Common Sense Is Not That Common

Bhupender Singh - 12.21.2020

As we bid farewell to a truly tough year with the positive news on COVID vaccine, let us not put our precautionary common-sense guards down yet – physical distancing, regular hand wash and masks still have to be the norm for a few more months.

 In business also, we tend to get too caught up in the noise and smoke screen created around a subject to be able to think clearly through it. For instance, organizations driving a #workfromhome culture insisting on candidates coming to office for recruitment process highlights a gap in the planned strategy versus on-ground application. There are several such instances we all have experienced; sharing my view and practical tips to avoid this trap of common (non)sensical errors:

  1.  Numbers do not lie. When we see an issue with any of the output metrics on a consistent basis, accept that there is some problem in one of the key inputs rather than ignoring, denying, or making excuses.
  2. Once a problem is accepted, go to the source data to understand root causes.
  3. If data is genuinely unavailable, follow Walmart founder Sam Walton’s mantra – ‘pack your bags and go to the frontline’. The frontline workforce has the best pulse of what is happening that unfortunately becomes fainter as it filters up through different supervisory layers and ironically gets totally dimmed out once it reaches the decision makers.
  4. Next, prioritize efforts on bottlenecks for the maximum short-term impact while continuing to drive long-term initiatives.
  5. Finally, fix the underlying process, system or people causing the issue so that the change is sustainable.

 Many of you may think that this is common sense or Management 101; it is indeed great if you were already conscious of the above and have been acting appropriately. Let us hope that common sense does indeed prevail and becomes much more common to help us all make better decisions in today’s unusual times, both personally and professionally.

That's my #RunningDiscipline, comment below and share, what's yours?

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