The Business-Technology Weave

Apr 12 2010   1:38PM GMT

False Solutions Part VI: Misunderstanding Where You Are

David Scott David Scott Profile: David Scott


All organizations must know where they are.  This sounds simple and obvious, but many organizations don’t know their own staffs’ capabilities, capacity for learning, willingness to learn, and the various measures of tools and enablements that the company owns – as just some ideas for “Where We Are.”


Tell me how to get to Chicago.  Um, you’d better ask a question before you have me embarking on a trip:  “From where are you starting?”  Any organization embarking on an IT-business solution (destination) had better know exactly where it is before plotting that destination.  Ahhhhh.


In the case of XYZ, several ‘where we are’ factors were missed.  No destination can be reached if you don’t understand the point from which you’re trying to progress.  Here, the point of origin was thought to be one of missing automation, a lack of tools, a lack of enablement.  There actually were inadequacies, as there generally are when seeking solutions.  However, they were misidentified.  This led to false statements of need, a misidentification of requirements, and misdirected actions.  XYZ arrived at a destination that did not serve them.


There wasn’t a simple lack of automation or tools for their appraisal process.  In actuality, there was a quite robust set of general automation and tools – with a wonderfully low “overhead” of maintenance being that these tools served a broad array of effort and work product.  The organization just had to use these resources, and within the discipline that is required of any effort (business or otherwise, technically assisted or otherwise).  The point of origin here – the organization’s “Where We Are” – included the lack of priority, discipline and accountability. 


The inadequacies were in the organization’s failure to state clear expectations for fulfillment of the appraisal process, and the application of discipline and accountability in order to secure the managers’ serious attention and fulfillment of their appraisal delivery.  Understanding this point of origin would have yielded a completely different path; a route to a real solution of the appraisal problem.  For example, any manager’s late submission of an appraisal could yield a mention on their appraisal, with corresponding rating impact. 


Another part of the path would be the emphasis on the organization’s reliance on the appraisals:  What can be more important than placing, developing, and promoting the right people in creating the best organization possible? 


Timely appraisal documentation is key:  That is the destination, and the True Solution.

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