Look at the Organization as a Whole

To question existing things, to leave the beaten path and to say goodbye to cherished routines, is often more difficult than creating something new. An example: A core team, consisting of key people from all areas, is charged with the task of gaining a certain percentage of available staff resources for new investments. Instead of broadly based and time-consuming analysis, suggestions as to how to increase efficiency are collected in a few workshops. In 2–4 one-day workshops with a maximum of 35 people and a setting that fosters creativity, around 100 ideas are gathered and made visible. There are no taboos and no omitted areas – even sacred topics are addressed. The rules are: Quantity before quality, interfering in other areas is more than welcome and absolute confidentiality. Afterwards, the core team filters out ideas that are mentioned multiple times as well as the ones that are not convertible or miss the point. The remaining suggestions will be systematically processed (with the help of the respective executive) and evaluated. In a meeting with the management team, they all decide which ideas are going to be developed further.

Executives Are Responsible for the Implementation

In an ideal case, after 2–3 months there are 50–150 ideas that are ready for the decision process. The core team structures them into three categories: Cat. A: Decision of executives is needed. Cat. B: An implementation project with a detailed concept is necessary due to several areas being affected. Cat. C: After approval from top management, the responsible executive will organize the implementation.

All ideas that are ready for the decision process are visualized in a portfolio with the axes “contribution to operating income” and “feasibility.” In a half-day workshop, the management makes the necessary decisions and grants approvals. Furthermore, an implementation monitoring is set up.