Andy Marsh, managing director of Suiko, shares his Top 10 tips for achieving award-winning results and world-class success.

Suiko recently had the good fortune to win a prestigious MCA industry award for our operational excellence work with a world-class biofuels business – and in the weeks following the ceremony, we’ve been asked to review and share the vital ingredients for success.

As every organisation is different and every journey will be a unique experience, we fundamentally believe the real trick is optimising the right people along with the right processes and tools; the ultimate outcome being to provide a unique competitive advantage and long-term profitable growth.

If you can achieve this balance, we’re pretty confident you will achieve not just award-winning results, but sustained, world-class success.  Below we’ve clustered together some top tips to consider along the way:

  1. One goal. One vision – the over-riding critical success factor is to employ a single-minded, integrated approach to ensure joined-up thinking across the organisation – uniting all business functions with one common goal and vision.
  1. Make it a board room agenda – a board mandate is the only way the whole organisation will embrace the change required. The board and senior team will need to live and breathe the vision and programme for change to ensure it is cascaded down throughout the business.
  2. Ask why? – understand the compelling business reason to change and drive profitable growth; through controlling costs, generating extra profits, maximising cash.
  1. Ask what? – understand the practices (tools/ behaviours). The tools are a means to drive behaviour. We aim to strike a balance between 20% tools, 80% behaviour and the message is no different at the senior level. The tools are an aid to strengthen the business leadership, providing clarity on what the business needs to achieve, how to win, what’s needed from the organisational teams and processes.
  2. Ask how? – understand the enablers and accelerators to sustain change. Ensure four key areas are addressed:
  • Strategic framework
  • Tools and techniques
  • Enabling behaviours
  • Make-it-happen
  1. Robust programme governance – strive to build a culture where deviation from the main programme is not an option. There will be marked resistance along the way – and the journey will be far from smooth. Hit problems head on with senior management to understand the blockages and find a way forward.
  1. Track progress – evaluation is a relentless process but is the only way to achieve the desired outcomes. Blips and set-backs can rock the ship, so shout about your stepped wins and keep focused on the end goal.
  1. Tailor your approach – some functions will have faster uptake than others. There will certainly be a belief in some functions that they are already lean. So a great deal of empathy is required and to aid this, different tools can be employed to get the message across in the most relevant way depending on job function /role within the organisation.
  1. People match – Engaging the right people for the job is as important as the tools and strategies you employ. Genuine expertise and first-hand industry knowledge is paramount. Knowing your consultant (whether internal or external) does not just know the theory but has also walked in your shoes at some point in their career is invaluable. Building honest, straight-talking relationships is a prerequisite.
  1. Review and share your lessons learned – we find it is always very good practice to review every engagement programme thoroughly to engender an open culture, a spirit of knowledge share and to develop your best practice. A warts and all lessons-learned evaluation is extremely beneficial for everyone involved in the programme, both consultant and client-side.