Tag Archive for: Leadership Training

Tackling Backlogs with Queuing Theory: A Strategic Approach

Do you find yourself facing several operational challenges?

Here’s the scenario:

  • Your team’s backlog is growing, even though there doesn’t seem to be an increase in demand.
  • Your team is putting in a lot of effort.
  • You’re consistently missing delivery targets, and cycle times are expanding.
  • Efforts to enhance efficiency are falling flat.
  • Adding more personnel isn’t an option, and even if it were, it wouldn’t happen quickly.

You might hope that these issues will somehow resolve themselves, but what will you do when they recur? What kind of impact does it have on your customers and employees? Where is the breaking point? If you can’t regain control of the situation, the damage to your business could be substantial, and you might lose control over it entirely – not an ideal scenario.

We’re here to help by shedding light on the science of queuing theory, offering practical insights into the factors driving these challenges. While it’s a complex field, we’ll demystify it for you in a straightforward way.

Understanding All Work as a Process

When we view all work as a process (even if it doesn’t resemble a production line), we begin to think about flow. Every process involves an input, a transformation (involving people, systems, or machines), and an output. Our ecosystem comprises numerous processes, each with its unique characteristics.

The Role of Variation

Variation refers to changes or slight differences that are commonplace. For instance, it could involve variations in input volume or quality, team members’ skills, or the process they follow. The impact of variation can vary across different processes and ecosystems – some are more affected than others. However, one thing is clear: if left unmanaged, it significantly impacts your end results, especially in terms of cycle time, turnaround time, or end-to-end time – essentially the same thing.

The Science of Queues

When we talk about queues, we’re referring to the same queues you encounter at the supermarket, in the emergency department, on the phone, or at traffic lights – situations where something or someone is waiting. Queuing theory has given rise to various formulas used to estimate queue times. Instead of delving into the formulas, we’ll provide you with the key takeaways:

Queue times increase when:

  • You have less people available (a rather obvious factor).
  • The time required to complete the work increases, often due to increased complexity.
  • Demand surges, driven by factors like growth or seasonality.
  • Utilisation (i.e., how busy you are) rises. When it approaches 100%, queues can spiral out of control – picture filling a bucket; if you keep pouring water when it’s already full, it overflows, and there’s no capacity to contain it.

Now, here’s the kicker

Queue times increase EXPONENTIALLY with variations in inputs or processes. Think differing motivation levels, demand fluctuations, or varying case complexities.

The impacts are far more severe when operating at higher utilisation levels. We often see organisations striving for efficiency by operating at high utilisation settings, but if there’s a lot of unmanaged variation, it comes at the expense of customer experience.

Conclusion: Strategic Solutions

There are systematic and strategic ways to address queuing theory challenges – either by reducing or managing the sources of variation within your ecosystem. In our Core Operational Excellence program, we teach and coach leaders to do just that in real time.

Mastering Analytical Thinking: The Future of Skills

The Power of Analytical Thinking

Have you ever encountered individuals who cherry-pick facts and data to bolster their opinions, disregarding anything that doesn’t align with their narrative? There’s a good chance they lack the ability to derive meaningful and accurate insights from data. It’s rather ironic that in our increasingly data-rich world, so few know how to wield this information effectively. What we need is more analytics and fewer anecdotes.

The Research Verdict: Analytical Thinking Reigns Supreme

And the research solidly backs this up! According to the World Economic Forum’s 2023 “The Future of Jobs” report, analytical thinking is considered the most crucial skill. DeakinCo’s L&D research, which surveyed 200 organisations, also revealed that three of the top five reported skill gaps revolved around analytical thinking:

  1. critical thinking and problem-solving, 
  2. data analysis, and 
  3. data literacy.

Analytical and Creative Thinking: Complementary Forces

Analytical thinking goes a long way in enhancing our understanding of business dynamics, ultimately facilitating more effective decision-making. It transforms us into better leaders who pose more insightful questions to our teams – not just different questions, but better ones.

It’s essential to recognise that analytical thinking and creative thinking aren’t at odds with each other. Analytical thinking involves the capacity to tackle complex issues by evaluating information. Analytical thinkers can uncover patterns within datasets, often leading to creative and innovative solutions. In essence, these two skills complement each other harmoniously.

Overcoming the Fear: Building Analytical Skills

Many of our participants confess, “Data is not my friend” or “I’m more comfortable with words than numbers.” Spreadsheets often strike fear into their hearts. They’ve often convinced themselves they’re not cut out for it, before even giving it a shot. The good news is that acquiring these skills isn’t overly difficult, but learners need to see the relevance and have opportunities to practice in a supportive environment.

Bridging the Gap: External Expertise and Analytics

One challenge we’ve observed is the gap between some business leaders (whose performance is evaluated in very concrete terms) and HR/L&D functions, which might not hold the same appreciation for analytical skills. In such cases, it’s common to enlist external expertise to bridge this skills gap.

