Worse than the outbreak of H1N1, Target Obsession Disorder (TOD) has been around a lot longer. There really is no cure for this disease, save one . . . stop doing it. The sad part is most don’t recognize TOD as a disease.
Where did it begin. In a public company probably the boardroom. In a private company or public sector it began with the budget, filtering down the numbers by function (sales, operations, etc) and then monitoring the numbers in executive or functional meetings with performance against plan. Riches for those that make the numbers or unwanted attention (or worse) to those that don’t.
So, managers and workers alike are given targets and the discussion at most companies surrounds “making their numbers.” “Hey, Tony . . . what’s it gonna take this year to make the numbers?” Tony (in response) “cheat, well not cheating we will just manipulate the numbers. You know, early revenue recognition, shift some costs around, RIF . . . we’ll hit those numbers. And if I don’t, i have a list of excuses of why I couldn’t.” Is this really managing?
All this ingenuity to hit a target can be repurposed to understanding the work as it is delivered from and to the customer. Finding better ways to make the work work reaps enormous gains for service companies not preoccupied with targets.
For service organizations wallowing in the mediocrity of Target Obsession Disorder and the control it brings. There is a cure that will result in business improvement and business cost reduction. It is to realize greater control and cost reduction can be achieved through flow than targets, function or activity.
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Tripp Babbitt is a speaker, blogger and consultant to service industry (private and public). His organization helps executives find a better way to make the work work. Download free from www.newsystemsthinking.com “Understanding Your Organization as a System” and gain knowledge of systems thinking or contact us about our intervention services at [email protected]. Reach him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TriBabbitt or LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/trippbabbitt.Share This: