“Better than best? Things are going great – don’t rock the boat! Just keep on…”
We’ve all had these sentiments at some stage – and it can be a dangerous place to be…
You know what to do when things go awry. That’s when you earn your money as a leader? Isn’t that what you are there for?
I agree – professional problem solving is a core management competence, for sure. But consider this take from one of my clients.
“It’s really pleasing to see that we have done so well. The only concern is that we cannot seem to identify the factors that have made it such a profitable year. It is important that we identify these factors to make sure that we keep doing the right thing in the future”
(from my colleagues at The Trainers Library )
Anyone else blown away? It always feels easier to sort things out if we have a problem! But the problem here is very real. If you don’t know what made ‘it’ successful, then you are basically hoping for the same. Like non SMART objectives, you really are just wishing. “My objective is to improve communication across the organisation this year”. How? What actions will you take? What are you going to do differently?
See what I mean?
If you had a problem, say “we have lost 10% market share to one main competitor in the last 6 months”. What would you do?
- Analyse deeper (geography, product splits, customer feedback or whatever)
- Check if there are any places where you are achieving against trend
- Get appropriate team members together to create the fight back plan
(Ok you may have deeper methods – SWOT, PESTLE and creative problem solving techniques – but these are the general titles and aims?)
Why shouldn’t the ‘repeating good’ be very similar?
- Check for “against trend” examples
- Create plan with the right people using this data
ACC – a new acronym! I have arrived!
And do you know what’s wrong with all this? We will still bowl along into a complacent failure because if we don’t know why good has happened, we will smile our way into stagnation – and because it’s going well, we just never think to find out why.