Are You Maximising The Knowledge Within Your Business?
When I was a child my parents, like many other parents I’m sure, always told me that I could do anything I put my mind to. I didn’t realise it at the time but they were teaching me the power of seeing the world as a series of challenges to be solved. As a result, I have always seen life as a series of challenges that have solutions if I only know where to look.
My early background was all in banking. When I worked in a lending capacity at a chartered bank, it was always unsatisfying because we were exposed to a surfeit of business and as such the tendency was to subconsciously look for ways to say no. This all changed when I went to work for the Federal Business Development Bank. At the time I was working for them, clients had to get two letters of refusal from other lenders before we could even look at the loan proposal. What a change. Now I had to look for ways to say yes. This suited my personality and beliefs much better. Instead of looking for what didn’t work, you were looking for what did work.
It’s this looking for the positives that is one of the guiding principles that The Joyce Group Inc. uses when consulting to businesses. An example would be a construction company that we worked with. The company complained that their workforce was suffering from low morale, high employee turnover, low efficiencies in operations and several other problems. The task seemed daunting and where to begin. We decided to start by interviewing every employee from the lowest person on the organisation chart to all the bosses. The outcome was very interesting. Not only were the majority of the staff very loyal to the company but in many cases they had recognised the problems and come up with and implemented their own local solutions to the problems. The biggest problem was that these solutions had not been shared amongst their colleagues. Far from being daunting, the solution became relatively simple. We gathered all the solutions developed in the little pockets of the company and formalised them for use by the company as a whole. We also formalised a system for gathering these solutions in the future.
The moral of this story is, rather than spend your time looking for solutions to problems, that may have already been solved by someone in your company, look for the people who have already figured out the solution to the problem and use them to teach the others how to do it.
If you want to read a good book that shows how this methodology has been successfully implemented in a variety of situations around the world, read “The Power of Positive Deviance” written by Richard Pascale et al and published by Harvard Business School Press. Even though this book was first published in 2010, it is still very much valid today and is one of the techniques used by The Joyce Group Inc. when working with their clients.
If you would like to find out firsthand how we can use this technique to help your business then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.