization I joined as CEO a little over a year ago is a place where everyone is committed to helping as many people around the world as possible. As a result, however, I believe it had developed a cultural lack of ability to say no, to the extent that we would just mobilize immediately, regardless of whether it was a very small or a massive project. They were willing to give everything they had, but it just wasn’t right to say no to something and there was no clear end in sight. As a result, some people were exhausted and exhausted.

Achieving ambitious goals with far fewer resources is an important task, but it must first be made clear that these goals are being achieved as an organization and that these changes are not aimed at individuals. Achieving more with less isn’t as simple as increasing output – it doesn’t mean you or your employees will work more days, hours, weekends or evenings.

Instead, this issue should be approached from two angles: prioritization and efficiency. By capitalizing on these two approaches, you can not only achieve much more with fewer resources, but also build a stronger and more resilient organization as a whole.

Prioritization

A company’s mission statement is often where employees within an organization can find purpose. Whether changing lives, facilitating the spread of ideas or inspiring communities, these statements serve as the guiding light that guides the decision-making process. However, it is important that people also recognize that one of the best ways to embody a mission statement is to make its implementation as effective as possible.

We were so committed to our mission as an organization that we confuse it with our strategy, but the two are not interchangeable. A company’s mission statement is about purpose: the unique purpose that unites each person, even though their job titles and responsibilities may vary widely. The strategy, on the other hand, is the plan that is put in place to achieve that goal.

This is where prioritization comes in. A leader must lead his team in a strategy that facilitates the company’s long-term goals. Sometimes this appearance can seem counterintuitive. For example, in my organization, people struggled with how we could strive for “life change” if we weren’t pursuing all possible markets. However, prioritizing markets and areas where you will have the greatest impact can free up resources and make better use of them.

Look at job descriptions in your own organization and make sure they are explicit in the details of the focus of each position. Evaluation metrics can also be re-examined to clearly reflect company goals so that all employees know what results the company is looking for and when they are expected to be achieved. These small changes can quickly and effectively refocus a company and help those within the company better prioritize their own personal goals and objectives.

efficiency

When I first entered the position of CEO at my organization, I asked people, “What is a barrier to getting our work done?” and it was an eye opener for me to recognize all the little things, from expense submissions to project approvals or certain forms that had to be filled out. In some cases, people knew why we had to do it that way, but in a lot of cases, when I asked, people just said, “Well, that’s how we’ve always done it.”

When it comes to improving efficiency, start with the low-hanging fruit: things that are easy and quick to change. Is there a process that has become too bureaucratic over time, forcing people to jump through countless hurdles in order to do their job? Are multiple employees in the chain of command essentially approving the same thing over and over when the buck could have easily been stopped much earlier?

These seemingly small tasks may generally only take up a short amount of an employee’s time, but they can end up hurting morale and taking away agency. People take responsibility when they feel they are trusted to do their job and do it well. By empowering people to make decisions, you can simultaneously reduce workload and increase job satisfaction at the same time.

Improving communication is also a strong way to see improvements in efficiency respectively. From seeking feedback to making sure everyone is aligned on goals, communication needs to be clear, simple, and persuasive, and ideas need to be repeated often. By strengthening communication, you will gain a better understanding of your workforce as individuals and thereby ensure that they are ready for success.

An organization is like a clockwork: several unique, individual units that together form a functioning clock. Each person will have their own specific needs to thrive in their position, and part of developing efficiency is recognizing that.


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