Monday, November 5, 2012

Force versus Finesse

Forcing Misalignment
This weekend I was watching my daughter assemble a toy robot. She is young and does not yet understand the concept of finesse. She is more of the brute force school of assembly. In her mind, if it doesn't go together then what you need to do is push harder. If you need to escalate beyond that then bang it on something. If that doesn't work then it is obviously broken and therefor can't be assembled. You can see her in the photo misaligned and still pushing harder.
Alignment Finesse
As I watched this I realized she is not the only one who does this on a regular basis. Many times we get a process or method in our mind and we skip the finesse and go strait for brute force. In our world it may look a bit different but it could sounds like this: "Boss says I have got to get this new process rolled out... I told our folks to just follow the new process... They didn't follow the process so I am going yell and scream about following the process... If that doesn't work then I will let them know that they are just not going to work out and I will look for someone who will follow the process." OK maybe a bit simplified and exaggerated but my money is on it not being that far off.
The real problem may be that the method being installed or implemented does not fit the application or the process is too different culturally for folks to grasp. Digging deeper we find that we did not take the time to look at the situation and understand all of the moving parts and how they work together. It could be that we missed an emotional, political, or rational issue with the change and until we look at each of these areas and address any underlying cause then adoption may escape us.
If you are in that situation take a look at the three areas shown to the above left. Think about what could go wrong in each of the dimensions and how you can proactively address that area using finesse in the place of sheer force.

1 comment:

  1. This can be very literal in many layers of an organization. Daily production pressures may induce maintenence personnel to use force instead of finesse.