Submitted By jojojoj
Making it work
How do operational innovation efforts begin if no one is responsible for them and no formal channels for creating programs exist? Most often they start as grassroots movements, fostered by people sprinkled throughout organizations who are passionately committed to finding and exploiting opportunities for operational innovation. These catalysts take it upon themselves to find a leader who can grasp what they have in mind and then spearhead the innovation effort. The executive must have both the imagination and the charisma needed to drive major operational change.
Then the catalysts relentlessly campaign for the cause—confronting the executive with the inadequacies of existing operations and arranging for meetings with peers from other companies that have successfully implemented operational innovations. The campaign will be helped immensely if catalysts can tout existing pockets of operational innovation within their own organization. Maybe one plant implemented a new way of scheduling production, or a customer service center used a CRM system in a new way, or a sales team created a new way to support customers. Examples like these will help convince a leader that operational innovation can work.
Once the top executive is convinced that operational innovation is worth pursuing, the organization needs to focus its efforts. Because operational innovation is by nature disruptive, it should be concentrated in those activities with the greatest impact on an enterprise's strategic goals.
Progressive, for instance, realized that the key to its profitable growth is customer retention because acquiring new customers through commission-based agents is very expensive. And the key to customer retention is making sure customers have rewarding interactions with the company. That's why Progressive concentrated on streamlining claims; making it a more pleasant…...