Our COE graduates, for instance, hone their analytical skills by analysing their actual processes with their own data – no hypothetical case studies here. This approach helps them become comfortable with data, enabling them to pose more profound questions. Consequently, they cease reacting solely to the latest data point and instead unearth the root causes of issues, granting them more time to concentrate on what truly matters. We teach our graduates to manage the patterns not the points! They discover they’re sitting on an ocean of data but were missing out on the valuable insights it holds.

Unearthing Opportunities: A Case Study

One recent graduate employed a straightforward analysis we assisted with to focus his team on the most significant opportunity areas, quickly realising over $2 million in benefits. COE graduates have shattered numerous myths through their analytical prowess.

Conclusion: Transforming Leaders through Analytical Thinking

Do you have leaders who could benefit from training on making data-driven decisions? Don’t hesitate to transform them into well-rounded leaders by developing their analytical thinking skills. Start the journey by checking out our COE program here.

Leveraging the 70/20/10 Learning Model for Organisational Success: QBS’s Proven Approach

The world of professional development is evolving, and in the heart of this change lies the transformative 70/20/10 learning model. As more businesses appreciate the impact of continued learning on their success, this framework is rapidly becoming the cornerstone of effective training programs. At QBS, we’ve adopted this dynamic model to craft training experiences that not only equip participants with knowledge but also mould them into efficient, forward-thinking leaders. We do this by leveraging the 70/20/10 learning model in our Core Operational Excellence and Introductory Operational Excellence leadership programs

The Learning Model Revolutionising Business Training

At its core, the 70/20/10 model is a blend of experiential, social, and formal learning. It proposes that 70% of knowledge comes from on-the-job experiences, 20% from interactions with others, and 10% from formal educational events. This strategy reflects how we naturally learn and allows learners to integrate new knowledge with their personal experiences. Whether it’s a critical decision at work or a stimulating conversation with a colleague, the 70/20/10 model considers every interaction a learning opportunity.

Empowering Individuals and Organisations: The Wide-Ranging Benefits of the 70/20/10 Model

The 70/20/10 model, when used correctly, has a multitude of benefits:

Personal Growth and Career Advancement

Through the 70/20/10 model, individuals experience holistic development. They cultivate critical thinking and problem-solving skills via experiential learning, enhance their communication and interpersonal abilities through social interactions, and expand their knowledge base via formal education. This multifaceted approach fosters well-rounded professionals ready to lead in the modern business landscape.

Propelling Organisational Success

For Australian organisations, this model is a blueprint for cultivating a robust learning culture. By focusing on real-world experiences and peer interactions, it boosts team collaboration, enhances adaptability, and promotes innovation. In essence, the 70/20/10 model helps businesses build a workforce capable of steering the organisation towards enduring success.

Graduates of the Core Operational Excellence program by QBS which leverages the 70/20/10 learning model for organisational success.

Graduates of the Core Operational Excellence program by QBS which leverages the 70/20/10 learning model for organisational success.

QBS’s Take on the 70/20/10 Model: An Approach Tailored for Transformation

At QBS, we’ve refined the 70/20/10 model to align with our commitment to fostering proactive and disciplined leaders. Our programs begin with logically sequenced workshops – providing the formal education (10%). Each is followed by focused on-the-job application with peer and coach interactions (70% and 20% respectively). This structure ensures that our learners not only understand the principles of operational excellence but can also apply them in real-world contexts.

To further bolster this learning, we provide individual coaching and performance assessment. This ongoing support helps learners consolidate their knowledge, enhance their skills, and progress confidently towards their leadership goals.

Embrace the Future of Learning with the 70/20/10 Model

The 70/20/10 model is more than a learning framework—it’s a strategy for personal growth and organisational success. By aligning learning with our natural cognitive processes, it ensures knowledge retention, skill development, and the cultivation of innovative, proactive leaders.

At QBS, we’ve witnessed the transformative power of this model firsthand. We invite you to experience this dynamic learning approach, revolutionise your leadership development, and propel your organisation towards new horizons of success.

Join QBS’s Leadership Revolution Today

If you’re ready to experience the game-changing impact of the 70/20/10 model, it’s time to explore QBS’s range of programs for operational excellence. Your journey towards leadership excellence begins with QBS!

Explore Our Programs

The Foundation of Success: Unraveling the DNA of Leadership Essentials

An organisation’s success is no happy accident. It’s a masterpiece crafted meticulously by skilled artisans known as leaders. Just as DNA forms the blueprint for every living organism, specific traits form the genetic code of effective leadership. In our quest to explore these leadership essentials, we will delve into the seven core elements that can potentially metamorphose an organisation from mediocre to magnificent.

1. The Lighthouse: Vision

Every remarkable journey begins with a well-defined destination. For leaders, this translates into a compelling vision – a beacon of light guiding the organisation towards its desired future. More than just a fancy statement, it is the inspiring picture of possibilities painted with bold and broad strokes.

2. The Bridge: Communication

Vision is the blueprint; communication is the means to bring it to life. Effective communication bridges the gap between the leader’s vision and the team’s actions. Through clear, concise, and continuous communication, leaders ensure everyone shares the same understanding and moves in unison.

