It’s More Than Data: If we take the time and make an effort, we can find the stories hiding in our data. I began thinking about this when a friend presented me with some demographic data for our state (California). The data showed that there was negative population growth for the first time in many years.
Organizational Clarity: A couple of weeks ago, a client and I discussed some of the issues he had with his peers. He couldn’t understand why they didn’t go ahead and do the work when he assigned them a task. “Why,” my client asked, “won’t they do the work?” His manager asked him the same question he had just asked me.
When our children were young (it seems like yesterday!), we would often sing nursery rhymes while traveling in the car. One of them was, “There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly.” I won’t go through all the verses (if you’re interested, you can watch it on YouTube here: https://wordsforlife.org.uk/activities/there-was-old-lady/), suffice it to say that this mythical old lady somehow swallowed a fly, “I don’t know why she swallowed a fly—Perhaps she’ll die.” And then, to solve the fly problem, she, in turn, swallowed a spider, bird, cat, dog, cow, and finally, a horse. She died, of course.
Several years ago, I read a few articles about MMT. Those articles gave me enough of an understanding that I stopped worrying about the U.S. national debt. When I attempted to explain to others why the deficit itself isn’t a problem, they responded with skepticism. I decided to educate myself further and, coincidentally, my son recommended this book as a beginning to understanding MMT at a deeper level.
Business Model Canvas:
When I searched for “Business Model Canvas,” Google returned about 120 million links. A quick perusal of the results shows that there are many different kinds of business models and ways of outlining those models. One block in common in these different canvasses is the “Key Activities” block. Most of the other blocks are support or enablers of those activities.
What? Me Worry? There is much discussion on how change is accelerating and how dangerous the big tech companies have gotten. I do not believe big is terrible by itself. Neither do I think that big means impervious to change or disruption. So while I’m not particularly worried, I also believe we would do well to restructure a couple of these behemoths.
Consumers frequently benefit from the economies of scale large corporations gain. In some cases, the gains in pricing, innovation, and delivery may far outweigh any perceived negatives from a corporation growing large. Properly governed large companies can be a win for everyone.
Business Purpose: The new pecking order for business purposes is Employee, Customer, Vendor, Community, and Shareholder. The Business Roundtable puts customers before employees. I disagree with that. However, it is a step in the right direction.
When David Jenyns contacted me and asked if I would read and review his book, I was knee-deep in books to read already. Another author referred me to him, so I agreed to review his book, but I couldn’t promise when. With that understanding, I purchased his book and put it in the stack.
I did get to reading SYSTEMology, and I am pleased that I did. To begin with, I am a system and process kind of guy. I believe in documenting what we are doing and working to improve it over time. I use checklists and process outlines in my work every day.
So what happens when the pandemic-storm is over? Presently, we are in a tight job market, especially in the hospitality and travel industries. Our employees are reluctant to change jobs now, even if they are not particularly happy.
In a recent podcast, Mike Robbins spoke of the need for leaders to think about employee morale. I think of morale as being another word for culture. Changing culture is one of the most challenging change-management tasks a leader has to tackle. Seemingly overnight, perhaps literally overnight, leaders have had to move workers to remote working cultures.