I just asked a room full of executives from a range of industries what is the biggest problem staring at them right now. I then coded their responses into groups. The percent is the number of people writing down something in each area.
- NO ALIGNMENT ON PRIORITIES (34%): This included having too many priorities, not making choices, not making decisions on focusing on growth versus cost savings.
- POOR SYSTEMS (24%): This included not having a system, unclear roles and expectations, poor methods.
- LACK OF COOPERATION (21%): This included challenges with internal silos as well as poor levels of cooperation with supply chain and customers.
- DECISION MAKING (7%): Can't make decisions, make the wrong decisions, no system for making smart decisions.
- TECHNICAL PROBLEMS (7%): Can't solve a technical challenge.
- NEED NEW PRODUCT (3%):
- EMPLOYEES UNMOTIVATED (7%):
Importantly, I asked what is the biggest problem facing THEM - RIGHT NOW. Not the biggest problem facing their company.
It's an imperfect survey but the results align with other data we've gathered from larger samples. Over and over we find that the real problems of today - are Alignment, Systems & Cooperation. The biggest problems of today are primarily internal issues. They are not external problems with competition, markets, regulations , etc.
Bottom Line - ALIGNMENT - SYSTEMS - COOPERATION are the root causes of most stress and frustration in the workplace.
We can do better with these. We can fix these. With Innovation Engineering our education, tools and system efforts are focused primarily on addressing these top three issues. We find that when you get those right - the others take care of themselves.
It's time for all of us to stand up and confront the REAL ISSUES ... to confront the true ROOT CAUSES of our frustration.
Friends, life is short - let's confront the real issues - let's fix the system and make work fun again.