“You never achieve success unless you like what you are doing.” – Dale Carnegie
Everyone has things they are passionate about, both professionally and personally.
Let me set the stage – I am passionate about:
- Business Process / Change Management
Some days the hierarchy changes and keeping a mental balance between them can be an interesting exercise. When thinking about this blog, I was in one of those moments of indecision so decided to combine both of my passions. If you know nothing about golf or golf holds no interest for you, replace golf with tennis, car racing, baseball, or hockey – any sport that uses equipment.
In my regular foursome of golf, I have a ‘friend’ that buys a new driver every other year with the hopes that this expensive purchase will fix his problems. His goal is that 15 minutes in a pro shop and $600 dollars will solve his problem of consistently missing his target, stop his back pain and allow him to gain an additional 30 yards on every drive.
Inevitably, the flashy marketing, great sales pitch, and shiny texture do not deliver on all the promises.
My ‘friend’ goes through a short period of small gains and then regresses back to his original starting point. Predictably, he assumes that he picked the wrong piece of equipment and half way through the season starts contemplating going back to his old piece of equipment or spending $1,000 dollars on the ‘better’ driver he saw an advertisement for.
To protect the innocent, I won’t attach a video of his swing. However, trust me, if you saw his swing you would swear that it is a miracle if he could hit the ball at all. Why wouldn’t he take a lesson, or get some advice? If he fixed his swing mechanics he would have seen better results with his old equipment and even better results with his new shiny driver.
Does this sound familiar?
I have seen videos of Tiger Woods hitting a golf ball 300 yards with a driver older than my grandparents. It is not his shoes or equipment, it is a laser focus and study on the process of what make a great golf swing and spending the time and effort to make improvements every day. It isn’t easy, it isn’t quick. If it was we would all be professional athletes.
Throughout my career working with companies and partners on business process and change management I have seen many companies act like my ‘friend’ – albeit the original $600 investment could be $6 million.
I have seen the flashy new CRM, workforce management software, ERP or warehouse program pushed into a company or department that had a ‘bad swing’ and watched them struggle with adoption, poor ROI and even, in some cases, incremental costs. I have experienced customers that had buyer’s remorse and switched products mid-way hoping that the extra money they spend on their new piece of equipment fixes their issues.
While there is the very odd exception (e.g., the naturally talented athlete) the challenge is generally the underlying process or culture. If a company’s order entry process is not consistent or has poor user adoption/training simply installing a new CRM is not going fix the company woes.
While not as sexy as a new CRM user interface, or a brand new driver, spending the time on process reviews, training, change assessment, etc. to look at your core mechanics/business process will provide you with a strong foundation to add new tools, software or equipment. Far too often, we take the easy way out, be it either the 15 minutes in the pro-shop or conducting a 30-minute demo of the cool new optimization tool.
I know from experience focusing on process and people first is hard and requires a great degree of attention and time but the effort will be well worth it in the short and long term.
Remember, head down, left arm straight, spine angle straight, follow through…
Technology is only part of the equation