Redefining Operational Excellence

New Strategies for Maximizing Performance and Profits Across the Organization

Andrew Miller

Publisher: Amacom, 2014, 246 pages

ISBN: 978-0-8144-3989-0

Keywords: Operations

Last modified: Feb. 7, 2021, 10:11 p.m.

The old definition of operational excellence is a relic. Our world is too complex, too interconnected, and too fast-moving for organizations to achieve dramatic results simply by eliminating waste and increasing standardization. After all, no company ever cut their way to sustainable growth.

True operational excellence is not about "lean" or six sigma or any other methodology. Operational excellence is a mindset, and it achieves breakthrough results. It requires a company culture that questions current models and focuses on adding value, making improvements, and increasing speed. Operational excellence is about finding money and performance boosts in areas businesses don't normally look. Redefining Operational Excellence covers it all — processes, people, and operations — and shares specific strategies to:

  • Drive innovation and collaboration
  • Engage customers
  • Attract and retain top people
  • Align strategy and execution
  • Optimize speed
  • And more

Operational excellence is the relentless pursuit of doing things better. This revelatory guide presents a groundbreaking way of doing things that will benefit organizations and their customers.

  1. The Need For a New Definition
    • The Beginnings of Operational Excellence
    • Redefining Operational Excellence
    • Would You Know Operational Excellence If You Tripped Over It?
    • Organizations That Exemplify Operational Excellence
    • Why Operational Excellence Is Important to Any Organization
    • Redefining How We Operate
  2. Making Operational Excellence Happen
    • The Core Components of Operational Excellence
    • Evolving Toward Operational Excellence
    • The Four Phases of Operational Excellence
    • Creating Gates: Protecting Your Gains
    • Four Types of Organization
    • Redefining the Way We Measure Success
  3. Attracting and Retaining Top Talent: Don't Settle for Second Best
    • The Key Principles of Leadership
    • The Four Attributes of a Great Leader
    • Attracting the Best People
    • A Strategy for Talent Management
    • Breathe Life into Your Organization by Letting People Go
    • Is Your Turnover Rate Too High?
  4. The Innovation Equation: The Importance of Collaboration
    • How to Foster Innovation
    • The Cycle of Innovation
    • A Culture of Innovation: The Interaction of Empowerment and Skill
    • How to Become an Innovation Master
    • Accelerating the Adoption of Innovation
  5. Aligning Strategy and Tactics to Enhance Performance
    • Without Execution, There Is No Strategy
    • How to Achieve Execution Excellence
    • The Difference Between Responsibility and Accountability
    • Gaining a Tactical Advantage: Finding Performance Boosts Where You Wouldn't Normally Look
    • Performance Boosts: The Do-It-Yourself Version
    • A Final Word on Strategy Execution
  6. Acquiring and Keeping the Customers You Want
    • Why Current Customers Are Your Best Opportunity for Growth
    • Stratifying Your Customers
    • How to Turn Customers into Great Referral Sources
    • Other Strategies to Strengthen Customer Loyalty and Engagement
    • The Five Myths of Customer Engagement
  7. Optimizing Speed Maximizes Profitability
    • Determining Optimal Enterprise Velocity and Responsible Speed
    • Slow Down to Improve Results
    • How Speed Impacts Profitability
    • The Speed-Profitability Correlation and the Four Components of Operational Excellence
    • The Myth of the First-Mover Advantage
    • Knowing When to Speed Up and When to Slow Down
    • Implementing a Culture of Speed Optimization
  8. Centers of Excellence: Not So Much
    • Why Centers of Excellence Aren't Always Excellent
    • Why Create a Centralized Department?
    • The Benefits of a Centralized Department
    • Centrally Led, Locally Executed
    • Ignore the Center and Focus on Excellence
  9. Industry Perspectives
    • Retail
    • Services
    • Health Care
    • Technology
    • Manufacturing
  10. Getting Technology Out of Your Way
    • Fix the Process, Then Implement the Technology
    • Technology and Change Management
    • Using Technology to Enhance Operational Excellence
    • Operational Excellence and Automation
  11. A Bright Future With Operational Excellence
    • The Operational Excellence Crystal Ball
    • You've Achieved Operational Excellence-Now What?
  12. Appendix
    • Are You On the Path to Operational Excellence?