Out of the 7 wastes of lean founded by Taiichi Ohno, OVERPRODUCTION was termed as the mother of all wastes. The reason for this is not far fetched, every item produced above the customer's order is usually not paid for, it hits hard on the gross profit the moment you create it. Other wastes by Mr. Ohno's are: Transportation, Invetory, Motion, Waiting, Over processing and Defect - TIMWOOD for short.

In real business terms here in our part of the world, it is my observation that businesses suffer from a worse problem which I coined "misjective" - , the lack of proper understanding of the objective or problem to be solved. This condition usually displays itself in form of misalignment of the organisational objectives and the execution strategy; this problem in my opinion is the root of many other problems organisations face - it is the real mother of all internal business problems in sub Sahara Africa.

For excellent achievement of organisational goals, every moving part of the body has to be in alignment with it. As the wheels, tyres and chassis of a car have to be in good sync, so are the various parts of an organisation, they have to be in excellent alignment with goals and objective of the organisation all the time. The following list shows some of the areas that are usually difficult to align to the main corporate objectives going by my observations over several years. The list is not limited to the ones below but I have focused on the common ones.

My write up is to bring this issue to the knowledge of the reader so as to create awareness towards better management especially when faced with designing the execution strategy and making decision that might make or mar your business.

1.HR Strategy & Recruitment (every recruitment) - Proper assessment of the business pressures premised on the objectives of the organisation should form the primary basis for developing a sound HRMS for the organisation (google Sparrow & Pettigrew HRMS framework)

2. Organisational Structure - Responsibilities should be created with the end in mind. Who is placed where, and what they do should be dictated by what is required to achieve the corporate objective.

3. Performance Management - What is being measured should be clearly defined by the corporate goal. Do not measure theoretical metrics but factors that help in providing a clear view of how well the organisation is inching closer to its goal - put it on a dash board.

4. The Management of Risk - Assign higher weights to risk factors that directly affect the goal of the company and not the theoretical principles of risk -bring it home, make the principles your own! Similarly, are the risk factors being tracked the right ones?

5. Training (also linked to 1) - In designing and executing the training strategy, subjects, staff trainee, trainer and other related factors should only address actual gaps between the existing or available skill-set and required skill-set to attain the corporate and tactical objectives. Training and recruitment should also address the future challenges the business would face so that when those challenging time come, the business is better equipped to tackle them.

6. Reward and punishment - What the organisation is reinforcing should be directly linked to the strategic objective of the organisation. Reward the behaviour that would help in achieving the objective and punish the one that pushes the organisation farther away from its achievement.

7. Business Strategy - It is best developed in alignment with the goal in mind. Add nothing!

8. Process Controls - Process audit and any form of quality control should facilitate the achievement of the corporate objective. They are much more effective and helpful if properly scaled with a bias towards the goal of the company.

9. Technology

What is your perspective? do you have insights to share on this topic? Kindly do so in the comment box below:

Titus Osikoya
Complexities Manager

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