Before you read another paragraph, pause and think back to the very best day at work you have had in the past 3 months. What happened that day? Who was there? What did you do? Why did it feel so good? How many similar or like days have you had since?
Are they happening frequently enough?
Last year I had two really great days. Both involved a group of work collegues confined in a room with just a whiteboard, pens , calculators and coffee. On each occasion we stayed the coarse for some 7 or 8 hours trying to eek out a solution to a key problem that would help us define crucial insights in the glass market and related budgeting justifications. Was it earth shattering? No. Did it have to be ? No. What I found so compelling was the sence of unity and achievement as we “cracked” the problem together. It was uncomfortable and challenging but we did it together and the result would shape our businessmaterially. It unified those involved and was applauded by those who weren’t. Our findings mattered. We’d made progress.
This piece of writing will be about “a good day” at work. Your good days and ultimately how you can have many more than perhaps you are now. It won’t be a piece that address good days outside of work with hobbies; friends; lovers or family. It isn’t a piece that seeks to provide career advice nor assessment. It’s focused on you today and the job your employed to do by someone else or indeed yourself.
My central belief is that most people come to work to do a “good job”. In doing this they expect to have a good day fairly regularly. However, I contend that a good day in the eyes and heart of one person may not constitute a good day from a business point of view. (The “Business” sounds all too broad, so I’m going to consider the “Profit and Loss” statementas the business. I’ll refer to it as “The P+Ll”.) This is the essence of margin erosion and the point where inadvertently employee’s can deviate from the best interests of their collegues and The P+L, as they seek out their good day at work.
I contend that within businesses there a three key drivers of dysfunction that lead to a unintentional loss of value . These are knowledge; behavioural and process inefficiencies. Their presence weakens the foundations ofessential margin assumptions because they will drive higher than expectedcosts. The mightier issue is that their presence goes largely undetected or unchallenged. As a result I visually depict them as you would a leaky tap or pipes under the house.
When a person seeks a good day at work that lacks alignment to that of The P+L they are setting up a coarse of eventual or immediate discord. Like the leak in an underground pipe, they may go undetected for a long time, but eventually their good day will be compromised in some shape or form. Leaders in a business will know or sence that something isn’t working quite right. The leak, once discovered may be accepted or it may ultimately be rectified. Either way I contend that it’s in all parties best interests to ensure that the definition of “good” is clearly understood and tightly aligned between the employee and the vital business measurements, KPI’s or The P+L.
Achieve this and more “good days” will follow.