Connect the Dots Thinking

English: self created, no copyrights(PD עברית:...

English: self created, no copyrights(PD עברית: יצירה עצמית, ברשות הכלל (ללא זכויות יוצרים) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a child, I remember spending hours working connect the dots work books.  The simple act of drawing the line between numbered dots wasn’t the prize, but the picture was.  It aided my education in learning numbers.  And because I couldn’t draw very well the payoff was huge – I still can draw little other than stick people.  I eventually advanced to paint by numbers – although painting between the lines was a challenge.

However, what is interesting is when I speak with organizations of all kinds . . . they still want the connect the dots thinking.  These are college-educated men and women!  Quick answers are needed for their problems and short-cuts, check-lists and Cliff notes are acceptable

This rarely ends well.

Look at what business has become . . . connect the dots everywhere with projects and project management – or what I like to call formal, scheduled connect the dots complete with schedules and a linear mindset.  The pieces must fit together!

Funny, when you view organizations as systems you realize that the organization is more (or should be more) than the sum of its parts.  We have all been tricked into thinking otherwise – its like the child within use revisits those workbooks.  “Give me an easy answer.”  All these “easy” answers lead to unintended consequences by adding complexity to the organization.

I don’t see an end to the madness soon.  Especially in the US, where financially pressured organizations continue to seek out these types of solutions to satisfy WallStreet.  There are better ways, but they will require a bit more than what we learned in elementary school.

Tripp Babbitt is a service design architect.  His organization helps executives find a better way to link perspective to performance and use workers to build and refine your service.  Read his column at Quality Digest and his articles for Reach him on Twitter or LinkedIn by Zemanta
Share This: