It is a matter of agreed upon ideal scenes.
The telephone rings. A CEO of a big company has conflicts between his top managers…. His marketing manager, his financial director and his manager in charge of the stock do not agree on the correct amount of stock in the crisis situation …
We analyse the situation and we see that the marketing manager wants as much stock as possible in this crisis so as to be able to respond fast to the market. The financial manager on the other hand wants zero stock because every stock is money lost in a crisis situation. The person in-charge of the stock wants standardized boxed with standardized labels so as to quickly unload and upload the boxes.
Three people working in the same company, all very motivated and intelligent …. three different ways to see the ideal stock.
This is only one of the thousands of situations CEOs are faced with especially today where one has to produce fast and survive the financial chaos. …
This company has three very intelligent managers. The reason is not that they have counter intentions or that they are stupid. The reason is that they do not have an agreed upon ideal scene concerning the stock.
Taking into account that there many functions in any organisation, the potential to have different views on how it should be ideally is imminent. This creates in most companies chaos and is on of the main reasons management cannot be done correctly. Examples of not having ideal scenes, not agreeing upon ideal scenes, extend even to the private life. … A Chinese women in the morning in the kitchen has to have dried meat, dried fish and rice…. To have bread, butter and certainly cheese in a Chinese kitchen is not ok, can be even considered to be a vice. And this women is married to Western European man …
It goes even further, I observed lots of companies in the 23 years of my consulting activity and I see that more important even to have agreed upon ideal scenes is to have a clear goal and clear agreed upon purposes.
A crew on a ship on a Friday noon. There is one captain….. No clear set goal agreed upon. … The crew will tend to set their own goals, not because they are bad, but because they need a goal…. Any goal is better than no goal. Some will tell there partners: “Honey I will be back on Sunday”, others will take food and drink for months, again others will foresee a long voyage in the cold seas and take their special coats with them, all because there is no set goal and thus they invent their own goal.
If the captain does not allow the crew to have a goal and a purpose, the purpose will become get the captain.
So it is important to first set a goal, whatever goal and the purposes to achieve this goal.
But even this is not sufficient…. Imagine the Captain forgot the cleaners on the ship to tell them where the ship goes – Antarctica. The cleaners are very motivated people, they clean the ship since years and they do this perfectly. Every day the captain takes 5 minutes of his time to talk to them because they are wakening up first and he wants to know whether they saw something peculiar on the ship in the morning.
So one morning, close to Antarctica, the cleaners are cleaning but they do not have the necessary cleaning products which resist against the extreme temperatures. So the soap becomes ice. The captain wakes up, slides over the deck, falls into the water. The sirens set alarm: Man over Board. The captain is fished out of the water and in anger runs to the cleaners. He treats them as idiots. Next day the cleaners are not so motivated anymore…..
Who is responsible? Of course the Captain. But also the cleaners. And what about the responsibility of the whole crew?
I have a friend who is pilot instructor. He told me that most of the airplane crashes, when analysed in detail, fall back on ONE person at a so-called “low level” who did not have enough information, who was not enough in communication with the rest.
So, on a ship everyone is responsible to make sure that all crew members know where the ship is going and to make sure that everyone knows enough on how to get there via his own post.
Now imagine everyone knows where the ship is going, including the cleaners, the electricians, the secretaries, … There is still another potential problem hidden which can pop-up at any moment: No clear responsibilities.
Friday noon, the crew on our ship is hungry. Nobody knows who is the cook. Two extreme results here are possible: either everyone runs to the kitchen and starts to cook for himself or nobody is cooking anymore and the Captain is doing all.
The solution would be to clearly indicate each responsibility (HAT) including the BE, DO, HAVE (cfr. L .Ron Hubbard – Problems of Work) of each person and function.
But even if the goals and the hats are known by the crew, there is still another potential problem which will pup-up especially in crisis situations.
There is big hole in the ship, the ship repairers cannot deal with it alone, what do they do?
Naturally they will ask for help to the first person they see and they will talk about it around them to get help. In half an hour everyone on the ship will know about the hole in the ship, except one person. Guess who?
If the captain does not clearly define who communicates what to whom, how and when, two extreme situations might pop-up: either everyone communicates everything to everyone except to the captain or nobody talks to each other and everyone communicates everything to the captain.
The solution would be to set and implement simple communication rules on who communicates what to whom, when and how.
Imagine now a ship where all crew members know where the ship is going, why it is going there and where all crew members know there position, what they are supposed to do and what they are supposed to deliver as result from their post. They also would know what to communicate to whom, when and where.
Only some good saboteurs could then stop this ship from going where it wants to go, isn’t it?
In his book Introduction to Scientology Ethics, L.Ron Hubbard gives a good picture of those saboteurs . He calls them the anti-social personalities. In an earlier article we went over the characteristics of this personalities, so we will not repeat them here.
I mention this so as to know that even in cases where we have those personalities on our ship we can find diplomatic solutions.
The ship is now cleaned of all potential problem situations and is ready to set sail. But: we deal with a crew of different nationalities, all with different ideal scenes.
So the problem of different ideal scenes remains on our ship and as stated above.
This remains – per my observation after 23 years of delivering consultancy and training - one of the main reasons of failure in management.
Without clearly stated and agreed upon ideal scenes for each main function, management has a tendency to become a dictatorship and the ship starts to look like the Bounty.
Since mutiny is the last we want in a crisis situation a solutions is needed and fast for most of the organisations.
And here is where our strategic consulting package is an added-value for all companies.
This strategic consulting package is the result of 23 years of consulting experience in with both private and public sector organisations in helping them to grow and be more organized.
This strategic consulting package consists of consulting and coaching and training the top managers of every organisation private or government during 2 to 4 days, depending on how much people attend the session.
Together with the direct generals of the organisation we sit together for 2 to 4 days in which we go over at least 21 functions which should be executed in every organisation. Those 21 functions do follow the organizing board described by Mr L. Ron Hubbard in his Organisation Executive Course.
For each of those functions we will determine together with the top of the organisation the ideal scene and also how this ideal scene will be communicated to all the personnel.
Only by doing this the top of an organisation has immediate realizations on why things are not going as they should. For each of the 21 functions we thus state an ideal scene.
The next step is to observe the actual scene and especially if this actual scene, compared to the past is improving or not compared to the ideal scene. So we look at the actual scene as a dynamic thing. Things do not stay the same, they either improve or become worse.
Depending on the specific case per function we can then write what to do to improve the actual scene or what to do to redress the situation. If we do this for all the 21 functions and we prioritize this we have a strategic plan.
During the exercise we can also start discovering important success actions in why the organisation is improving. We coach then the top on how to use those actions and to write them down as organisation policy.
A plan needs to be executed and he execution of it monitored. That is the moment we go into who will do what and how will this be measured.
At the end of the Strategic coaching session we do have a real monitoring tool written down on which all top managers agree with and which all top managers can implement.
The first implementation step is then a training, presentation of the findings to all personnel of the organisation all together or in different echelons and sessions. After this training sessions we then co-ordinate the specific consulting work which has to be done further to make the organisation stably grow and prosper.
This strategic consulting session has been successfully delivered in different business sectors including: leasing, building contracting and machines, insurance, shipping-forwarding, car renting, car repair, tourism, wine industry, bread manufacturing.
So why not helping you to make sure that all crew in your organisation see the same pictures as you do? And thus helping you to free yourself of your daily controlling activity.
Marc De Turck
IDEAs-Free Boss Intl