3. The Heart: Empathy

While hard skills may get the job done, it’s the softer aspects like empathy that truly distinguish a leader. The ability to perceive and understand team members’ feelings and perspectives breeds a culture of trust and respect, fostering deeper connections.

4. The Rock: Resilience

The path to success isn’t a bed of roses; it’s a rocky trail filled with challenges and setbacks. Resilience is the leader’s grit, their tenacity, the relentless spirit that helps them weather storms and guide their team through rough terrains.

5. The Navigator: Decision-making

Decisions shape destinies, and no one knows this better than leaders. Equipped with analytical skills and judgment, leaders act as navigators, making critical decisions that influence the organisation’s trajectory.

6. The Gardener: Empowerment

True leaders are like gardeners who sow seeds of empowerment and nurture them with trust and responsibility. This environment enables team members to grow, flourish and evolve into future leaders themselves.

7. The Explorer: Lifelong Learning

Leadership isn’t a destination; it’s a never-ending journey. Great leaders are perpetual explorers on this journey of learning. They cultivate intellectual curiosity and strive for continuous self-improvement, becoming role models for their teams.

These seven fundamental traits, when combined, constitute the DNA of extraordinary leadership. However, cultivating these traits requires more than just time; it needs insightful education, guided training, and relentless practice.

This is where Quality Business Services comes into the picture. Our comprehensive leadership programs, steeped in real-world insights, are designed to empower your leaders. We don’t just teach leadership; we enable your teams to live it, breathe it, and embody it, thereby fostering operational excellence from the ground up.

Embark on this transformational journey with us: Explore Our Programs

Leadership is more than a role. It’s an art, a science, and above all, a commitment. Unleash the potential within you and your team with Quality Business Services.

When Leadership Meets Pop Culture: Unlikely Icons of Operational Excellence

In our mission to glean wisdom, leadership lessons aren’t confined to the realm of boardrooms, management handbooks, or corporate seminars. They surround us, pervade our daily lives, and occasionally emerge from the most unexpected sources – pop culture icons. From superheroes saving the world to flawed anti-heroes navigating complex realities, pop culture offers a treasure trove of lessons for leaders striving for operational excellence.

Mufasa, The Lion King – The Importance of Legacy and Mentorship

First on our list is the majestic Mufasa from Disney’s “The Lion King.” Despite his untimely demise, Mufasa’s legacy lives on through his son, Simba, teaching us about the importance of legacy and mentorship. As leaders, our influence goes beyond our tenure. By instilling a strong sense of purpose and fostering a nurturing environment, we can ensure our legacy of operational excellence continues, inspiring future generations of leaders.

Yoda, Star Wars – The Power of Wisdom and Humility

Yoda, the legendary Jedi Master from Star Wars, may stand at a diminutive height, but his leadership lessons are larger than life. Known for his wisdom, Yoda teaches us that true leadership isn’t about physical strength or showmanship. It’s about humility, perseverance, and drawing strength from within. Remember his iconic line, “Do or do not, there is no try.” It’s a lesson in commitment and resolute determination – two essential qualities for any leader aspiring for operational excellence.

Tony Stark, Iron Man – The Art of Adaptation and Innovation

Tony Stark, the genius inventor behind the Iron Man suit, embodies the spirit of innovation and adaptation. Despite his brash persona, Stark’s knack for quick-thinking, improvisation, and creative problem-solving during crises offers an invaluable lesson in leadership agility. In an ever-evolving business landscape, the ability to adapt, innovate, and pivot is crucial to maintaining operational excellence.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek – The Significance of Empathy and Diplomacy

Star Trek’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard exemplifies diplomacy and empathy. Whether dealing with interstellar disputes or crew disagreements, Picard’s approach always leans towards dialogue, understanding, and compromise. This reminds us that successful leaders foster a culture of open communication and mutual respect, nurturing healthier relationships and more productive, collaborative teams.

Walter White, Breaking Bad – A Cautionary Tale of Power and Corruption

Our last example isn’t a beacon of good leadership, but rather, a cautionary tale. Breaking Bad’s Walter White starts as an empathetic character, but his gradual descent into darkness reminds us of the corruption absolute power can bring. It’s a stark reminder that unchecked ambition and power, devoid of ethical considerations, can lead to destructive outcomes, damaging operational excellence.

In these icons, we find the reflection of our strengths and weaknesses, ambitions and fears, success and failures. They offer a mirror, sometimes flattering, often discomforting, but always enlightening. And through their stories, we learn more about our own journey towards leadership and operational excellence.

Whether you find yourself identifying with Mufasa’s nurturing leadership, Yoda’s wise tenacity, Stark’s innovative brilliance, Picard’s empathetic diplomacy, or are wary of following White’s corrupt path, there’s always room for growth and improvement.

This is where QBS comes in. We invite you to download our free Leadership Skills Audit. This valuable tool will help you identify any roadblocks that might be hindering your path to operational excellence and fast-track your leadership success. Learn from pop culture, learn from QBS, and let’s write your leadership story together.