How change can be for the better.

Take around 750 separate franchise cost centres, develop an innovative business plan that completely contradicts 50 years of operations, organise and supply plant and infrastructure  AND train and motivate over 50 000 staff – all in under 2 years…..does this scenario sound familiar?  While it may not be as extreme for many not-for-profit service providers in the disability industry, it definitely echoes many of the changes that the sector is presently going through as it transitions to the NDIS.

The Top Job

One man who can lay claim to having achieved the above scenario is Shaun Ruming – CEO of McDonalds Australia. Shaun led his team on an extraordinarily innovative journey as Macca’s in Australia changed the way they provide their services to their clients.

The scenario was bleak. With margins lowering and a client base which had become increasingly complex in its taste, McDonald’s USA were reacting with their standard approach to introduce “another” upscale McValue meal – following the same pattern that they had done for the last 45 years.

With Shaun leading the charge, McDonald’s Australia, took a maverick plan to their head office in the US – the introduction of the “Choose your Taste” concept. This innovative new delivery model would see the traditional Macca’s burger experience turned upside down as restaurants introduced customised hamburgers, table service and a move away from just providing food for people. The idea of customer service was taken to new levels as the choice and range of products and services was placed firmly in the hands of the customer.

Recipe for Success

With the endeavour proving extraordinarily successful, Shaun was keen to mention that nothing would have been achieved without a number of key processes.

  • Dedicated resources diverted to plan and organise the required infrastructure
  • Early training of staff to familiarise them with the new procedures and products
  • Using trial sites to test conceptual models
  • “Choose Your Taste” deployment teams, running independently from the day to day operations, enabled review and change implementation effectively and efficiently
  • The idea that making mistakes was not bad – ‘Lessons learnt become Lessons taught’
  • A commitment to training and involving staff in the conceptual values. Staff need to also see where they are going and not just be led.
  • Feedback from staff on the front line was essential – what works and what does not work

In Short …Be Prepared

All processes aside, the scale of such a change that is now being experienced across Australia’s disability service industry means that organisations must be prepared:

  • Look to peak bodies like NCOSS which offer training in essential skill such as Unit Costing
  • Seek out opportunities to improve communication and technology – anything that will add value to the services you offer.

“Investment in the future is so important. We should always be asking ourselves: What if someone else does this before us? Where will we be then? “– Shaun Ruming CEO McDonalds Australia

Interested in moving ahead yourself….check out our NDIS checklist.