Innovation involves continually looking at processes and efficiencies across every department, across a wide range of industries.

Thinking differently

Working in innovation involves continually looking at processes and efficiencies across every department, across a wide range of industries. Whilst we are all working harder than ever before, one barrier remains from achieving maximum efficiencies - resource.

Resource is the word being excessively used by managers up and down the country on most office floors, but is extra resource always the answer? Are we working as productively and efficiently as possible? Are we all working in unison to the single goal of a company's vision?

Theory of constraints

Nearly thirty years ago, The Goal by Dr Eliyahu M. Goldratt was published, and he introduced the 'Theory of Constraints' (TOC). TOC is a management theory that views any process as being limited in achieving its goals by a number of constraints. There is always at least one constraint (bottleneck), and TOC uses a focusing process to identify the constraint and restructure the rest of the organisation around it.

Every process, no matter how well it performs, has at least one constraint that limits its performance – this is the "weakest link", and just like a chain, as a company you are only as strong as your weakest link. Whilst the book is centred around a manufacturing plant, constraints can involve people, supplies, information, equipment, or even policies, and they can be internal or external to an organisation. By finding the bottleneck in your organisation and designing your systems to maximise priority around that element, the theory suggests you will increase the 'flow' in your own processes leading to greater output.

The book further goes on to illustrate how being busy doesn't necessarily mean you're moving closer to the goals of the company. In the book, workers at the factory are highlighted for keeping busy for busy sake to prevent them from being idle and being told off by a manager. The truth is that this busy work is skewing the process leading to excess inventory and ruining the flow of output. The main character explains that idle time used to strategise how to maintain optimal flow and assist the bottleneck in the system would be a far better use of time.

Bill Gates famously once said, "I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it." Organisations are beginning to focus more on output than the culture of presenteeism and that is part of our culture at Morgan Lovell. We also have a strong core value, to challenge the status quo. It is this idea that keeps pushing us internally to strive for better working processes, using our resources strategically and working in unison to our own company goal - to transform the success of our clients through their property.