Listening to everyone’s excitement yesterday over the win of the NBA title of Cleveland over Oakland was great. I thought the sportscaster I listened to made a very astute observation. While everyone believes LeBron James is a great player, maybe the best in the league, this person’s observation was that Oakland was made up of better players but that Cleveland actually has a better team.
That’s a great comment and one that is likely quite true.
Paying attention to the details is good business analysis
How many little mistakes do you see?
I open the newspaper in the morning and see a typo. I open my email and see a grammatical error. I go to a web site and a menu button doesn’t work. How many “little mistakes” do you see in a day? Corporations are pushing employees to work faster and get products to market sooner. Is this agile or is this sloppy? Many companies sacrifice analysis and attention to detail to increase revenue but it won’t pay off in the long run.
Every organization uses job titles as a way of describing the contribution of an individual employee. Titles are important within an organization for employees to understand their role and their relationships with other employees. But titles are often meaningless outside a particular organization. When someone is looking for skills training or professional development opportunities for their role, it is sometimes difficult to match a job title with a skill description.
Talk about overused expressions! This one has certainly run its course over the last 5-10 years. As much as I tire of hearing the phrase “Think out of the box”, I have to wonder about the use of the “box” metaphor.
Maybe there is a physical reason? Back in the late 20th century, we found ourselves with the need to employ many knowledge workers. So, in the interest of efficiently utilizing floor space and affording them the privacy they needed to do their work, we put them all in these 3′ x 5′ boxes that were 5′ high on three sides. Of course, it is now the 21st century and we now know that rather than make them productive, it made them feel physically and emotionally isolated.
“For English, please say or press 1,” so you press 1. The friendly automated voice says, “I am sorry. I did not get that. What would you like to do?” So you say “1.” The friendly voice then asks, “Did you say ‘1’? Press or say 1 for yes, and 2 for no.” So you say, “Customer service.” The voice replies right back with, “Okay, I will transfer you to a representative, BUT first, please tell me the reason for your call,” followed by a list of options that are not relevant to your call. Here, then, are your options, and not one of them is what you need, so you repeat “customer service” and she repeats the same list. By this point, five minutes have passed and you don’t even have a spot in the customer service center queue.
Organizations everywhere are becoming increasingly aware that skills gaps are lowering their chances of finding and keeping capable employees. Educators and employers have different perceptions of college graduates entering the field: 72 percent of educational institutions believe recent graduates are ready for work, but only 42 percent of employers agree. So, many organizations believe there’s a problem when it comes to hiring employees with the necessary skills. But what may be less clear is that failing to address skills gaps through training can also make it harder to retain worthy employees, who may be frustrated at not being able to grow and develop their skill set.
Over the first (and last) 20 years of my primarily marketing-related career, I have seen a slow but steady convergence—more along the lines of a merging—of the marketing and IT functions. Of course not all of it has been smooth sailing, as illustrated by an article titled CIOs and CMOs: Feuding in the C-Suite in CIO magazine’s December issue. But at the same time the transition has been a necessary one in many respects, and in my view the vast majority of organizations are more responsive, more agile, and more profitable as a result.