‘We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.’
- Have a management system – a defined set of policies, processes, practices and mechanisms which set out how you organise, run, control, report, and meet legal and any applicable regulatory obligations.
- Be clear on who the stakeholders are, the overarching governance they require, and how changes to the management system are proposed and approved.
- Set out in the management system the levels of authority that apply to leaders, managers, and staff.
- Inform, educate and train all leaders, managers and members of staff in both the management system and their responsibilities to operate and comply with it.
- Conduct regular independent assessments of whether the management system is being complied with, and take swift action to address non-compliances.
- Pay particular attention to financial policies, process and controls, and report compliance or otherwise with these to business stakeholders regularly.
- Use modern approaches to capture and express the management system; make it accessible to all employees via on-line mechanisms wherever possible.
- Continuously improve the management system to cater for the needs of the business as these needs change over time.
- A management system described to the nth level of detail will either require a costly army of staff to maintain it and ensure compliance, or it will fail.
- Gain relevant ISO accreditation for parts of or the whole management system if the business case for doing so is strong.
- All significant enterprises have a management system; always be able to answer the question when asked why yours is better than your competitors.
- Remember – success requires a credible management system, and alignment and compliance of all in the organisation with it.