Unlocking Locked Down Silos

There was a wonderful example recently of a flaw with hierarchical decision making.

During the Covid-19 ‘economic’ lockdown new vehicle sales plummeted by 98.4% in April 2020. In early May the South African Government reopened the automotive industry for business.

You can now buy a car (albeit, sales must be done remotely via the internet or telephone).

But, unless you are an essential worker, you are still unable to register your new vehicle with The Department of Transport and Public Works during Level 4 lockdown. Meaning, that a new owner is unable to get insurance cover.

This is one trouble with silo thinking…

With departmental blinkers on, we may fail to connect the process dots and leave people (customers) frustrated and scratching their heads.

And the bottom line…

What effect will this solution actually have on solving the problem of reduced vehicle sales?

FYI – key detail inside…

On its own, FYI is a lazy move.

We like to tell ourselves that it’s a form of giving. That we’re passing on something useful to someone else, because “I care for them to know”.

(And there, perhaps, lies the truth – “I” care for them to know.)

In reality, we’re shifting some responsibility from our inbox into somebody else’s – we’re passing a monkey:

FYI – it’s your problem now/don’t say I didn’t tell you.

It’s a classic CYA move.

(Okay, perhaps you have good intentions and you genuinely wish to share some key detail inside for someone else’s benefit.)

But let’s not expect the receiver to trawl through the thread to figure out what it is that’s ‘FYI’.

If we sincerely care enough, if there’s a good enough reason for the FYI, the least we can do is to briefly explain the context for their information:

FYI – this is what/why you need to note in the thread below.

(And if there’s not a good enough reason for the FYI, then we’re adding to the unnecessary clutter. And if we’re expecting someone else to do something about something, then our message needs to be something other than an FYI.)

The Great Grandfather of business analysis

There’s a host of well-known minds in the realm of business management: Michael Hammer, Thomas Davenport, James Short, Peter Drucker, Tom Peters and Henry Ford.

But, Adam Smith. Have you heard of him?

In 1776, Adam Smith – perhaps the Great Grandfather of business analysis – published the first example of a business process in the production of a pin.

Adam Smith’s description of a Pin Factory is on the first page of The Wealth of Nations.  (Chapter 1 – “Of the Division of Labour”)

Smith showed that by identifying the steps in a process, you could use division of labour to assign specialists for each step and hence improve the quality of the product and the speed of its production.

(P.S. look, no Visio.)

Present your (digital) self

Find a home on the web to showcase your successes, such as your own website or a personal page.

(And work this in to your traditional resume too.)

  1. Use a recently and professionally taken head shot, that faces directly into your profile, with on-brand backgrounds.
  2. Write your profile in the 3rd person, as it makes it easier to communicate positions and achievements powerfully.
  3. Or, write your profile in the 1st person, to build personal chemistry and connection.
  4. Whether writing in 1st or 3rd, infuse some personal style into the professional and spell-check.
  5. Focus on the impact and benefits of your project delivery; don’t focus on your job description responsibilities.
  6. Use your name and target keywords to be found in search engines.
  7. List the skills and expertise that you wish to be known for.
  8. Request (and give) endorsements, recommendations and testimonials (give more than you get).
  9. Connect contact information, such as telephone, email and web addresses.
  10. Embed publications, presentations, videos and articles into you profiles.
  11. Regularly post updates and join in relevant interest groups for connection, visibility and credibility.

Now we can know about you.