Dmitry Leus: view on the Era of Optimisation and Efficiency
Currently the issue of efficiency and optimal employment of resources prevails not only for Russian companies. It has been a worldwide trend over the past 5 years. The shift to a strategy of evolutionary development and decrease in unprofitable assets, reduction of global planning term of up to 1-3 years, automation of business processes and reduction of personnel dependency. On the one hand, it is a plus to creation of comfortable conditions and retention of professional staff, on the other hand, all this suggests a more balanced and rational approach to business, particularly in terms of cost management.
We have decided to discuss this topic with Dmitry Leus, an expert in corporate governance, investment and real estate, and learn his secrets of efficiency today.
We pay our attention on the problem of necessity to adhere to the strategy of the cost optimization.
Dmitry Leus answers that we have mentioned very important term – strategy. According to him, not all top managers approach this issue with full responsibility. A lot of people consider that it is a waste of time and that decisions must be taken in the process, based on experience and their own intuition. Actually, this is what a lot of people do. The expert also emphasizes that temporary success of people leads to the forming of the wrong opinion about their 'being lucky' all the time. In fact, everything ends eventually. A run of luck is not an exception.
Dmitry Leus explains that if we turn back to the issue about the strategy, optimization and crisis, the decision will be based on choosing the right strategy again. If it is necessary for the person to have a benefit of the situation, enhance his/her presence in the market, and increase the share, it would be better to focus on building a strong professional team with high efficiency. The interviewee adds that it is hardly appropriate to talk about the costs saving in this context. It will rather be the internal redistribution of financial resources and their investment in the direction strategically important for the concrete person. Leus interprets, "If you have a well-developed retail structure, which is currently in surplus, then reorientation and development of another perhaps radically new direction or optimization and realization of surplus assets might be a desirable strategy here. But how do you understand which way is the right to act, if you do not have a strategy? "
Indeed, on the one hand, crisis is the opportunity to double-check people's business on resistance to internal and external factors. But it is the formation of the active feedback culture in your business that must be taken into account today (as well as tomorrow).
At the same time, it is important not to pass the information through the so-called "managerial" filter and make it fully available to the first person in the company to take corrective actions. It's like a modern car, which is equipped with additional tracking systems, and that helps you in steering (not just informs you) – somewhere you will be steering it up and return the car on the track, somewhere slowing down, avoiding a collision with the car in front of you. Actually, time and speed form the main factor of raising active feedback culture. The expert exclaims, 'Everything is accelerating in our lives and we must be prepared not only to respond adequately to these changes, but also to get pleasure from the process. Well, at least not to experience any stress!'
After the detailed reasoned answer on the first question the issue of optimization becomes the key concept again. It is asked if there are any generally accepted standards or principles for a proper approach to this issue what is required to be optimized at first.
Dmitry Leus starts the answer with the expression 'a medicine should not be bitterer than a disease.' He says that the same can be said about business – costs associated with the optimization itself should not exceed the losses that can occur without the use of the latter. What he means here is that any changes, much less optimization actions have a complex structural and emotional component, which must not be ignored. Changes are not always pleasant, and, certainly, not easy. That is why a psychological component is the first thing people needs to focus on. It is important that the company develops a changing vector and all people (or the majority) share this position and understand what will happen if someone introduces changes, and what will happen if this is not done. Optimization often comes down to something as common as cost reduction that can essentially be one of directions of optimization, but not the only solution to the problem. D. Leus says: "Analysis and synthesis of the current market conditions, risk assessment and the company strategy adjustment, review of the product matrix and optimization of marketing channels, serious and complex work with personnel – this is my idea of the extended plan of 'optimization and changes'." It is worth pointing out that it is during this period that a large burden falls on the chief executive of the company. His position and active involvement in this process are very important and they often determine success.
It is a well-known fact that Dmitry Leus has been working in large business for 20 years. So the final question concerns his secrets and patterns that were developed for improving the efficiency. It is also asked about different factors that can help.
The expert answers that he doesn't have any special secrets or techniques that would dramatically increase his efficiency. At the same time he mentions some things that are obligatory for him:
It is very important to combine mental and physical activity. Firstly, it helps to focus attention and make more efficient use of the time, which flows very quickly. Secondly, it helps to keep fit.
Fencing helps him with this. He has enjoyed it for 25 years, and practices it regularly.
2. Planning and daily debriefing.
He makes a comparison to sports here, but it is basically useless to talk about efficiency without goals and measuring the results. "My life is scheduled for at least 3 months ahead. This helps get your priorities right and make timely adjustments," says Leus.
It is necessary to have quick access to information. It can be books, a variety of on-line resources, as well as a live communication with the right people.
Live communication and a dialogue are very important for him. He says that the dialogue helps to form the individual vision and generate the solutions!
Leus thinks that it could be the first point because the consistency hides potentials and many secrets for growth! The interviewee explains, "It is very difficult to push yourself forward consistently and rhythmically, set new goals and new priorities, when the favorable environment is developing around you and it looks like high time to "retire on your laurels". You will be successful acting this way. If you stop for a long time – it may be impossible to catch up later!"
This list can be supplemented.
Dmitry Leus sums up his speech, talking that everyone should work out his/her own principles and "secrets" that will help act more effectively and efficiently, and most importantly – enjoying it.