A long long time ago I leapt into the field of IT convinced that technology was the Holy Grail of competitive advantage. I am still a believer, but I know now what comes first is people focus.
Do you remember the joke where the CFO asks his CEO, “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave the company?” CEO answers, ‘What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”
There are two types of technology businesses invest in. One automates processes whilst the other develops your people in staying laser focused on doing the right things, right.
The former includes ERP, CRM, eCommerce and others in the land of blah blah blah. These should always come in second to the later, as it is my humble opinion that we spend far too much time choosing the ‘right’ product then spending millions implementing the ‘wrong ‘ product. You know the story of the lost ROI…
Why is this?
Is it because we fool ourselves into believing we are in a continuous rush? Always running behind the curve without ever sitting down to breathe, to listen, to connect and be super present to the supersonic highways of modern life?
When did your Senior Management Team last take a time out to meditate on what your core customer needs ‘now’. When was the last time you asked “What jobs are our customers trying to get done”, “Where are their pains” and “Why aren’t we their #1 pain relief and de facto #1 choice”.
Face it, customers employ the products and services they believe best get ‘the job’ done.
Yet do we not forget this in a tide of bullshit, this relentless pursuit of business process excellence totally oblivious to what Peter Drucker pointed out a long long time ago “there is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all“.
Which is why the other type of technology is now so damn important and key to productivity. Technologies such as kapta systems help my clients accelerate their performance and grow their business more than any of the traditional technologies at a zillionth of the investment. That’s a big statement and I’ll stand by it!
Long range planning smoulders in the dying embers of the industrial age. High growth and happiness require a more Zen like philosophy, what Joi Ito calls ‘now-ism’. To achieve this the ancient craft of setting daily priorities must be re-learnt. Yet with so much information flying all around us we need to invest in a simple effective tool-set that helps keep us on track and delivering results against a continuous evolving 90 day planning cycle. Tools such as kapta install in days and when aligned to your 90 day race plan can make the difference on how fast you grow. They effectively help everyone in the company focus on what’s key and teach us to say NO to what’s urgent but not important.
These tools develop us to be more transparent and communicate more effectively, they are always ON available on-demand on any of our devices, and they help us build candour and peer to peer accountability.
If you think this is bullshit, pick a vendor, negotiate a 90 day free pilot and see what happens next. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, just be sure you have a clear set of 90 day priorities!
You never know, when your team becomes more transparent, more focused and more trusting it may become more agile, more accountable and heaven forbid it may pivot towards doing a better job in unexpected ways and better meet your customer needs.
That’s the Holy Grail. Tools are for Fools until we invest wisely. The best investments are those that amplify your people’s ability and empower them to be laser focused on doing the right things, right.