We’re all hungry to take a step off the linear tracks of our thinking and step into exponential thinking, innovation and growth. But how do we do that?
Well first up we have to start thinking differently about the situations presented to us. If we’re to fully embrace this new mindset, then that means we can’t stay stuck in the short term thinking where efficiency is about closing a gap.
We need to start creating space and then stepping into that space – rather than shutting it off and burying that opportunity for personal, professional (and revenue) growth.
This video’s all about one simple way we can think differently. One simple way we can open up space and then move into it rather than crush it.
Video transcript and relevant links
Hey so this week I wanted to talk about something that I think could be one of the biggest secrets going around in transformation projects today.
So if we accept the premise that we are not able to continually do more with less… and I think to be fair most people have generally accepted that as a fallacy now. This idea of taking 6% off year-on-year, gaining efficiencies out of thin air… I think there’s been a realisation that that’s just not gonna happen.
And so if we accept that as a fallacy and instead we look to gain those efficiencies through, not trying to continually do the same work and to do more with less, but in actual fact to change the work that we do (and that’s that transformation stuff I keep banging on about). So if we accept that fallacy and then we accept the idea that it’s about changing the work that we do to get more productivity and get a better outcome, then necessarily that change often involves business process re-engineering, it probably involves us thinking about doing different things for our customers and changing the way that we work.
If we look at the processes that are going on in our operations day-to-day, often we’ll find they’re lacking, or perhaps they need to be changed, or there might be steps that we can pull out that are wasteful or inefficient or no longer necessary. Very quickly we find ourselves in this place of business process redesign – designing waste out, designing work to do more value for customers more often – and through that work, then oftentimes we find ourselves in a situation where people are less busy than they used to be.
Now, nobody likes to think that the work that they’re doing is wasteful or meaningless. If you get through that hurdle and create that safe space for your people to actually own up and say “I don’t think this work’s adding value we need to change it”… If you’ve successfully created that environment, at some point you’re gonna end up with a group of people who are less busy than they used to be. Because that work is no longer required. Because the work has changed, to be able to be more efficient and to do more things for our customers.
At that point, only the dummies realise the benefits. So often when we sell change programs they’re built on this idea of reducing resource cost, reducing labour cost. Reducing the people in our organisation.
I put to you that only a dummy would make that move. If you go through all of this process and you get to the point where you have people sitting around with idle hands and more capacity available, at that point I would suggest that you’re short-sighted, and silly to take those cost savings and bank them as benefits.
Because all that does, is give you a quick fix at a point in time, a quick hit. And it doesn’t go nearly anywhere near launching you into exponential growth and innovation and improvement.
The real trick here, in my opinion, is to take those people who now have that spare capacity and to re-point them onto more valuable work. So rather than realising the benefit and the cost saving and the reduction, let’s be clear, rather than firing people and having them lose their jobs, rather than taking those ‘efficiencies’…
If you were to re-point those people onto more valuable work, if you were to point those people at the stuff that’s gonna make a difference for your customers, that value-based demand that’s coming through – to use some of that systems thinking language – then all of a sudden, not only have you reduced your cost and reduced your overhead because you’re starting to pull the waste out of the system, but on top of that, you’re now doing more work that’s of value to customers.
All of a sudden, that linear growth curve, that’s when it kicks up a gear and starts to hit an exponential curve.
So if you want to be on that track, looking to move away from that linear mindset and into this exponential space, where things can grow at a rate that is faster than you are comfortable with or capable of keeping up with, it’s these types of things that need to change.
We’re no longer in that place where it’s sufficient to be able to make a cost saving based on taking people’s jobs and replacing them with robots or whatever it is.
The real trick is to, number one, create that safe environment so that people know they can put their hand up and say “this is not valuable, we can do it differently and get efficiencies”.
Two, capitalise on that fact by making sure that you have those people available, with that additional capacity to keep getting the rest of the work that is valuable across the line.
And number three, when they really do have time on their hands, re-point them to the work that’s more valuable for customers so that we’re delivering more value more often.
At *that* point, that’s when you start to get your exponential growth curve and your exponential thinking.
So hit me up with a comment below, I would LOVE to hear your opinion.