Management Practices

Managing by 3 Goals at a Time

Marcus Allen | September 20, 2013 | 12:35 PM

£15.7 million turnover (equivalent to $25,25 million per year), 220 staff, 15,000 services a month. What’s the difference between you and me and my team? Nothing. We still face the same challenges, the same dilemmas. Clients complain; we run out of 6% developer before anyone tells me we are running low; our washing machines break down; staff fall ill – my problems are your problems.

There’s a great quote by Albert Einstein: ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.’

But how do we change the way we think? What we can’t do is change it all at once, overnight. It’s just too overwhelming. So this is what you do. You pick three things – just three things, but they must be three things that will make a major difference to the way you work. It’s three out of a zillion things I need to do, but I’m going to stick to three and, with the support of my team, get them done.

Currently I’m focusing on:

· Better service for my team. So I’m getting everyone to look at ways to make it easier for them to give feedback, set up meetings with their line managers and book holidays.

· Reviewing our cancellation policy so it works for our clients and our business.

· Reviewing procedures so our front desk is using the same language as our call centre.

So I’ve got my targets. What do I do next?  I ask my customer how I should solve it.
Who is my customer? I was once told if you want to find out how to do something, ask an expert and that expert is anyone affected by what you do, be it your managers, your stylists, your assistants, your clients.

You can’t get people to change with you if you assume you know the answer to everything, which you don’t. And you can’t get people to change with you if you don’t give them some ownership of the solution. I already know from talking to my team that putting the calendar online so they can book holiday requests without filling in bits of paper will help. And that’s what we are going to do. Now on to the next thing.

So what three things are you going to change this month?

New Orleans native Marcus Allen has spent the past 16 years in the United Kingdom opening up high-profile salons. He currently heads up Urban Retreat in Knigtsbridge--one of the biggest and highest profile single salon units in the world.


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