Work-Out has become a Powerful tool for organizations to quickly streamline their internal business processes and to eliminate non-value added activities. It engages those directly impacted in a process resulting in increased organizational efficiency, greater employee commitment, and enhanced productivity. It can be applied in any organization: for profit and non-profit, manufacturing or, professional services firm, large or small. Ultimately it can be run and managed by internal staff.

History of Work-Out

What put Work-Out on the map was its use by GE starting in the late 1980s. GE used Work-Out across the entire organization and its many business units to change the culture of the company. Jack Welch describes Work-Out as patterned after the traditional New England town meeting. Groups of 40 to 100 employees were invited to share their views on the business and the bureaucracy that got in their way, particularly approvals, reports, meetings, and measurements. Work-Out meant just what the words implied: taking unnecessary work out of the system. Toward this end, Welch expected every business to hold hundreds of Work-Outs.

Work-Out Applications

At its core, the concept of Work-Out is simple yet powerful. Get all the people together who work in, or are affected by, the work process; have them focus on developing recommendations to eliminate bottlenecks and improve the identified work process, present these recommendations to managers who make decision on the spot to accept and implement their recommendations; do all this in a rapid paced two-day workshop.

Potentia’s consultants have facilitated many Work-Out sessions across numerous industries. We have used the Work-Out process for:
We have used Work Out in the life sciences, chemical, financial, and high tech industries. The approach is adaptable and flexible, and can address any significant business challenge.

How Does Work-Out Work?

The key to Work-Outs success is a clear performance issue or challenge that affects the business, and a commitment by the senior manager or the senior management team to address and resolve it. Both the clarity of the issue and the commitment to addressing it are essential. To implement Work-Out successfully requires the following:


Conducting Work-Out

Implementation and Follow-up

Work-Out Outcomes

Work-Out Participant – “It allowed us to eliminate areas that have been troublesome for years. Best of all senior management asked for our ideas, listened to them and then immediately acted on them.”

Work-Out Sponsor – “We were able to address and resolve critical issues in two days. The implementation went much quicker than I anticipated. A good process. I’d use it again.”

Case Studies

For further information about Work-Out or to talk to someone about implementing this process in your organization, please contact us.