29 October 2009

Getting more of what you want - Part 5

How many things does an executive or a manager need to know to manage an organization -- a "system" -- effectively?

Answer: Exactly 3 things!

Here they are:
  1. What needs to change

  2. What the change should look like

  3. How to effect the change in the system
This sound easy and hard at the same time, doesn't it?

Well, I am a firm believer in a concept called inherent simplicity, although I cannot take credit for creating the concept. The concept was developed and articulated by Eliyahu Goldratt in his recent book The Choice. The basic thought of inherent simplicity is that underlying all complexity in systems is a concealed simplicity. If that simplicity can be made apparent, then any "problems" within the complex system will require only relatively simple solutions.

Consider a complex manufacturing machine with hundreds of moving and interrelated parts. No one would design such a machine so as to require that one touch every one of the hundreds of parts in order to effect an adjustment in the machine's operations and outcomes. A machine with hundreds -- or even thousands -- of interrelated, interdependent moving parts may often be adjusted to produce different results simply by making changes in a small handful of parts. These simple adjustments are made available because the inter-dependencies between the various moving parts are known and understood -- at least to the persons that designed the machine and wrote the instruction manual.

Similarly, if the entrepreneur can find a tool set that will help him or her decipher, document and understand the inter-dependencies in the organization (i.e., system) as it moves toward enterprise proportions and complexity, then the entrepreneur will also be able to discover the relatively small handful of places he or she needs to "adjust" the "system" in order to produce different results.

Is there such a tool set? Is it readily available? Is it of a nature that the entrepreneur can readily grasp the tools and make use of them effectively?

I firmly believe that there is.

[To be continued...]

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