Schlagwort-Archive: Change

The act belongs to the individual

If difficulties arise, at first glance, it is due to other people. Why? It is easier to look for mistakes somewhere else than to be part of the trouble. A look at the usual generalizations illustrates this tendency.

  • Development is not able to design products that can be manufactured with little effort.
  • Production is not able to assemble the developed items without errors.
  • Sales can only sell proven commodities.
  • Purchasing undermines the trustful cooperation with suppliers.
  • Management does not decide.
  • Employees do not participate.
  • Suppliers are not delivering adequate supplies.
  • Customers nitpickingly take offense at insignificant flaws.

Such stereotypes penetrate our everyday business. At the same time, approaches for our actions can be found in these inappropriate generalizations – because the act belongs to the individual.

Difficulties that arise are reflexively pushed away from oneself. However, this apparent relief offers no solution and delays essential levers – our contributions. Especially if the others are not willing to take over tasks. It is wiser to take a closer look at the own share in the difficulties and actively participate. The following questions will help to do this.

  • What am I doing?
    Our acts are the personal portion of a case. The doing consists of the tasks we undertake, the activities we perform, and the behavior according to the observable (re)actions. There is nothing we can better influence than the doing that we execute by ourselves – Except: the reactions triggered by the limbic system, which can only be subsequently revised.
    If everyone takes care of its part in a task and contributes to the correction of the flaws, then the best possible solution results from the interplay of all.
  • What does that do to others?
    One’s actions produce results that affect the environment. For this reason, we should discuss the impacts in advance with those affected or at least anticipate which consequences are imaginable (i.e., follow-up activities, effects, opportunities, and risks). Comparing desired and probable outcomes provides approaches to improve acts.
    Determining in advance the final state and the effects on others in more detail is a prerequisite for adapting at an early stage and avoiding unintended consequences as far as possible.
  • What would I like to change?
    Even if we initially want to change the outer conditions, it is better to start with ourselves. We need to make sure that the actions also match our attitudes. This requires a self-conscious, open examination of our attitudes – i.e., skills (abilities, knowledge, and experience), convictions (values, beliefs, and mental models), and role (the assigned tasks, authority, and responsibility). We possibly need other skills to perform the acts. It can also be that we need to rethink our previous beliefs and conclusions due to the new situation. Often, we may even lack permission to proceed differently. To take effective action, we must adjust the premises accordingly.
    No one has more power to change us than ourselves.
  • What is it doing to me?
    These reflections are not about sacrifice ourselves and selflessly only doing what others expect of us. But just as we consider the environment, we must also think about our internal balance and the impact on our well-being. If the changes create tensions between skills, beliefs, roles, and most importantly, actions, then the changes should be revised so that we can live with them without stress – e.g., if job security is cut in favor of a cost advantage.
    Our actions should always fit us and our attitudes.

Bottom line: Difficulties arise, above all, in the interplay of different interests. This leads to the fact that the responsibility for a solution is always arguable and out of convenience initially sought at others. Yet, we are the best leverage point for change. We need to be aware of our contribution to the issue: What am I doing? What is it doing to others? What would I like to change? What is it doing to me? Once we find actions that answer the four questions to our satisfaction, then that is our share we can contribute to the solution. If everyone asks oneself these questions, we get the best possible result because the act belongs to the individual.

Putting action into words

The life cycle of different companies follows similar patterns: R&D, Procurement, Production, Sales, After Sales, and Cross Functions. Differences arise in the deliverables, procedures, the extent of the description, the assignment to internal org units or external partners, and, for instances, the names of the steps. In ANY case, the firms cannot avoid executing the business’s tasks to provide the deliverables offered. The following activities take place in all areas and cover most of the tasks: analyze, design, produce, validate, deploy, run, change/improve.

The details are described with related verbs. A work step is expressed as follows: Object + Verb (e.g., install engine; fill file). Afterwards the are assigned to a job. To make it easier for you to develop business processes, get inspired by the following more than 300 suggestions (derived from The Complete Business Process Handbook; by Rosing et al.).

