The .4 Multiplier

“How much improvement can be accomplished by using a systemic approach (like the 95 Method)?”  I get this question on phone calls, emails and questions from interviewers. 

.4 is my best guess . . .

Take your current expenses and multiply times .4.  How close you come to this figure depends on your ability to change thinking – management thinking.  Recent interventions have seen the usual call for speedy results, until management realizes they have to change too.  Whoa!  You are going way too fast – Changing front-line employee = fast change.  Changing Management = slow change.

In management you have politics, it is harder to embrace change with politics – ask President Obama.  This is where leadership comes to play and the ability to change thinking and assumptions by using evidence that cuts through the crap.  The larger the organization the bigger the pile of . . . well, you know.

To get the .4 multiplier management has to change.  This includes leaving assumptions behind and embracing evidence, changing management roles, seeking systemic measures, and adopting new methods that enable work.  Sounds easy, but management as quick as they are to want results hesitate when getting a .4 multiplier means them too.  Progress is slowed by those that want quick results.

All systems have different issues and sitting in the comfort of a climate-controlled office will not change your thinking.  Claiming to be a strategist or a visionary rather than rubbing elbows with customers and front-line folks is the biggest bunch of hokey going.  You have to understand customer purpose and demands by being there, not from reports.

“If you want to revolutionize a company, shouldn’t you know it first.”  Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) in Up in the Air

The .4 multiplier is there for the taking, but management has to have some cojones first.

Tripp Babbitt is a speaker, blogger and consultant to service industry (private and public).  His organization helps executives find a better way to make the work work.  Read his articles at Quality Digest and his column for  Learn more about the 95 Method for service organizations.  Reach him on Twitter at LinkedIn at

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