12 August 2013 - 23:07,
by Tom Pryor
in People Issues
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Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions for 2000? To improve yourself? To improve your job? Or to improve your organization’s performance? Both your personal and professional goals can be simultaneously achieved in 2000 by learning about and implementing an Activity Based Management (ABM) system.
Everything that we experienced during the ‘90’s was simply a warm-up for 2000. Customer expectations for lower costs, higher quality, and faster service will continue in year 2000 at an exponential rate. And so will the expectations of stockholder s and senior management.
An insane accountant can be defined as “Anyone who keeps the same cost accounting system as last year and expects different results in 2000.” A feature story in the Jan/Feb 2000 issue of FAST COMPANY magazine says, “What’s wrong with the 500 year old way in which all companies keep their books? Just about everything.” Is your 2000 profit plan a real stretch? Does your labor and overhead budget look totally unachievable? If so, new insight, information and initiatives are needed. You’re going to have to change the measurement system.
For change to take place, five sequential steps must take place:
- For change to happen there must be dissatisfaction with the present.Remember the old saying, “You never solve a problem until you admit you have a problem.” What are your company’s needs? What are every department’s needs? ABM cannot be successfully “pushed” on employees. They must “pull” for ABM. Ask a cross-section of people in your organization, “What are your most pressing needs this year?” Determine if a new cost system, specifically ABM, is linked to their needs.
- For change to happen there must be awareness of a better way.Are you and your employees aware that ABM has been defined as best practice by such notable non-accountants as Peter Drucker, Steven Covey and Tom Peters? There are now over 50 books on ABM and ABC listed on www.Amazon.com. ABM/ABC case studies, many of which are available from ICMS, document the benefits that manufacturing, service and governmental organizations have achieved with ABM systems during the ‘90’s.
- For change to happen there needs to be strong support from senior management.In Brittney Duke’s “The Change Revolution” December ’99 article in Life@Work magazine we learn that both top and middle management have an important role in change. She says, “The roles of CEO’s and other top executives are not to create and drive change in all channels in organizations, but rather to motivate, recognize and offer direction to those who are the real change agents.” Senior management provides the priority, budget and performance measures for ABM. Employees have the responsibility for making the change happen.
- Temporary change is outward. Permanent change is inward. Change implemented by outside consultants is often temporary. They are often allowed to leave after a project with the ABM knowledge. Self-implementing ABM, however, keeps the knowledge inside the organization, leading to a more lasting change. Self-implement using ABM trainers, toolkits and expert coaching produce permanent ABM benefits.
- For change to be successful and sustainable your employees must be open-minded to new ideas, close-minded to old practices, and single-minded about the future.Prepare your employee’s minds for change with ABM education, training and case studies. Let them control their destiny through a process of self-implementation. Change isn’t always revolutionary. Sometimes change is simply a renewal of the mind.
The promise and hope for a more enjoyable and profitable year 2000 depends more on you than the year. Resolve to learn more about ABM this year. Educate your management team on the principles and benefits of ABM. Analyze your own activities. Which ones do you enjoy? Which one’s need improvement? Invite a customer or supplier that has implemented ABM to share their testimony with you and your employees. You have to be tested to be able to give a testimony. Prepare yourself and your organization to meet the tests of this New Year. We look forward to hearing your testimony!