In this months’ newsletter we focus upon Robin Jaques, Partner and Head of our Aerospace & Defence Sector, who is a regular speaker and thought-leader at high-profile conferences, seminars and events.
One of the biggest challenges facing the UK economy is the need to increase productive output from its’ businesses. It’s on the mind of the Chancellor, the Governor of the Bank of England and many others with a hand in policy, and numerous business leaders looking at how to drive margins and customer performance.
The superficial answer might be to put pressure on employees to work harder, but I suspect many of us know that this is not a sustainable or equitable answer to the issue. A more thoughtful approach might be too develop ways to engage our people in solving the productivity issue as a partnership with all stakeholder groups involved.
Robin Jaques I believe it’s true that, when you are actively doing a job at work and you really understand how effective it is, you develop a unique insight into how work really works, with all its’ flaws and problems. In reality, many people at work do more than that, they engage in solving those problems. People are by nature problem solvers. Ask Darwin. The trouble is that much of this problem solving stays in people’s heads. It’s not acted on and it remains an untapped asset, invisible unless we take care to go and look for it.
The way to find it is often around combining effective, curious, engaging leadership with good problem-solving tools and planned improvement time. This combination will lead to the development of people-based improvement systems, not expert-based improvement systems, which, although important, are the reserve of a few and often a constraint.
The effect of people-based improvement systems is that people release their ideas, take more ownership of how work works and how to make work better. Since they own the change and it came from them, it has a greater chance of success. The effect for the business is enhanced and sustainable productivity.
The aerospace and defence sector is well-equipped to embrace this challenge. It has employees who are thoughtful, educated, loyal and long serving and who deeply care about the things they do. The leadership challenge to be more productive involves understanding how we engage these talented people in, not just doing work, but working to improve it, systematically, rigorously and habitually.
If you’d like to explore our ideas and experiences on how to make this work to your benefit please contact us via our contact form.
If you would like to engage Robin for one of your thought leadership events, please contact us with an overview of your request.