The Evolution of Core Operational Excellence

If you’ve worked across different organisations, you’ve likely noticed that each one has its own unique personality, strengths, and weaknesses. My last corporate role at General Electric profoundly influenced my journey with QBS and the development of the COE program.

Lessons from GE

During my time at General Electric, I gained a deep understanding of operational excellence and continuous improvement. The company had a culture marked by operational clarity and discipline, something I hadn’t encountered before. It operated with a strong customer-centric and data-driven approach, providing an ideal foundation for its relentless pursuit of improvement.  It wasn’t flawless but GE lived and breathed operational intelligence (OQ).

The Stumbling Blocks

This experience opened doors for me in the world of business improvement consulting and training with several prominent Australian corporations. However, we began to notice a common trend: initiatives frequently stalled, and it took a long time to pinpoint the core issues.   Too often the issues pointed to poor operational management practices. We witnessed a lot of spinning wheels.

Bridging the Gap

Even when improvement initiatives were successful, their effects often faded quickly, failing to address broader systemic issues. It became evident that the robust operational disciplines that thrived at GE, serving as a solid foundation for improvement activities, were missing elsewhere. Simultaneously, we realised  these critical skills were not part of most existing leadership programs as they tended to have a focus on soft skill development (eg EQ). This presented a double challenge – a significant gap with no foreseeable solutions.

The Birth of Core Operational Excellence

The concept of Core Operational Excellence emerged as the remedy for this identified gap. Instead of enrolling a multitude of individuals in business improvement training (typically frontline team members), the focus shifted to developing leaders in the principles of operational excellence, raising their OQ. This approach provided a strong groundwork for future improvement endeavors and naturally complemented existing leadership programs – a harmonious pairing.

Our Recipe for Success

We observed that as leaders navigated through the daily challenges, they gained a clearer perspective on the deeper-rooted issues that demanded further attention. Much of the program’s success can be attributed to its design, delivery, and coaching by experienced leaders, for leaders. We speak your language, understand your pain points, and happen to excel in facilitation and coaching as well!

Learn more about the facilitators of the Core Operational Excellence programs that QBS run here.

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