Your own staff are an untapped resource of ideas, skills and wisdom. It makes sense to give them the tools that allow you to harness these talents to deliver extraordinary results with low risk.

Do you want excellent results but don't want to waste millions on consultants?

Do you really value your people as ‘assets’? Do you believe that your staff - suitably equipped and supported - can deliver the results you need? 

Are you willing to invest in your people assets to provide them with the knowledge, knowhow and skills to execute change (of all types)?

Your people are your untapped wealth of wisdom

People are often said to be your “greatest asset”, but this is only true if their potential is identified and harnessed correctly.

“(Your greatest asset is) how you empower your people. Think about it. What is the primary purpose of a business organization? To assemble a group of people, who previously may have had no association, and empower them to accomplish productive work toward the organization’s objectives.”

Why, therefore, if are you employing and paying your staff, would you not be willing to invest in building their competency to deliver successful change? You pay them because you already know they have value, why not harness more of their wisdom and value with little-to-no risk.

People are not automatons. They have ideas, ambitions and goals. Most just don’t have a mechanism to promote their ideas, further their ambitions and achieve their goals. Many staff members “leave their brains at the door” when they come to work. Leaders in their home life and communities, too often at work they are treated as ‘process-workers’ to do as they are told .

But when you take a clerk, shop-floor worker, linesman or bank teller, give them a challenge and the tools to define a solution and deliver it, extraordinary results can be achieved. You recruited your staff and you pay them, so why wouldn't you harness their ideas, skills and wisdom to improve your business?

Case Example

Two utilities, both installing in new asset management systems—where one spends over $68 million on consultants and gets a system, the other spends less than $10 million, empowers their own staff and moves into the top percentile worldwide for highest service/lowest cost.

It's proof - your own staff can easily outperform consultants.

Some managers might worry that their staff are not up to the challenge and will only ‘reinvent the current state’ if they are allowed to define the future.

It's true that this can be a risk if staff are not given a simple easy-to-learn process which shows them ‘how to define a new future state’. The reason is simple. If you ask anyone “What’s your idea?” or “What do you want?” they’ll struggle to respond in meaningful terms. But when you take them through a structured Engineered Thinking TM process, they can develop their thinking from initial unformed ideas to clear, specific and measurable ‘desired business outcomes’, which can then be targeted and delivered together with their benefits.

Your staff don’t lack ideas -  but they do lack the opportunity and the tools to promote, develop and deliver their ideas.

In one bank, the staff were given the task of improving the mortgage processes. The CEO wanted a 10% improvement in productivity. His staff (using our TOP tools) delivered a 49% improvement!

“This is the best project we’ve ever done,” the CEO said, and it was his staff that generated the improvements.

On occasion, you might find some staff ideas may not be worthwhile, relevant or doable—and that's fine, because this can be immediately determined by the staff members themselves, when they are given the right easy-to-learn tools.

Far more often, staff ideas are shown to be worthwhile, relevant and doable—only now you staff also have the tools, techniques and processes to take their ideas to fruition and deliver the resultant outcomes and benefits. Often changes can be implemented without structured formal project management techniques, needing only simple but effective change delivery process - another set of easily TOP tools which they can easily learn.

Your staff are an untapped wealth of wisdom you can access without risk.

The benefits of staff-led change are numerous

The benefits of using your own incumbent staff to improve, advance and change your business are numerous and include:

  • You don’t need the high cost of expensive consultants—your own (equipped) staff can outperform most orthodox consultancies
  • Your own staff understand and ‘own’ the outcomes they have come up with. Therefore (costly) resistance to change is largely eliminated and the desired results (and attendant value) are more likely to be fully achieved
  • Staff involvement and ownership lead to faster implementation; your staff don't need to spend time ‘coming to grips’ with the organization or being ‘sold’ the changes
  • Your staff learn and use tools that progressively build both their individual competency and your organization’s capability to successfully deliver your strategy, projects and change on an ongoing basis.

