Visualise Your Company Success Story

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Visual Management is a business methodology that has worked wonders for management teams within large corporate organisations. Can it work wonders for managers in small and medium businesses too? Yes, absolutely!

What is Visual Management

I work a lot with clients in the SME sector and often when I go into their offices or business premises I see little by way of business related posters, graphs, bulletin boards, Key Performance Indicators (KPI) or business charts around the building. But if you walk into a multinational corporation’s building that’s exactly what you find.

Every type of visual mechanism is being used to try and get the message across to the workforce about what the company represents, how it’s performing, what its key goals are and what its key performance indicators are on a daily basis. So really visual management is about trying to take that culture from the multinational organisations and try to bring it into the SME sector.

Why is visual management better, or an improvement on, the way companies currently work?

The answer is simple; the thing is that for the vast majority of companies I work with the key information is being kept in people’s heads, or stored on spreadsheets on their laptops. Everybody in the organisation then assumes that everyone else knows what’s going on, but in actual fact a lot of that key business information remains hidden away and largely ignored.

Visual management is about trying to extract the most important facets of that business information and make it visual. In other words to display the most vital information on a noticeboard or Gantt chart, or to represent KPIs through the use of bar graphs. You get the information out there and this helps engage people more in the business process.

It distils the information into communicative, more consumable pieces for management team members and team leaders to track, understand and act upon. Remember one of the most important things about trying to communicate with people; people remember what they see and engage with, they recall very little of what they hear. If teams are fully engaged with the company’s goals and vision they come to understand it and that has a powerful effect.

I would encourage every business, large and small, to visualize your company success story and reap the benefits of a ‘display and engage’ approach.

Author

John Raftery is a coach and business advisor at LEAP. Specialising in Personal Development and Management Development, John takes a practical approach and ensures growth and development result from his interactions with business clients. LEAP is a provider to ManagementWorks on our Management Team programme.