SuperSize Me: 4 Ways to make your Small LP Team Act Bigger

Henry Ford once said: “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

This could not be more true and applicable when operating a relatively small LP team with an enormous amount of responsibility and very few resources to accomplish them. If each team member is doing their own thing and generally independent from the group then overall team performance suffers. Conversely, the team can perform at a far higher level if the entire team has a shared set of values and are meaningfully connected with overarching principles and goals.

We work with LP teams of all sizes, and working with smaller teams allow us to see very practically how this translates into results. As an LP leader or team member, we see people asking themselves the following questions:

1) Do I know what all my team members are doing today? If we can’t quantify what we’re doing, then we can’t measure the results. And it’s not just about the activities being performed today, but the accumulation of activities over a period of time. How much time did we spend training new store managers last year? How much money did we spend traveling to store locations to conduct interviews that didn’t result in admissions? How many store visits did we complete in the first quarter this year? These are all important questions that can be measured and reported that will help drive the continuous improvement culture of the team and form the foundation for your important business decisions.

Practically: have a report sent to each team member every day that shows them their logged activities planned for today and their overdue activities. This will keep team members on the same page, and build a tremendously valuable analysis dataset in a very short period of time.

2) Which activities being performed by my team have the greatest direct impact on my operational goals? Having a system in place which allows for easy analysis of activities and their correlation to results is imperative. Being able to direct your team to concentrate on the activities that are shown to have greater impact on the financial result will multiply into a far greater impact when the entire team is concentrated in a similar fashion on the same result.

Practically: use ThinkLP to generate a loss-trend comparison for stores with and without certain countermeasures installed or performed, and use those reports to quickly identify effectiveness, and tweak your programs to maximize performance.

3) Do I have a standardized and duplicatable set of processes that our entire team operates with?

As you look to make a larger impact in your organization, the biggest question is how you handle the increased volume of work. Clearly defining a set of processes and standards so the vast majority of your efforts are concentrated on value-generating activities and not process-oriented activities will be critical to scaling your impact.

Practically: leverage the automated workflow options within ThinkLP to make sure all your key stakeholders are informed throughout you’re processes, which saves you and your team from countless e-mails and the time and effort required to craft them. Integrate approvals to have decision-makers part of the process and reduce “wasted time” to speed your processes along.

4) In the last 90 days, what solutions I have introduced to the business that other departments recognize as leading-edge?

There are countless challenges facing business leaders, and sometimes incremental steps are necessary to transform an organization. Instead of taking on a massive project, you can start small and iterate to larger and larger impact actions, but the most important part is that you start: Does your field team carry smartphones or tablets? Let’s outfit them with mobile software that will give them direct access to their day-to-day ThinkLP management platform. Do you have an automated method for store incident reporting? If not, let’s roll out a web-based incident reporting system to facilitate incident reporting and management. Are store issues falling through the cracks? Let’s implement an activity tracking process to ensure tasks everywhere are monitored until completion. There are no lack of ideas and steps that can be taken to increase the impact of your relatively small LP team.

Leadership requires vision. Vision requires a desire to move beyond the current state of operations and practically pursuing strategies that will help change reality. We’d love to talk if you’d like to pursue a strategy that will help your team have a bigger impact in their daily operations and the leadership they bring to the organization.

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