Biases That Stop Us Really Focussing On What Matters – Introduction To Strategy

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Keep It Simple

You only have to hang around me for five minutes to realise one thing – I like to keep it simple.

Whilst I love in depth conversations and hearing new and complex ideas,  I like to translate that into simplicity so anyone can take action on it.

The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni is one of my favourite strategic outlines. So much of strategy is hitting the numbers, executing on efficiency, driving the bottom line, and this really reflects in a lot of businesses

I deal with – their people come a clear second to the business results.

It takes both purpose, strategy and people to really get the job done well.

Smart Versus Healthy

What I love about this strategy is that it covers two distinct aspects of a business, one that is smart and one that is healthy.

A smart business has all the direct considerations in play including, strategy, marketing, finance and technology. These are easier to quantify and deal with and these “decision sciences” are taught in business schools, meaning for many leaders, this is all they know.

But Lencioni says that while a smart business is important you need to also be a healthy business. Healthy is: minimal politics, minimal confusion, high morale, high productivity, and low turnover among good people.

Thus being “smart” is only half of the equation…

“The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organisational health. Yet it is ignored by most leaders even though it is simple, free, and available to anyone who wants it.”

Strategic Biases

So what is it that truly stops us from getting after the stuff of business that is seemingly too simple?

Lencioni suggests three distinct biases, and I have to agree, I have seen these biases at work in many businesses that find being smart way “smarter” than being healthy and smart. They are, the quiet belief we are too sophisticated, too busy or too analytical to bother.

Today we will simply summarise these biases and delve into them in subsequent blogs.

Sophistication Bias – It is so simple and accessible many leaders have a hard time seeing it as a real opportunity.

Adrenaline Bias – Being healthy takes time – too many leaders are hooked on day to day activities – the chronic addiction to adrenaline of the urgent.

Quantification Bias – As beneficial as it is difficult to quantify – it is hard to measure financial impact as it impacts across the organisation into every corner.

The next two posts will delve into these biases some more.

Source: The Advantage – Patrick Lencioni

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