The whole must be greater than the sum of its parts

The goal of enterprise based continual improvement is to continuously try to do more with less in order to gain an advantage over its competitors. It must be understood that this is the only way for an enterprise to survive in the long run. The need for change is therefore the only constant factor in the enterprise and without change the enterprise stands still, and in relation to its competitors the enterprise is moving backwards. Not managing change effectively and efficiently is a recipe for long term failure.

The Board of Directors and all its managers must share a vision of what the enterprise needs to achieve to be successful and how this vision can add value to the enterprise as a whole and its stakeholders. To achieve this, a strong managerial bond is essential. It must be emphasized that every manager adds value to the bond but in order to create accelerated continual improvement the bond itself must work as a unity that is stronger and more efficient than all the individual managers together. Polychor calls this the managerial ‘Welcome Home’ feeling.

Treat the enterprise as a living entity

This principle states that the enterprise should be fed, educated and treated with respect, just like you would do with every person that is part of the enterprise. The enterprise needs to be given enough resources of the right quality to operate. Continual learning is an essential part of the evolution of the enterprise and the enterprise must be given the opportunities to learn. Data must be gathered and information must be created using the gathered data. This information must be analysed to distill essential knowledge to be successful and the enterprise as a whole must create wisdom to stay ahead of the competition and create new innovative products and solutions.

Optimize the use of human capital

This principle states that just like the enterprise the people in the enterprise must be given the opportunity to grow in knowledge and wisdom. The growth of the enterprise and the growth of the people that are part of the enterprise must be synchronized. Like looking in a mirror the people must see the enterprise in themselves and the enterprise must see the people that form the most important part of the enterprise. Both must be in harmony with each other to maximize value.

Focus on value adding products

This principle states that the enterprise must focus on that which delivers value. Everything else must be optimized to be used as lean as possible. Being lean is a continual process of optimizing processes and procedures in order to minimize the use of resources so that the best value can be generated by the enterprise.

Create a balance between creativity and control

This principle states that control and creativity depend on each other. Total control suppresses all creativity and stops the enterprise from growing. Total creativity creates chaos and also stops the enterprise from growing. It is important to find a balance between these two contradictions. During the evolution of the enterprise and its members there will be a continual shift between these two forces. These forces are sometimes described as yin and yang. The essence is that the one cannot live without the other.

Focus on what binds and deal with differences

This principle states that although there is a common understanding of what the enterprise wishes to realize, there will always be differences of opinion between the members of the enterprise on how to realize this. In order to reach understanding and mutual respect all parties must focus on what binds them and then try to solve their differences. All members must respect their differences, thereby valuing diversity and focusing on common goals.

Make your outputs transparent, inspectable and adaptable

This principle states that progress must be made transparent so that you can easily identify the state of progress. It must also be easy to inspect progress on all levels in the enterprise and the execution of changes must be made easy so you can quickly react to change. This is an important Polychor planning principle.

Integrate all change levels into one harmonic environment

This principle states that in order to create true harmony in a potentially chaotic environment it is necessary that all levels in the enterprise operate using a consistent vocabulary, method and integrated thinking. Polychor provides this. This can be achieved when all management levels speak the same language and when the ways to operate the enterprise are seen as logical to all managers who are an integral part of the enterprise and who influence the harmonic state of the enterprise.

Maximize value and being better than the competition

This principle states that the goal of the enterprise must always be to maximize value for its stakeholders. This is key to staying ahead of the competition and to survive in the long run. Optimizing value is a continual process since the elements that help the enterprise to optimize value continuously innovate. Understanding and predicting innovation and customer needs is necessary when maximizing value.

Done is the beginning of the next step to a new state of harmony

This principle states that nothing is ever fixed in stone.  Done is just a state of temporary harmony. This underpins continual improvement and each state of being done is a step toward the next state of being done. Thus done is just a retrospective state between two chaotic periods of improvement. For the enterprise this means that it is never done learning, must strive to innovate and harness creativity, and there must be a continual hunger for improvement.