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The Operational Excellence Show

Apr 3, 2020

Welcome to Episode 10!

As I’m recording this, the UK is heading into its second week of lock down due to the CoronaVirus. Many of you will have been advised to work from home now and your teams are remote! 
It was frantic all of last week - getting people access to companies' IT networks, ensuring everyone had the right equipment, setting up conference calls, and also pondering how on earth you would stay engaged with your teams.

I was privileged to attend a 2 day conference for business leaders - which initially was planned to be in Paris, but at the last minute it was set up as a virtual conference using Zoom technology. And it worked a treat! 

On the first day, Fabienne Fredrikson of Boldheart Business took the attendees through 7 steps how to Pivot Your Business. And with her permission, I’m using her 7 steps (The Titles only)  adapted to the corporate Contact Center life you are finding yourself in today. 

Lets go:

Step 1: Pivot Your Facts

You see - the news is full of information, right or wrong, plus all there is on TV, the Radio, Social Media - Covid-19. And to make matters worse, the so called facts don’t match! 

You know the scenario from your daily reports, reflecting yesterday’s performance. You look at the numbers and know they are wrong. So you go and dig until you find what’s right. 

I’d invite you to do the same with the facts around Covid-19. Find a source you trust. And work from that source only. Ditch everything else! 

I can recommend the webpage - where you can get facts around spread of the virus per country - and you can see when it peaked, when it started to decline and how the infection rate performs in relation to the death rate.

Really it is the same principle as if you look at last month's call performance vs. February 2019 call performance. You know what to look out for and then you can take action! 

Of course there is a high probability that your March 2020 stats are totally out of line, compared to last year - but because you know, you have an explanation and you can act. 

Going back to the crisis - the evidence on shows that New Cases in China are declining day by day. This gives hope that also in our countries the development of  the pandemic will change.

Step 2: Pivot Your Health

Now as you are working from home, you have got the perfect opportunity to eat healthily! Remember the excuses you had so far? Too busy in the office? Dashing out for a Latte and ready made sandwich or soup? 

Not only can you prepare your foods the night before, you can make a conscious decision what to eat! 

Alkaline foods to support your immune system! And if you can’t cook - now is the perfect time to learn!

I’d recommend Jamie Olivers ‘Superfood Family Classics Cookbook’. Easy, straightforward and incredibly healthy! 

Step 3: Pivot your Mindset

There are a number of ways to look at how you can stay positive - or at least try to see beyond the current crisis. One article I found helpful was by Jeff Van Clute “A message from the Coronavirus” - You find the link in the show notes.

Jeff talks about the gifts that the the virus presents;

  • Slowing down humanity’s frenetic activities

  • Activating networks of cooperation

  • Spreading helpful DNA

  • Upgrading humanity’s immune system

  • Creating the conditions for peace and well-being

  • Saving lives, especially over the long term, by strengthening the web of life

Listen, it doesn’t mean that you have to be all singing and dancing everyday! But remember - you can definitely influence your thoughts.

Step 4: Pivot your resources

Well - in the corporate setting, our resources are people, technology, processes, procedures. Those who know me are aware that I work with my clients using LEAP: 
Lead People
 - Execute Process
 - Amplify Profit - 
In that Order! 

This means you do have to put more time into leading people! Just over 50% (53.6%) of professionals in the UK say that they feel lonely at the workplace! So now - as we all work from home, this figure is most likely to spring up significantly. 

Reasons for feeling lonely at work:

 44.4% feel they have nothing in common with their colleagues.

 26.5% don’t have good work friends

 21.7% say they feel lonely because their colleagues are a lot younger than them. 

Other reasons are: Working in an office on their own (20.6%), having to eat lunch alone (18.2%), working with other colleagues (11.1%), or not being invited to work socials (6.4%).

Loneliness negatively impacts on performance. And now more than ever it is your responsibility to engage with your workforce.

I invite you to go back to Episode 06 - How to set yourself up for a successful day in the Office and to Episode 08 - How to help your team member to be successful in their career. In both episodes you will find downloadable resources in PDF format, that will help you to engage with your team members as you would do in the office! Use technology such as Zoom or Teams or Skype for Business to hold your team huddles, your one to one’s and your coaching sessions.

Engaging with your employees is vital in this moment and time! 

Step 5: Pivot your time

As a matter of principle - I work off of 90 day plans (quarterly execution plans) with bi-weekly sprints. That means I allow myself to focus 14 days on implementation or execution of one task that aids my project to be completed in 90 days. I use a project plan and I execute against the milestones.
You might say - well that doesn’t work for me, I’m not a project Manager! Believe me - it works. Cut your elephant in pieces! Although you are now working from home - you still have to deliver results.

And a plan is there to help you get these results.

 But now is also the time where you can go and read all these books you wanted to read. Or learn the language you wanted to learn for ages. 
Now is the time to get fit - use the daily exercise allowance to get out of the house! There are a lot of activities, you now have got no excuse not to do something! 

6 Pivot your Marketing

I can hear you - I work in corporate, I don’t do marketing! Hear, hear - let's look at Wikipedia; 

Marketing is the study and management of exchange relationships.[1][2] It is the business process of identifying, anticipating and satisfying customers' needs and wants. Because marketing is used to attract customers, it is one of the primary components of business management and commerce.[3] Marketers can direct product to other businesses (B2B marketing) or directly to consumers (B2C marketing).

Therefore - marketing is actually a relationship building exercise with your customer. Your customer could be your HR department. Your IT department, your L&D department. It could be the client you are serving, if you work in outsourcing.

I have a habit of calling my key contacts once a month, normally on a Friday. Just asking how they are doing, engaging in conversation around industry news, performance or simply their daily life. 

Give it a try! 

7 - Pivot your Career

We all do it from time to time - looking at what else is out there. Very often we do this when we think 'the grass is greener across the fence'.

We look for new jobs when we are frustrated, or feel we have reached the glass ceiling - and have nowhere to go.

Through the current crisis a lot of people have lost jobs they absolutely loved. Some have lost jobs they hated. Others are still in jobs - but are not clear why they do what they do! 

So I invite you to self find your reason for Being;

  • What do I love?

  • What am I good at

  • What can I be paid for?

  • What does the world need? 

Maybe you always wanted to change career completely? Now is the time to do the research and find out! Maybe speak to a career coach? So many career coaches are offering their services just now pro bona. 

Maybe you always wanted to progress and understand 6Sigma? Or take an excel course? If you have linkedIn - check out their learning department - it’s great!

So - what is it going to be for you? Seven areas where you can pivot in - pick at least two!


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