Disciplined Means to Exceptional Ends

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Entering the start and end points in Google Maps and it returns the suggested routes to get to the destination. Upon reviewing the distance and the estimated driving time of each route, you select the route that you prefer. Your choice could be influenced by errands that you might want to do along the way or simply the neighbourhood you are comfortable with. In business, there are multiple ways to achieve an end. The means to get there could be varied. However, you want to avoid random approaches that cause problems down the road.

There are 5 reasons why you want to incorporate some discipline in how you do your work.

1.       Consistency

In many situations, the issue on hand could present itself as a new problem but the root cause might be the same as other problems that popped up in the past. By applying a consistent approach, say a checklist, to diagnose the symptoms, you isolate the cause and effect much quicker than brainstorming a new set of questions to uncover the heart of the issue.

2.       Best practice advantage

There is no need to waste resources to reinvent the wheel. As action-oriented human beings, we tend to be anxious to take action and get things done. That urge might cause you to overlook practices that are in place and work well. In every successful business, there are certain things that it does well. Why not exploit these advantages and accelerate your delivery? Building on existing best practices helps to establish a strong operational framework.

3.       Minimized unruly surprises

When individuals, teams, or departments choose to create solutions on the fly and do work in silos, you might get the work done quickly. But the disparate solutions might end up duplicating work, causing unintended problems for others, or creating a complex layer of intertwined rules and procedures that contravene with each other. The incongruent actions might serve the purpose in the short-term but breed problems, possibly surprising roadblocks down the road.

4.       Mobility of staff

Being able to move employees around to cover for sick leave, fluctuation in seasonal workload, or build experience is a competitive advantage. Less time is needed to get staff up-to-speed when practices are uniform across an organization. Employees take pride in being able to contribute and gain professional development. The business benefits from the flexibility to fill resource gaps quickly.

5.       Expedient change management

Every new solution involves changes in how work is conducted. Changing the “how” would demand less effort when there is consistency and uniformity in how you run the business. You won’t need to spend extensive effort to capture the divergent practices that you need to modify and figure out how to harmonize them. It is easier to gauge the change impacts, plan and implement the change. The transition would be faster and the training effort could be more straightforward.

A disciplined approach to execute work provides structure and consistency that make business management simpler. Simplicity helps to expedite results. The dynamic business environment exposes your business to unanticipated challenges, so it makes sense to build an operating framework that everyone follows, understands, and leverages to maximize results. Means and ends are tightly coupled. Applying some discipline in execution certainly helps to minimize surprises that could blindside you.


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