Updated: Apr 25, 2019
Follow-through is 90% of the battle in achieving RESULTS in any initiative! What are the top 3 things that you should be doing.
#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 forced me to get out of my zone of complacency in order to really think outside of the box. That performance parameter that I set is continued to this day on all projects and is really what sets us apart in achieving deeper results than other firms. In our field it ultimately defines the dollars being sought and translates into multiple forms of value to the customer. We strive like hell to meet the number. It is the reason that we find unique savings approaches 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. There has to be a realistic goal but stretch it!
#2 PRIORITIZE YOUR ACTIONS IN A RESULTS PROJECTION 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 deliver RESULTS. Of course, this lack of results meant less income to 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 TRACK YOUR FINAL RESULTS ON A MONTHLY BASIS
So what are the points of delivery? 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.
My name is Alex Tomas and I have been in the business of consulting on utility expenditures and consumption for over 29 years. Our firm utilizes proprietary technology with predictive weather intelligence for guiding you into the future and guarding your monthly use. Feel free to call us at 678.701.8279 or email me at email@example.com to schedule an appointment and demonstration of our technical capabilities.