Safety SignIt’s been a long slog through the past 3+ months. But finally, slowly, things are beginning to re-open. Many of the small businesses I work with are turning their focus. Weeks ago, it was sheer survival mode, How do we survive? Now that many of them have done just that, it’s time to move to the next phase. Each state has its own rules and regulations for reopening. But as your business begins to reopen, what are you going to do to ensure the safety of your employees and your customers? I’ve seen a lot of good suggestions being shared. If you are a tenant in a building, your landlord may have a set of procedures for you. If you own the building? It’s probably your responsibility to come up with a plan. It’s time for you to re-engineer your business for a safe return.

A couple of weeks ago, the Harvard Business Review had a good article from Hubert Joly on ways you can re-engineer your business for safety.

Re-Engineer Your Business

Mr. Joly, a former CEO of Best Buy, points out that in the 1990’s, the trend in corporate America was to re-engineer parts of your business:

If you’re not old enough to remember, this is what it was: Companies would look at core processes in terms of cost, quality, and service, then pick one of those three dimensions, reinvent the process around it, and gain benefits across all three dimensions. When done well, it works.

Today, you can apply the process to the reopening of your business. He lays out 5 steps to the process for your business,

  1. Identify a process, product or experience your company is engaged in.
  2. Consider the constraints that safety concerns are imposing on the process, product or experience.
  3. Keeping your company’s purpose front and center, imagine ways to overcome or work around these constraints, typically with the help of digital technology.
  4. Reassemble your process, and test it in the real world to verify its effectiveness and economics.
  5. Using safety to re-engineer a company’s processes or products can drive innovation on multiple dimensions.

Mr. Joly has a lot more experience than I do with re-engineering. Head on over the article at HBR to get more details on how to make it work for your business.

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