How much of a magpie is your business?

Like a magpie, a quick and easy way to improve the performance of your business is to borrow ideas that have worked successfully for other businesses, rather than invent new solutions from scratch. Compared to over 1,000 businesses across the UK, how much of a magpie is your business? Take our one minute quiz to find out.

1

Magpies are quick learners, constantly exploring how they can do things better.
When it comes to your business how frequently do you evaluate your business’s processes and methods to identify areas for improvement?

Up to once every three months
Every 4-5 months
Once every six months
Once a year
Once every two years
Never
2

Magpies borrow what works.
Over the last 12 months how often have you turned to other businesses (by talking to them, reading articles, going on site visits, etc) to find practical ideas, processes and methods you could use to improve your business?

None
1-3
4-6
7-9
10-12
More than 12

Result

You’re a magpie!

Congratulations you appear to have all the characteristics of a magpie. When it comes to reviewing your own business practices as well as seeking out practices and borrowing ideas from other businesses, you are doing better than most. Of course, there is always room for improvement. To find out how you can become an even better magpie subscribe to our monthly digest Putting What Works to Work.

Result

You're a magpie, with a bit of an ostrich like tendency to bury your head

When it comes to seeking out practices and borrowing ideas from other businesses, you are doing better than most. To become a true magpie, you need to review how well your own business practices are working for you more often. Ideally, you should do this every six months or more. To find out how to become more of a magpie, sign up to our monthly digest Putting What Works to Work.

Result

You're an ostrich, but with a few changes, you could fly like a magpie

When it comes to reviewing your own business practices, you are doing better than most. To become a true magpie you need to seek out practices and borrow ideas from other businesses more often. Ideally, you need to do this 10 to 12 times a year. To find out how to become more of a magpie, sign up to our monthly digest Putting What Works to Work.

Result

You're an ostrich

You have a big opportunity to quickly improve the productivity of your business if you become a magpie. To become a magpie you need to do two things. Every six months or more, you should review how well your own business practices are working for you. You also need to seek out practices and borrow ideas from other businesses between 10 to 12 times a year. To find out how to become more of a magpie, sign up to our monthly digest Putting What Works to Work.

Why sign up

Putting What Works to Work is a monthly business improvement digest.

The simplest way to improve your business is to find what has worked elsewhere and implement it. Putting What Works to Work curates practices that have worked for other businesses (both large and small), to provide you with a manual of methods that have worked for someone else.

In addition to receiving the monthly digest, subscribers will also receive polls to help guide the Be the Business team on business issues to focus on for the next edition.

The first edition focuses on what businesses like yours are doing to identify areas for improvement and the practices that work.

Putting What Works to Work – Issue 1 Preview

In this edition, we share what businesses like yours are doing to improve their business performance by being better at identifying areas for improvement and borrowing practices from other business that are proven to work. In other words, how to become more of a magpie. Research shows that businesses that have a constant culture of asking themselves “how good is our business”, identifying things that other businesses are already doing and putting them to work in their businesses, are more productive and successful than those that don’t.

Glean some useful information from successful magpie businesses

“We have a portfolio of properties in the Oxford and Abingdon area that we let out to tenants on an annual basis. For the business to succeed, it’s really important for our prices to be competitive. Too low and we lose out, too high and we may potentially price ourselves out of the market.

The benchmarking tool we use is Rightmove.co.uk which gives us access to all the rental properties available in the market and the rental prices. We believe our properties are towards the top end of the rental market and therefore make relevant comparisons. We review equivalent properties to see how much they charge and if they’re being let at that asking price.”

Mike Wilson, Managing Director, Unique Lets LTD

“Internally we tend to compare ourselves against other factories manufacturing similar product lines, so Quality, Cost, Delivery and Productivity benchmarks or KPIs are very regularly compared, and these would be applicable for any manufacturer. We also regularly do internal self-assessment where parts of the organisation are peer reviewed in an open culture of wanting to improve. In my own experience, the most effective tools and methods are the ones that are not too complicated, where the learning points can be quickly feedback into the organisation. We also put a lot of focus on internal forums where we share best practices with other different internal businesses. Again an informal way to benchmark processes. Finally communication of new ideas that have been successfully implemented is a great way to share, we are starting on our digital journey in developing new simple communication processes to maximise this.”

Andrew Peters, Managing Director, Siemens Digital Plant

About Be the Business

Be the Business is a movement of businesses who want to improve UK business practices and productivity.

Set up and supported by the UK’s leading businesses, from Amazon and BAE Systems, to John Lewis and BT, we are creating a culture of sharing what works between businesses. We work through business communities around the UK, from our mentors in Greater Birmingham and Manchester, to our Cornwall hospitality improvement group, to facilitate the sharing of practices and methods that business leaders and managers say work for them.

In November 2017, the CBI released a report, From Ostrich to Magpie, which illustrated that in order to increase productivity, more UK firms needed to become magpies. Read the full report.

Find out more about us here:  bethebusiness.com