Why is it that we think we have to control, automate and measure everything?
That is not to say that I have suddenly become an anarchist and turned my back on understanding your numbers in your business or even seeking ways to become more efficient through automation.
What I am saying is that we have become far to much focused on the controlling, automating and measuring everything that we are forgetting what is important.
For those of you in professional firms you are probably well aware of my constant cries to kill the timesheet. But the number one objection to this – how will we know what our team members are doing ? (often the word team is replaced by the word staff) In other words they are saying they will have lost control if they don’t have the mechanism of controlling them. The reality is of course is that the timesheet is giving an illusion of control.
Then off course with the rise of big data there is an amazing ability to measure everything. But with big data we must be careful to not lose sight of measuring of what really matters. More data does not necessarily mean more insight.
Along with these is the quest for automation. This is where the battle for efficiency seems to overwhelm the battle for effectiveness. There is much written and spoken about how to be more efficient. But the first question should be what is the most effective solution before consideration is given to how to increase efficiency.
Business is about relationships. Relationships with our customers, relationships with our team members. People are not assets but rather people. We must start with thinking about relationships and effective solutions before we start looking at how to control, automate or measure something.
We don’t build great businesses on being the most efficient solution- great businesses are built on great relationships providing the most effective solution.