Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A fresh perspective needs a time-out and detachment

In medium to large organizations there is a need to standardize procedures and to have habits. Here are some examples of habits: every monday morning there is a team meeting; R&D is done in-house; managers are senior men; we focus on addressing faults, mistakes and individual weaknesses.
Most leaders are not even consciously aware of these practices. They are so ingrained in the the 'way things get done here' (the 'culture'), that they are neither questioned nor improved.

While some of these habits are quite beneficial, like having regular team meetings, others do often block innovation. Let's have a look at R&D which is done only internally. This certainly will create a kind of arrogance, 'we know it better'. And also the focus is entirely on satisfying the internal customers, rather than the external stakeholders. Also it is impossible to keep up to date on all new developments in the market and therefor there is a huge risk of missing out on new customer needs. An example id Digital Equipment Corporation which missed the importance of the pc. Now you see that still many organizations are dismissing social media.
Procter & Gamble has decided that more than 50% of its R&D should be crowd-sourced. In this way they are making sure not to miss out on crucial developments.

This time between Christmas and New Year is an excellent time to detach and to assess whether some of these habits are still supporting your goals. Be courageous and dare to let go of these old habits which block your progress.

What is your new perspective?


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