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5/27/2012

Value People over Techniques

Many people ask themselves: "What makes a successful organization?". And since there is so much question  and therefore much money to earn there are tons of consultancies and "simple technical" solutions to this question. So far, I did not see any of those solutions succeed. Even my personal favourite "Agile" is definitely not a solution in terms of "do it and you'll succeed". Why is that?
I think it's pretty easy: It's because the problems we have to cope with in todays environments are mostly "social" problems and only rarely technical problems. But people love to approach all kinds of problems with technical solutions, because it is the easiest and considered to be most "scientific and exact" way. It is for sure the most convenient way, since you must not bother with complex and not linearly answerable questiones.
This said, I personally believe that to align your environment to a more successful direction, you will have to focus on the more complex "social" questions first and at least become aware of these crucial factors and derive "technical" solutions later as one aspect of the way to go. Concretely this means, to focus on:

  • Corporate culture before defining corporate strategies
  • Values of your employees before implementing rules and guidlines
  • Satisfying your customer before maximizing your profit
  • Maintain the ability to change and adapt before maximizing the efficiency to produce.

Hereby I mean that everything mentioned above is absolutely important, but one should focus on the "social" items on the left first and derive adequate "technical" solutions on the right then.
Easy? Not at all. To me this evokes many serious and hard questions immediately:

  • How do I know, what corporate culture I have? And how can I describe this appropriately? How can I measure this? How can I present advancements? (and many more...)
  • How can I know what the values of my employees are? And how can I influence these? Is this possible at all?
  • How do I meassure the satisfaction of my customer? It is sure not as simple as just implementing some simple tool (NPS, etc....).
  • What is the right amount of ability to change? And what is the threshold where I must lay more value in efficiency?
  • and tons of more questions ...

But after all: If you would agree, that in principle the four sentences stated above are right, the immediate consequence must be to focus on these questions first and think about the "technical" aspects later (which is, what for example the Stoos Network seems to do).