The Effective Executive – Common Sense and Quick Fixes

Veteran, new and aspiring executives need methods to be successful in their organization. There are 1000s of leadership podcasts, videos, blogs, and articles but few authors address what to do or how to do it.

We have witnessed many executives who are efficient (doing things right), but few executives are effective (doing the right things). We believe this is misguided and aim to remedy the shortfall with executives.

This is the 51st episode of the Effective Executive podcast. In this episode, Tripp Babbitt discusses the problems with common sense solutions and quick fixes. Download our Effective Executive Starter Kit.

Show Notes

The Effective Executive – Episode 51 – Common Sense and Quick Fixes

Being Effective vs Being Efficient

The Problem with EVs – Synthetic View

Kryptonite to Common Sense and Quick Fixes

Unintended Consequences

The Parts and the Whole



[00:00:00] This is the 51st episode of the effective executive podcast and YouTube videos. And this week, I wanted to discuss common sense and quick fixes. Now, one of the red flags I get and working with executives is when they say something like, oh, it’s only common sense that somebody would do it this way. Whatever this way might might be. And it got me to thinking about a quote from Peter Drucker. There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency, which should not be done at all. And so this is what I wanted to talk about this week.


[00:00:51] It’s the heart of being an effective executive. If you’ve listened to and it’s probably already scroll by, but you listen to the playlist of how to get started with being an effective executive. It begins with looking at doing things right versus doing the right things. And you know, what we want to do is achieve doing things right. But more importantly, that we’re doing the right things. So I’m going to go through a few examples I’m going to start with. Basically a systems component in looking at at at different ways people address this and starting very big picture.


[00:01:48] One of the things I hear a lot about today, and I started researching it a little bit and getting into it more deeply as I went on, because it really does affect almost every country is electric vehicles. And there’s this big push in our incentivizing people here in the United States to buy electric vehicles. And there’s a lot of hype behind it with Tesla. And now all sorts of automakers are out there. They’re going to have their electric vehicles out there. But when I look at the broader system that is out there, what I see is an infrastructure that’s missing to be able to support this now in the U.S..


[00:02:36] We’ve got problems with electrical grids. This came out over the winter in California and in Texas. And, you know, these are really problematic things. And as I dig as I dug into it more deeply, what you discover is, first of all, the whole idea behind electric vehicles is to kind of save our environment. But, you know, over 60 percent of the energy used for electricity as well as manufacturing electric vehicles comes from hydrocarbons. So we’re not really achieving what we think we’re achieving. We’re just kind of well, we have electric vehicles are being mandated in California. That’s great. But, you know, somebody is making it somewhere and then they’re having to use the hydrocarbons to make it along with that. We don’t have the electrical infrastructure that it’s everybody in the United States had an electric car.


[00:03:43] We would not have the ability to charge them all. It’s just we don’t our infrastructure isn’t there, our electrical infrastructure isn’t there to be able to to achieve this. So, you know, this goes to, you know, a thinking. Of a failure to look at the whole versus the parts. I’m for greener energy. Cool. I’m I’m good with it. I think it should evolve as opposed to be a revolution. Oh, everybody just run out and get an electric vehicle can happen. We don’t have the infrastructure to do it. And so this kind of absolutism that we have going on and has always been in our country leads to these quick fixes. And, oh, it’s just common sense. All we have to do is go ahead and put together electric vehicles. And then the unintended consequences start. Right.


[00:04:49] And this is very useful information to be able to use with as an executive within your own organization is understanding that common sense isn’t so common. And neither are quick fixes. So simple solutions to complex problems is an absolutism, absolute type of thinking that leads to unintended consequences, which I talked about last week. And so common sense. Leads to things like that, we’re going to see that we see in government like one size fits all. You know, everybody needs to be locked down in their house.


[00:05:39] What are the unintended consequences of that? What if I live in a cabin by myself in North Dakota? I mean, it’s extreme, but at the same time, because we just try to get solutions that are a one size fits all, the unintended consequences of these things lead to all types of issues and problems. And we can also look at and I’ve talked about this before and some other videos and in the podcast is downsizing and that it’s ineffective. You know, two thirds of companies doing downsizing in a particular year are likely to do it the following year. So what what are we doing when we’re doing downsizing? I have a number of things I work with executives on with regards to alternatives, to doing downsizing. Everything from, you know, being able to. You know, cut salaries 10 percent across the board. Yeah, there’s there’s a number of solutions, put excess people on looking for improvements. That’s something that Toyota has done in the past. But there are a number of things that have worked on with executives to avoid that that particular situation. And, you know, it’s interesting when you step back and you look at different forms of government, you know, in a capitalistic society, there’s a you know, one of the problems is you get political unrest when there’s not enough equitable distribution in a particular environment.


[00:07:40] And in socialism and communism, you’re seeing insufficient production of wealth. Well, I’d rather at least have the problem in a capitalistic society of finding ways to get people to participate in the wealth that’s created than not having any. And so sometimes when we look at these things, we have to kind of step back and say, all right, what’s going on here? Now, one of the things that causes problems with executives is production excesses. So in other words, the sales are not increasing as fast as the productivity improvement. We’re putting out more things and therefore creating more inventory in our particular system. And because now we have excess inventory, we now have to lay some people off because we don’t need that that particular productivity. And this is one of the reasons why we have such a big proponent of having in your organization doesn’t have to be my method, but a method to innovate. And that that will allow you to have people constantly working on new products and services that can absorb this excess that may exist within your system. Now, one other thing that I want to mention here is benchmarking. And this, again, benchmarking is typically done at the parts level. You know, we have a piece where we have the best practice for this particular part.


[00:09:17] And we by virtue of having these best practices for each of the parts, there’s the assumption that when we put the parts all together, that will have this great thing. But that’s where we’re missing the synthetic thinking, where we need to be able to look at the whole and not the parts. In order to assess what our particular system is doing, and that’s why I’ve often I’m not a proponent of best practices, because they’re born typically, not always, but 95 percent of the time they’re born from someone looking at a piece of a process of a department of whatever, and they’re benchmarking against a part of the organization. So this is kind of a prelude. I use some of this material actually goes into a little bit more depth in my decision making module or my decision making method. And if we’re going to make good decisions, we got to begin with synthetic thinking to be able to look at that so we don’t get the unintended consequences and that we don’t have all of this absolutism that’s going on where we’re using common sense and one size fits all. And, you know, all of this thinking that happens in executives minds. So that’s what I wanted to cover this week. And we’ll catch you next week.

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