Why Todays Problems Often Come from YesterdaysSolutions……..and How to Break that Vicious Circle!
Leaders in Agile Business Execution
8 September, 2023 by
Why Todays Problems Often Come from YesterdaysSolutions……..and How to Break that Vicious Circle!
Expertivity Technologies , Elizabeth Hegarty

If you ask the people in your organisation, “how easy is it to get things done around here”, what would be the answer?

Recent research at Arizona State University found that 59% of employees reported experiencing negative impacts of work-related stress and that “hindrance stressors” crush motivation. 

Effectiveness and efficiency are key organisational goals. Effectiveness is a measure of how easy it is to get things done, to achieve the desired outcomes across the organisation. Efficiency is being effective with the optimum level of resources. A key insight however is, organisations can not be efficient if they are not effective. 

Improving organisational effectiveness is therefore, the silver bullet that kills unnecessary complexity, reduces employee stress and drives increased employee and customer satisfaction.

Effective organisations are scalable, agile and where efficiency emerges as a byproduct of being effective. 

Operational excellence is the science and discipline that underpins effective, agile and efficient organisations. It encompasses the disciplines and skills required to understand and harness organisational complexity. 

In complex organisations, the links between cause and effect are opaque and so unskilled interventions, intended to achieve or improve desired outcomes, often have the opposite effect. 

What's worse, these interventions often create the illusion of succeeding by diverting the problem elsewhere , thereby propagating complexity across the organisation and giving rise to the insight that “todays problems often come from yesterdays solution's”.

A small sample of “good intentions by good people gone wrong” and made transparent through operational excellence practices include: 

• The centralised scanning team who discovered that 65% of the paper they scanned daily, already exists as electronic documents on their IT systems. 

• The HR team who held a weekend pizza party to clear their case backlog, only to move them on to a surprised finance team on Monday morning. 

• The bank who thought they had a 5 person reports team, checked the tasks performed by other teams and found 12 peoples effort was being consumed across a fragmented reporting process. 

If your organisation would like to improve its effectiveness, agility and efficiency than contact us today!

Alex McDonnell is an expert in bringing operational excellence to service and knowledge-work organisations. He is a Certified Lean Master Black Belt with over 30 years experience working with complex organisations to help them improve their effectiveness. 

Email: amcdonnell@expertivity.com 

Phone: +353 87 223 9096  

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