The joke often goes that managers pick up the hashtag#OperationalExcellence bible and flip through the chapters: hmmm ‘Create Flow’? Sounds confusing… what else we got? ‘Pull at the rate of demand’? Ok, ok, whatever that means…. ‘Remove Waste’! Aha! THAT I like…

Benjamin P. Taylor
2 min readNov 22, 2023

There’s also a chapter tucked away in there on Respect For People… but most managers and implementers don’t get that far. But at the Operational Excellence Summit in Hamburg, there was a key, consistent theme… It’s All About The People.

Following the pandemic, with war in Europe, and the climate crisis making itself felt all around us, with the remote working genie out of the bottle for everyone who isn’t operating a machine or transporting something. How we treat our people, how we listen to them, and how we get the best out of them is the single most important thing determining the success of our hashtag#organisations in the mid 2020s — and I think it’s going to get ever more important.

The five core hashtag#leadership practices are ways to introduce fundamental organisational development approaches into any organisation. They are proven, doable, and impactful.

Introducing the five core practices

The core practices are five groupings of developmental activities, each comprising sets of short methods, that you can build into your organisation. Value is generated through ongoing, regular practice of them. hashtag#humanresources
They are:

1. Honest, productive hashtag#conversations, intended to work towards a shared understanding and surface both reasoning and emotions, the two ‘undiscussables’. Because without a shared effort to get at the truth, it is hard to know where to start.

2. hashtag#Clarity practices — intended to give clarity of relationships and boundaries of discretion in strategy, structure, programmes, roles, and tasks. Because only very limited learning is possible, and productivity and psychological safety are unlikely, without this.

3. hashtag#Learning and reflective practices, to support learning from action. Because without learning, no Operational Excellence is possible.

4. hashtag#Culture shaping, understanding that leaders and systems, and emotional responses to them. Because, as leaders, we create conditions which generate psychological safety and productivity — or the opposite.

5. Practices for good and clear intent — identifying measures of organisational hashtag#purpose and customer outcomes as judged by them. Because the alternative is the drift to alternative de facto purposes that pull you ‘off course’.

To read more, see my article in the Operational Excellence Society journal — link below. My slides from a recent webinar are also attached.