How Finding your Key Logs Help you Make Money

By Alicia | strategy execution

Apr 03

Check out that log jam.  Looks bad, doesn’t it?

Do you ever feel like that picture describes how work gets done (or doesn’t get done) in your business?  Promising progress all jammed up by poor communication, confusion, and/or bureaucracy. That’s a profit margin killer right there.  This is NOT what you want.

What you want are your logs flowing freely and speedily down the river in wondrous synchrony. Oh, the beautiful dream.  Keep on dreaming, friend, because it’s easy for things to get sticky.  That’s why you need to learn how to identify your key logs.

Key logs and fixing log jams.

So you have a log jam in your business and you want to unjam it.  How do you go about it?  Randomly pull out logs until things start to flow again?  That could take forever.  Trial and error is rarely the quickest path to a solution.

Or…do you take a step back and figure out which log or two is responsible for the whole mess.  That log or two is what I’m calling the “key log.”

So you have a log jam in your business and you want to unjam it.  How do you go about it?  Randomly pull out logs until things start to flow again?  That could take forever.  Trial and error is rarely the quickest path to a solution.

Or…do you take a step back and figure out which log or two is responsible for the whole mess.  That log or two is what I’m calling the “key log.”

Key log case studies.

Let’s walk through some business scenarios to make this real.  Relevant for you.

CASE STUDY 1)  chronic peer leader conflict

You have two leaders, maybe you are even one of them, that are perennially at odds.  They are peers.  Personality gets blamed. If it’s really bad, character gets blamed.  The thinking goes– if one or both could just change their personality a bit or pick up better character traits, the conflict would abate.  But changing people’s personalities is complicated and requires tremendous effort, determination, and willingness on the part of the person being changed.  In short, it’s pretty much doomed to fail with hurt feelings and lost productivity in the wake of these efforts.

The key log for peer leader conflict is making sure decision processes are clear.  This means being explicit about who is accountable for deciding what, matching these accountabilities to the capabilities of each leader, and having an official decider (or method) to resolve conflicts.  Do this and conflict reduces markedly.  No need to impugn anyone’s personality or character.

 

CASE STUDY 2)  front line disillusionment

Neither the front line nor their supervisors understand leadership and strategic decisions.  Cynicism breeds and middle management plays the victim, albeit unintentionally. The wrong things get done or the right things in the wrong way for the strategy.  You end up losing GREAT people to disillusionment.  I’ve seen this.  I’m sure you have too.  It’s no good.

Often, this cluster of symptoms is due to having more layers than is appropriate for that organization or that function.  Right-sizing the organization to the complexity of the task at hand is like removing a key log that unleashes performance and progress. No need for complex decision systems, task forces, or various forms of coercion.

 

CASE STUDY 3)  inefficient efficiency

You have an unusually high percentage of rework.  Maybe your team is all about being fast, and your team gets the task done faster than all the other teams. Except. There is almost always something that got missed.  And that means a lot more work.  Finding the problem, identifying the source, and re-testing to make sure you’ve really got it this time.  Not efficient.  You need quality plus speed.

What’s the key log in this one?  Build in quality checks into your standard work process so you eliminate avoidable errors, or, at least catch them before you’ve moved on to the next thing.  Hold those doing the work accountable to ongoing quality checks.

 

What log jams do you have in your business?

Take a look around.  Where are the log jams?  You can sense they are there because something feels ‘stuck’.  You can see they are there because progress gets hung up, slowed, and halted.  Log jams are no fun.

Feel stuck and need a hand?

I’m good at finding key logs in business. It’s one of my favorite things to do, so you can get back to growing your business and stop wasting time.  If you want fast results and big impact, call me.  I’ll get you unstuck.

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About the Author

I'm Alicia Parr. I am a fractional Chief People Officer and organizational engineer for growth businesses making the leap from small to mid-sized. I use people science and a coaching orientation to solve hairy people problems and navigate the speedbumps of fast growth. I can help you and your business be even greater than you already are. Join the conversation below by commenting or contact me directly.

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