EFFICIENCY: Revealing $3.1 Hidden Waste

The Business Unit was lean and efficient – a shining light within the global corporation.  Yet behind the scenes it’s people were spending up to 37% of their time on activities (e.g. internal meetings) that added little or no value.


The bill for wasted time alone was put at 3.1 million annually.  But the opportunity cost was estimated at multiples of that figure. Harder to measure were the implications in terms of lost agility and innovation.

Tapping into an underlying frustration with long hours and endless internal meetings, leaders set an initial goal to ‘give people back up to 4 hours per week’.  Recognizing that agility and innovation rested on improved cross-functional collaboration, the structural and cultural barriers identified were also to be addressed. 

Data revealed a strategy-execution gap of 37%

Here is a snapshot of the data showing how the strategy-execution gap of 37% was progressively narrowed over a 6 month period.

Executed was rated below strategy, but showed potential of up to 45%.  Over 6 months the scores for both strategy and execution improved by up to 21%, thereby narrowing the strategy execution gap by 17%.

Data revealed a level of strategy anxiety with less than 2 out of 3 managers indicating that the organization was moving fast enough (strategic speed) or in the right direction (strategic velocity).  These scores increased by up to 18% over a 6 month period.

Data revealed gaps in terms of purposes, focus and alignment of up to 45%.  Yet, ambition was high (73%).  Over a 6 month period effective engagement and communication around the strategy and its execution increased these scores by up to 22%.

‘Finding out that there was a big gap between the leadership team who created the strategy and the mid level managers who were responsible for its execution has, I am convinced, saved us a lot of time and money’.

Chief Executive

Revealing 3.1 m waste