In 2019, very few people would have anticipated how much the world would be turned on its head in 2020. I do not know about you, but I certainly found the past months out of character and not so easy to manage. However, typical of the human race, we find opportunity in adversity. Many businesses have been forced to relook what they do and how it is done. Business transformation certainly peaked yet again as a let’s-take-advantage-of the-situation buzzword.
Why – Such a small word
Not too long ago, I was talking to my hair dresser in a general conversation about some of the interesting challenges I handled on behalf of my clients over the past 12 months. Really in some instances, I had no idea how to handle the situations that arose. No idea where to start, yet somehow we always managed.
In other instances, some of those challenges were really technically complicated. With a non-engineering or technical background, I had to suggest, recommend and chose the best paths to follow. It was in many instances a case of business transformation. I had to start somewhere and in reality I always started with:
What is it that we do? And why?
And then my hair dresser pointed out to me – maybe I was able to provide the support I did, because of this one little, simple word:
Coming back to buzzwords – business transformation
Business optimisation can take on many forms. One can transform business radically or we can improve productivity on a small scale Personally I am a fan of positive cultural business transformation. Working to improve culture works best for me as I find it delivers great outcomes.
I certainly have experienced the overload of pressure to think about how best to transform my own business. To take time to think about what can be done to deliver transformation and now access the new world.
Thus, this is not a selling opportunity. Frankly, if you want me to work with your business, you know where to find me. I do not want to add to the pressure..
However, the more I pondered the discussion with my hair dresser, the more I realised, I do have something to contribute – to the transformation of my own business and hopefully help you to think about your own business.
“Why” is a powerful key and one not used to its full advantage. It can open doors and minds, if used.
Three ways to optimise your business with WHY
1. Ask why early
Who would have thought a year ago that we would experience times like these?
However, the signs were there. Early. And for many of us, we thought it was a world away. Someone else’s problem.
And then it turned into a pandemic. It took control out of our hands.
In your business, what are the early signs that we overlook? Why not try asking why this is happening. Why we do what we do.
2. You can not ask why too many times
Unfortunately, we often stop too soon. We get the answer to one question but do not keep on asking until we actually reach the foundation of why we do what we do.
Why is an uncomfortable questions many times. Yet is it powerful when we realise that what we think is the issue, is actually not the real issue.
It is the same with business transformation.
“The wings of transformation are born of patience and struggle.” Janet S. Dickens
One cannot stop too soon or afford not to have enough “why’s”.
3. Why is sometimes “why not”
Change does not happen easily.
It is confronting.
It changes our comfort zone.
Change forces us to make a choice whether to move or stay as we are.
No decision is still a decision – it is just a bad one and bad for business transformation.
Therefore, the question should be “why not”. Why not try something new?
Do not hesitate to include why in your business planning. It is the starting point of a very interesting business journey.
Why or why not is not the panacea for business transformation.
It may not be a magic pill, but this little word can certainly uncover wastage in business. Optimising your business, is often far better than trying to radically change what you do. Or why you do what you do.
If you ever need help asking why, please let me know. I have plenty why’s left.
Finally, I do hope that you are well and that you are taking care of what is important in life.
Have a great day!
Celia Jordaan has more than 28 years international and corporate experience and worked in the areas of procurement, tenders, supply chain, contract management, law and risk. She works with business, procurement leaders and teams to develop and implement strategies to boost business performance, make tendering easy and improve bottom line performance.
To learn more about Celia Jordaan, please click here.