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Mind Your Noodles – Episode 71: 5 Ways for Executives to Transform an Organization
1. Synthetic Thinking
4. Executive Data Analytics
5. Customer-In Design
Tripp Babbitt: [00:00:01] This is the 71st episode of the Mind Your Noodles podcast, and this week I’m going to be discussing five ways for executives to transform an organization. And these five ways are one, synthetic thinking to decision making. Three, Innovation. Four, executive data analytics. Five, Customer InDesign.
Tripp Babbitt: [00:00:27] So let’s start with number one, synthetic thinking. Some people call it systems thinking. And this is a way for an executive to look at their organization quite a bit differently. And the way they can go about doing this is getting away from analytic thinking, which would be another method that people use to look at their organization that’s breaking everything down into pieces. We did it as a child where we got a new toy, we broke it apart, and sometimes the pieces wouldn’t get put back together again. And it’s interesting because most of our organizations are designed this way. We have these silos that we’ve created and you have sales and you’ve got marketing and you’ve got operations and you’ve got accounting and you’ve got information technology and other areas within an organization. So we naturally break them down. And then what we try to do is optimize each of those pieces in this analytical mindset. So the synthetic thinking is all about systems thinking, looking at things as a system and realizing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In other words, there’s synthesis between each of the parts that create something greater than itself.
Tripp Babbitt: [00:01:51] So it’s not an addition game like an analytical thinker would would typically use. Synthetic thinking is realizing that these interactions are the important and we get exponential growth by virtue of optimizing these these individual pieces, the interaction of parts. So we go about synthetic thinking by looking through first a customer lens because customers don’t see all these silos. Just think about it as a customer. You don’t care that if you call in to an organization and you get a contact center agent and they say, well, if they pass it off to somebody else because I don’t know the answer or you need more technical expertize or whatever, it’s very frustrating because then we have to repeat ourselves over and over again to somebody in that organization in order to get to the right person. So we don’t see the fact that there are silos there. The only thing we are focused in on as a customer is getting done what we’re trying to get done. It might be solving a problem. It could be buying a new product or service or any of a number of things. And so we need to get that mindset within our organization through synthetic thinking and looking at things through that customer lens. Then the second thing that helps with the synthetic thinking is how how do you think in your organization, what do you do in terms of rewards and motivation and control in your organization and centralization and things of that sort? And so how is that system put together and the interaction of the parts? These are the things that hold the organization together.
Tripp Babbitt: [00:03:42] And what you’ll typically find is that you can get greater amount of improvement in an organization when you think synthetically versus analytically.
Tripp Babbitt: [00:03:52] The second thing, decision making and decision making is one of those things that often, well, most of the time it’s done emotionally and through the hierarchy of an organization. In other words, a person on the front line often doesn’t get a chance to make a decision about their even their own work. Never mind about what the strategy of the company is that’s left to people in the hierarchy, whether their input is good or bad, regardless what you need. And decision making is to look at more than one option. And this is one of the myopic views organizations have as they look at one option, they go with it, they make the decision and forge ahead, and then they move on to the next decision. And so you need to be able to set up a decision making system in your organization or method for you to be able to look at something and then say, OK, have we looked at a lot of different options or am I just super focused on one that I like? And you find that so much and we’re going to. So you need a method to go through it and you’ve got to be prepared when you make the decision to pivot on it, scrap it, refine it, whatever it needs to happen with it, you’ve got to kind of stick with it for a while in order to make it better, because that initial decision isn’t the thing that you usually are going to land on if you’re going to make good decisions.
Tripp Babbitt: [00:05:19] One other thing about decision making is doing it on a very small scale, if you can. I see whole organizations go through a decision making process. We’re going to reorgs or we’re going to do this with a customer, whatever this is, and then they forge ahead with it. They blow up their whole system, their sales go away, their costs go up and a whole lot of bad things. So doing things and making changes on a small scale is a way of going about and doing our decision making process.
Tripp Babbitt: [00:05:49] Third thing is innovation and innovation is so key. You know, we talk about making improvements in organization, but I’m talking about whole new products and services. You’ve got a pipeline of sales within your organization, but you also need a pipeline of innovative products and services so that you can kind of stay ahead of the game. A lot of people, what they wind up doing are a lot of organizations and executives. What they do in their organization is they copy other organizations.
Tripp Babbitt: [00:06:18] Oh, they’re doing lean. Oh, they’re doing Six Sigma. I got to do that to kind of keep up. Well, that’s never going to get you ahead. You’re always copying somebody, what somebody else is doing. And you’ve got to find a new way or a new product or a new service that other people just don’t have. And they’re copying you, meaning your competitors are copying you. So innovation is very key as a way to transform your organization.
Tripp Babbitt: [00:06:46] OK, the fourth thing is executive data analytics, and here I’m talking about two things. One are the data themselves, because when you look through a customer lens and you start to realize what your thinking is about motivation and control and things of that sort, you will come up with more customer oriented types of data. And those are these are the data that that executives need to focus themselves in on. So that’s the first part of executive data analytics. The second and I see so few executives using statistical process control in order to look at their data. They are looking at their data month over month, comparing this month, the last month, and that’s the definition of data insanity from my standpoint, because you’re looking at just a small once a month comparison as opposed to plotting data over time and then learning a little bit about the statistical process, control limits to know whether things are getting better or not and what things are attributable to the system and what things are outside of the system, either by an individual or special events and special causes that might be affecting the data.So executive data analytics,
Tripp Babbitt: [00:08:19] The fifth thing is customer in design, and this is about when you’ve looked through the customer lens and you realize how you think is starting to experiment with different ways of going about how you’ve designed your organization. Remember, I talked earlier about the silos, got sales and you got customer service and you got finance and you got operations. And all these things are separate and they aren’t designed very well to talk to each other, to service a customer or make products in an organization. So designing customer in allows you to put a design together that actually is helpful to customers so that when you are calling in, you aren’t being transferred to different to different parts of the organization in order to find an answer or using that. Oftentimes organizations use that as an excuse. Well, I can’t do anything. I’m just a customer service agent, you know, and that doesn’t go over very well at the customer. So. So with that thinking in mind, how can we redesign our organization to be more helpful to a customer and provisioning services or making products? So those are the five things synthetic thinking, decision making, innovation, executive data analytics, customer and design. Those are five ways for executives to transform an organization. Talk to you next Monday.