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One step at a time.
Business complexities being what they are today, can come rapidly and create chaos for even an experienced manager or business executive.

Poor application of an equally poor designed solution can lead to exposure and even bring about risk for the company. Even reputational or financial situations can arise and can create havoc in what is otherwise a static and stable operating environment.  Alternately, applying the solution to the wrong problem can also lead to missed opportunities and an inherent misalignment with the marketplace this is why its important to have dedicated quality control and/or management systems in place. The cost of an opportunity lost in the speed of business can be astronomical, and creeping changes in the market that are missed or misread by executive leadership can result in the downfall of otherwise impressive organizations.

When there is a business challenge, it can be tempting for the more experienced leaders to jump to a conclusion they think is right in solving a familiar problem or a foreseen issue.  However, maintaining a growth mindset and approaching each problem with a desire to dissect and fully understand it before applying a solution will yield stronger results.  Understanding the root cause of a business problem is achievable, even though it takes some time, and the investment spent can achieve not only tactical solutions, risk mitigation and remediation, but also increased efficiency and profitability, reduced overhead and increased productivity. The platforms which make understanding problems in a company possible are all based in empirical evidentiary understanding of the problems that arise.  For an executive with multiple demands upon his time, that probably sounds like a protracted, time intensive and potentially chaotic undertaking that could require dismantling the entire company to find a tiny pinhole problem buried deep in the organization.  

While it can certainly be an extensive process to understand the cause of a business’ challenges, the process does not have to be as exhaustive and lengthy as some executives fear.  There are various modern methodologies that encourage a business to have an empirical and objective understanding of how it operates, and any of these can provide a foundation for a company to better understand itself.  When it comes to actually addressing specific challenges at the departmental, regional or line of business level, there is usually one methodology that will fit better than the others.  Sometimes that is a result of culture at the organization, or possibly resources will be better aligned to the expectations of Agile versus Lean.  Regardless of the methodology chosen to support a specific organization, the opportunity to get a formidable system in place that will support the organization as it grows, and will be leveraged into the future, to encourage continued iteration and development, is not to be bypassed.

For an executive management team that is uncomfortable taking these first steps into redesigning a business’s operational health and intelligence, it can be useful to have a relationship with a trusted, experienced and knowledgeable consultant.  Advice in the area of operations principles and the latest research can help make the process a lot less painful.


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