  • Analyze
    As long as we do not do something instinctively and spontaneously, we start examining the initial situation. For this, we look at the whole or parts of it. With the mechanistic worldview of the last four hundred years, the whole was continuously broken down into its parts, which were then examined independently of each other – even if the vital connections got lost in the process. As a result, today, we still have nerds who look at ever smaller sections without considering the context and without obtaining a living study object.
    Verbs of the examination are assembled under the term analyze, e.g.
    ascertain, capture, categorize, check, clarify, classify, collect, compile, consider, count, diagnose, direct, discover, divide, elicit, explore, find out, forecast, hold, identify, inquire, investigate, learn, lookahead, lookback, observe, predict, probe, question, recognize, research, search, structure, study, teach, think, understand.
  • Design
    The conscious design of something includes all its components, structure and interaction, and the description of its essential properties. The complexity of the results and the need to share them with others require documentation as a list, drawing, plan, or other multimedia evidence eventually. That way, waste of resources due to double work and unnecessary attempts and errors will be avoided. With the example of a job description, the elements become visible: e.g., objectives, content, tasks, competencies, and relations to other jobs.
    The verbs of composition in the broadest sense are found under the generic term design, e.g.
    arrange, begin, characterize, choose, classify, cluster, compare, compose, conceive, construct, convene, describe, design, develop, devise, draft, elaborate, enumerate, format, formulate, found, group, indicate, list, mindmap, negotiate, obtain, organize, outline, plan, prepare, project, propose, scribble, structure, systematize, target, unify, visualize.
  • Produce
    When an object is manufactured, one or many parts are made and assembled – ideally based on a drasft (see above). To do this, raw materials, parts, and components are manufactured and assembled into a product. For natural products (such as grains, fruits, fish), products are grown, tended, and eventually harvested. The tasks required to do this can be assigned internally or externally.
    The verbs of production are grouped below the generic term produce, e.g.
    arouse, assemble, breed, build, bundle, code, combine, configure, constitute, coordinate, cope with, create, define, delete, discuss, distribute, do, drive, drive-in, elevate, enact, enlarge, erect, evoke, fabricate, fill, finalize, gather, grind, handle, ignite, increase, insure, layout, lead, manufacture, operate, order, packing, paint, perform, polish, post-process, prepare, purchase, scan, sell, translate, trigger, undertake.
  • Validate
    Evaluating situations, facts, results, and people provide an assessment of their quality – from gut feeling to likes to elaborate certification. The evaluators can be suppliers, purchasers, or neutral third parties. The valuations influence the satisfaction or, in extreme cases, lead to the rejection of the acceptance. They mainly take place in milestones, which have a decisive influence on the work progress.
    All types of evaluation can be found under the generic term validate, e.g.
    accept, analyze, appraise, appreciate, assess, audit, censor, check, classify, confirm, control, criticize, estimate, examine, explore, find, gauge, grade, inspect, interpret, judge, measure, monitor, pattern, pilot, predict, prioritize, probe, quantify, rank, recalculate, recommend, recount, reevaluate, reflect, reject, review, sample, test, verify, view, weigh.
  • Deploy
    The ultimate result is delivered, assembled, or provided at specific places. This step marks the end of manufacturing. Sometimes the products must be delivered to a particular place and set up for use. The services are prepared to the extent that they can be performed at any time.
    Under the generic term making deploy, corresponding verbs can be found, e.g.
    achieve, activate, allocate, apply, assimilate, breakup, bring, buildup, carry, cause, chain, close, complete, convey, deliver, deposit, employ, enclose, export, furnish, generate, implement, initiate, instigate, integrate, lay down, leave over, lineup, load, migrate, offer, passion, pass over, place, progress, provide, ramp-up, set aside, set before, set down, setup, stratify, supply, train, transfer, transport, unload.
  • Run
    Any doing involves one or more activities, takes a certain amount of time, and eventually produces a mental or material outcome (see also Produce). The execution can be performed based on an order, a specification, or the performer’s intuition and imagination. The fulfillment may involve manual, intellectual, or social activities. The less the accomplishment is described, the more random and, above all, different will be the individual execution and outcome.
    Under the topic run, you find corresponding verbs, e.g.
    accomplish, assign, broadcast, calculate, communicate, conclude, conserve, decide, document, effect, engage, establish, exchange, execute, explain, finish, fix, fulfill, govern, guide, instruct, keep, launch, maintain, make, manage, operate, perform, preserve, process, procure, promote, protect, realize, recharge, register, reinstate, report, respond, run, save, serve, set forth, settle, setup, start, stop, support, take up, wait.
  • Change/Improve
    The changes are similar to the creation of ideas and things (see above). However, they also include dealing with the background and the affected people. They are divided into two groups: 1) The first-order changes are improvements that leave the object alive and make the parts better. 2) The second-order changes are the disruptions that replace the item or make it disappear completely, renewing the whole.
    Under the generic term change/improve, you find corresponding verbs, e.g.
    adapt, align, alter, change, condense, convert, correct, decrease, diminish, discontinue, edit, eliminate, escalate, expand, free, glorify, improve, incorporate, modernize, modify, optimize, perfect, precise, rearrange, redirect, reduce, reform, refurbish, regulate, remodel, renew, renovate, reorganize, replace, repurpose, reset, reshape, restore, restrict, restructure, rethink, revise, revolutionize, rework, rotate, shift, standardize, swap, switch.

Bottom line: The language is living – googling, clicking, updating, etc. This means that an ultimate list of verbs will not be possible, as new activities are always being added. The above examples (from the seven areas: analyze, design, produce, validate, deploy, run, change/improve) serve as inspiration for those who are describing procedures. The responsible people should always create their glossary with typical terms since this, on the one hand, facilitates the description of the functions and, on the other hand, creates a common vocabulary. When several people are working together, there is no way to avoid putting actions into words so that everyone understands and thus knows what needs to be done.