Non-linear thinking… quite straight forward really!
Diminished worth of it all
The worth of a business, and therefore to all people associated with the business, is frequently significantly understated. It is masked by hierarchical business structures, poor or non-existent relationships, inadequate communications, mixed manual and automated systems and processes, complex cultural norms of behaviour and corporate history, to name but a few causes.
Much value, for example, can be found not at the top of businesses but in operational and clerical areas, and ‘at the coal face’. However, it is rarely asked for. Most staff are not listened to in our time-pressured modern ways of working.
To help optimise corporate value we have focused on managing our businesses linearly. We would find it very difficult, even infuriatingly frustrating, to run our systems, processes, services delivery, products manufacture in any other way. We have become highly dependent on computer technologies which are becoming more and more complex, and costly.
“Computer says … ”
Our businesses, therefore, condition us to work linearly in everyday business situations. Time pressures have made this worse to the point where we have become conditioned to work with computers without manual backup systems. We also find it very difficult to achieve what we need to do when “Computer says No!”.
Computers can’t easily deal with non-linearity, they arrive at ‘dead ends’, they stop, cease to function and freeze! Disconnect the computers… shhhhh, silence, nothing happens!
Faith regained, in ‘right’ silence and reflection
As human beings, however, we think and act non-linearly too. We are lateral, random, ad hoc, as well as linear … and intuitive too.
It is the non-linear aspects of human experience where most hidden value can be found, especially when time constraints are removed and we can think in very different ways about our businesses as owners, leaders, employees, customers, suppliers and regulators.
Time is also an important factor in concealing and understating value. It is the scarce commodity for most of us. Lack of time, for all levels of organisational structure, limits our capacity to think about what is it that could improve our businesses and our jobs.
A proven way forward
There is a way, a fast way to uncover our non-linear corporate and individual knowledge and insights. We call it Hidden Value Inquiry which gives staff at all levels, individually, the opportunity to stop, relax, think in whichever way they need, about two key questions in a structured way. These are:
1 What does the business need to do to improve?
2 What do you need for you to do your job better?
These two simple questions, asked in a confidential space with a listening Inquirer, open up enormous potential for improvement, so much so it can be transformational if captured, analysed, presented and acted on.
More than a thousand confidential interviews later and it is well proven — the light at the end of the tunnel.