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Acknowledge and appreciate the new…

In one of my earlier posts, I had written about several organizations struggling to manage the void between their strategy and realization of results. I had shared my experiences vis-a-vis the lack of planning, alignment and execution focus at organizational levels leading to even a good strategy not yielding benefits.

There`s another dimension to this strategy execution gap – which is largely reflective of the organization`s openness to “the new” to enable creating the potential future state.

Leaders at various levels in any organization get a large number of inputs and ideas (from internal & external sources) on a daily basis about how to run their business, and perhaps even change their business model to achieve top & bottom line results. But, a majority of them get lost.

The very first unfortunate stage of filtering happens via “in one ear and out the other”…We call it the hearing listening gap. But, the few which do get listened to – not all of them get acted upon either. I describe the next stage of filtering as the understanding gap (i.e. you listen BUT can`t understand). This is typically because of lack of knowledge on the specific subject or the communication happening in an inappropriate way (e.g. language barriers, lack of clarity).

The ideas which have survived and been understood thus far get ready for attention…So, what next!?

In one of my recent consulting engagements, an SBU at a large global organization was facing the issue of not being able to meet the EBIDTA targets. And, one of the challenges highlighted was the gap in the supply chain organization vis-a-vis understanding the market needs and meeting those requirements in an efficient and effective manner. This was leading to low OTIF, high inventory, and high cost to serve.

In the initial dialogues, I got to understand that there have been consultants brought in the past, recommendations made, even changes made at senior leadership levels. BUT, improved results were still a wish-list. One of the leadership team members shared some of the ideas going around, but not getting implemented. Some of those ideas needed enhancement of technical skills and systems across the sales, marketing and supply chain organization.

And, I could atleast relate with the potential lack of implementation. But, several other ideas – no rocket science, and prima facie easy to implement. Yet, not seeing the light of the day…

Quite often, even when we learn or get to hear about new ways of working – we continue following the so called good old…

One of the reasons in my experiences for not breaking the mold is not being able to acknowledge (to admit as being valid) and thereon appreciate (to recognize the relevance and the value) of the new – the difference between the current and the potential future. It`s quite logical and alright to have an assessment and decision making with respect to any idea`s worthiness. But, there are a large number of known Idea Killers, and new ones being added to the list every moment..

So, if you genuinely want to reach a desired future state — then acknowledge and appreciate the potential of the new.

And, while considering any idea – instead of seeking an answer to the question – WHY, always ask WHY NOT.

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