The Operational Excellence Model and the Five Steps to Success


In the Planning Forum, we say that success doesn’t happen by chance. These two models underpin our training programmes and support development of the next generation of customer operations. We wanted to share them with you.

Originally derived from NLP research (neuro-linguistic programming) about what drives successful leaders in all spheres of life, we have adapted these models to support success in customer operations.

The Operational Excellence Model was created in this form to illustrate the value of planning, but it works well, whether you see this narrowly as resource planning or broadly as ‘getting prepared’. Truly, if we fail to plan, we plan to fail. In this model, the plan is a tool for communication and focus. We establish a shared goal, agree assumptions, resources constraints, targets etc – so that everything can be aligned and ‘locked down’. Then we take action – and learn from this afterwards by analysing the results, so that we can make changes and build them into a new plan for the next period. It’s important that the changes are not just changes to the plan; but that we actually change what we do – and then reflect our new working practices in the plan.

The Five Steps apply excellence models used by elite athletes; they are about creating an environment for peak performance. Planning and preparation are the focus – occupying the first four positions – but the review stage is still vital. This is also a ‘closed loop’ learning cycle.

Read the full article.

First published in the 2013 Best Practice Guide Putting People First.print

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