Follow-through is 90% of the battle in achieving RESULTS in any initiative! What are the top 3 things that you should be doing towards that end.
#1 SET A CLEAR OBJECTIVE or EXPECTATION(S) AND TAKE IT SERIOUSLY
When I was green many years ago, I would accept projects and work towards accomplishing the obvious (easy stuff) that many would deem as ordinary results. That changed years ago when I was shut down on the obvious approaches (temporarily and for various reasons). I was forced to challenge myself by setting an arbitrary goal that seemed insurmountable. It enabled me to get out of my zone of complacency and to really think outside of the box.
That objective-driven approach is now engrained in everything that we do. It is what sets us apart in achieving deeper results than other firms. In our field, we ultimately define the dollars being sought by service category, which then translates into value for the customer. We strive like hell to meet the objective. Throwing your hands up in order to then move on to the obvious lower results or even the next customer is left to the other guys...not us. It is the reason that we find unique savings approaches (new best practices) that wouldn't have been discovered if we had not pushed ourselves. I guess that you might compare it to computer industry as they pursue the next fastest processor speed, which seems impossible at the time. Yet, they always seem to improve processing speed by stretching the limits of the imagination.
#2 PRIORITIZE YOUR ACTIONS IN A PROJECTED RESULTS ORDER
I once worked with an individual that was brilliant. This guy was an engineer and had a Masters in Business. His problem was similar to many in this field and others like it. He spent his time "dicking around" (as I referred to it) with small stuff that achieved very little results because it simply interested him. I am still friends with this gentleman and he is the nicest guy in the world. However, we fought like cats and dogs when we were team members working on a performance basis. The reason being is that he never seemed to complete projects and he under-performed when it came to delivering RESULTS. Of course, this lack of results meant less income for both of us.
Because I am in a business where results matter, I have it firmly engrained in my head and even embedded within our technology that we will work with a FOCUSED OBJECTIVE in mind, where all team members understand the task at hand. Obviously, we learn to work on less important projects, as the higher ROI projects are on temporary hold for the next step. In essence, you learn to juggle but keep your eye on the ball.
#3 MAINTAIN THE COMPASS AND TRACK YOUR RESULTS ON A MONTHLY BASIS
Who is it that is critical towards achieving your objectives? In our case, it is the consultants that think outside the box and work towards delivering a well thought out approach or solution. We utilize UtilityTRX "The Project Tracker" to measure monthly results and enable clients to view those results online, which brings me to another point. Tracking Results is a form of awareness and is critical towards ensuring that projects stay on track.
Having software to track results in a methodical and on an unbiased basis also enables managers to implement incentives, rewards, recognition or the "carrot system" as I call it. I am always utterly amazed when managers (over operational people) simply expect to be able to crack the whip and get results. I would rather throw in a meaningful carrot (incentive) in order to drive those individuals. Their happiness and motivation creates better and quicker results. It is really no different than motivating a salesforce.
I can tell you 100% that absent the carrot, you will simply have "I'll get to it tomorrow" mentality in operations and rightfully so. Typically, the great ideas are noticed as these people do their jobs. Again, I've seen the carrot and the stick...and have heard the comments by those operating under the stick (e.g. "they don't pay me enough to do that").
I had a client give me a very gracious and rewarding comment yesterday. We delivered some savings recommendations, which will greatly reduce their CapX. (Stated as I remember it but maybe not verbatim) "Who would have thought that when you called weeks ago, we would see these type of savings. I am used to (in the past) giving these projects to consultants like you and not hearing back for 6 months. Usually, I have to call them. In your firm's case, you've been calling me since week 2 providing updates and requesting data here and there. Only a few weeks out, you are delivering savings and insight. I am pleasantly surprised," stated this gentleman. Honestly, I can't tell you how much I enjoy servicing customers that really "give a shit," where so many do not or simply take the extra effort for granted.
We work very hard to improve our technology (embedded with our 28 years best practices) and uncover the savings that other miss. Customer appreciation (recognition) certainly does feel good to the "vendor" that takes great pride in delivering the maximum results. I guess that you might call it just an extra helping of "carrots" for myself.
UtilityTRX unites utility billing and real-time building data into a simple process that effectively reduces utility costs and increases equipment life. The Project Tracker is critical module that tracks all type of savings within the utility expense field including refunds, rates and efficiency projects. Tomas and Associates is the holding company and provides outsourced consulting and third party audits behind internal staff. For more more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org