Your own staff, equipped with simple-to-use set of tools, techniques and processes, can successfully deliver change—and change is how you move forward.

Back to the future?

Sadly, using your organisation's own staff to define and deliver your future has become the exception.

Back in the 1970s ‘consultants’ and ‘contractors’ were the exception, but over the past 40 years business management has progressively outsourced ideas, change and delivery to consultants. However consultants are "mercenaries" who have no commitment to the organisation and don’t have to live with the result, as evidenced by the number of impractical recommendations they make. When consultants are in charge, staff become ‘project fodder’ to be used on projects but not to lead them. This is a recipe for expensive disasters—as you will haveseen all too often.

It is time to reaffirm your belief and trust in your own staff.

It's time - to provide them with the tools they need to perform, to successfully execute strategy, lead projects and effectively implement change.

But, but, but?

How do we ensure the proposed ideas are worthwhile?

The key questions to be asked of any idea should be, “What will this do for our profitability? How will it benefit the organization?” (Not, “How much will this cost?”) Ideas that cannot identify sufficient potential benefits can be immediately discarded.

However, whereas many good ideas/projects currently struggle to identify enough benefits to justify their costs; TOP reverses the onus of proof. TOP equips your staff to maximize the number and value of their idea’s benefits and then quantify the cost of delivering this value. Using TOP tools and techniques many projects’ identified (and delivered) benefits have been doubled or more, making them very clearly worthwhile.

To maximize each ideas' value your staff can use the TOP Value Equation™.


How do we ensure the proposed ideas are relevant?

Each idea/proposal can be assessed (by the staff member themself) in terms of its exact strategic contribution—which strategies does it contribute to, how and how much?

Ideas that fail to meet the minimum strategic relevance score can be immediately discarded. They may be ‘great ideas’ but they are just not relevant to the organization’s strategy at this time.


How do we ensure we can successfully deliver this project?

This is a question too rarely asked. Your organization can only successfully deliver a certain range of project types. So you need to know what this range is and whether the proposed project is within or outside your range. Taking on projects beyond your level of delivery capability is a recipe for disaster (most often evidenced by projects going over time and over budget and delivering a compromised result).

If a project is beyond your capability to deliver successfully you need to:

  • Redefine the project to be within your capability to deliver
  • Uplift your capability to be able to deliver the project, or
  • Cancel the project, as it will deliver a negative return.


How do we establish whether or not this project is a priority?

There is a limit to the number of concurrent projects you can successfully undertake. (Notice the word ‘successfully’ again.) This limit can be the organization’s capacity to absorb change or the number of staff available to be put on projects, as well as the usual financial constraints. You’ll probably run out of good people to put on projects before you run out of funds to invest. However, when you can deliver change effectively you can achieve more results in less time with less people.

Prioritizing your project portfolio requires making each project comparable in terms of its relative strategic relevance, value, risk profile, capability to be delivered, capacity to resource and its portfolio dependencies.

TOP equips organizations to put in place the tools, techniques and processes to objectively score each project on a set of common bases so that they are comparable (regardless of project type). TOP's prioritization process enables each organization to focus on the highest priority projects to deliver the highest value results.



How TOP can help

TOP® is proven expertise developed and packaged over more than two decaded - as a set of simple-to-learn tools, techniques and processes specifically designed to enable your staff to quickly deliver extraordinary results.

TOP is for organizations that value their staff and trust them to improve the organization, its competitiveness and profitability.

Certified TOP Partners are available to accelerate your staff’s adoption and use of the TOP tools so they can produce results faster.

Your staff + TOP® + TOP Partners can outperform most consultancies at a fraction of the risk and cost. All you have to do is choose to unleash the wealth within your organization.

It is your choice. It really is that simple.


Further Reading



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Revision History

First published: Simms, J. (mmm yyyy) as "insert Original Title"

Updated: Chapman, A. (March 2020), Revisions and corrections