“We will never get the Welsh dresser to fit between them”…
Fitting out our new cottage reminded me of the dangers of simplification and solutionering and not talking directly to your client. Judith had put the light fittings on the diagram and then passed the plans on to the Project Manager who then briefed the Electrician. The Electrician had acted as a perfectly reasonable order taker and put the lights where he had been told. What was missing was any link between the solution installer and a double check with the client about her real needs: To fit either side of a Welsh Dresser.
Think of an Executive Director asking HR to recruit some more Lenders. In this case the time spent recruiting and supporting them to get up to speed contributed to the bank to missing its lending target. What was missing was the double check with the client about their real needs (hit our lending targets).
We all have a tendency to simplify our problems, jump to easy solutions and seek to find someone else to take our problem away from us. “We just need to recruit more staff, train theses people, buy this new software application”. A professional supplier knows not to take these orders for solutions at face value. Make sure you are talking to the real client (not an intermediate) and ask questions about what the solution is intended to achieve. This is the essence of Performance Consulting and it could save you an awful lot of time at work and in your home life.
If this is your first visit to our blog, you can learn more about the performance consulting model here.