The Semco Style 5 Principles to transform the way we work
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Think inside the box

There’s more within than we realize

Employees can pursue their self-interest and fulfill the company’s agenda at the same time. If there’s a match or alignment between what we want and what they want, the results will be twofold: While they’re busy satisfying themselves, they’ll satisfy the company’s objectives, too. They succeed, we succeed – Ricardo Semler


In a Nutshell

“We need more budget before we can think of starting this project!”
“There aren’t enough resources to complete this project on time…”
“Hire more personnel if you want to meet the deadline…”

These are common laments heard around all departments in most organizations. It seems that every project always demands extra resources, more people, budget or tools. It’s just more..more…and some more everywhere!

The problem with immediately asking for extra resources is that, sooner or later, it becomes a habit to ask, instead of doing a deep assessment of the resources already available – be it be in the team, the environment or the context we are in. Which is why it’s important to learn how to think inside the box before seeking external resources. Real innovation does not happen when you are in your comfort zone, with an abundance of resources. Real innovation often comes from, for want of a better word, desperation. So, the shorter the resources, the greater the likelihood of being more innovative.

Most companies do have standard practices to assess whether the necessary resources are available. The first analysis of resources available is quite easy to conduct. But, only when you reassess, do you really go further and identify potential resources that are already available.

For example, a department that needs to develop a product might do its first round of assessment and declare it needs more people for the job. However, upon deeper reflection, it might become obvious that their existing people are spending too much time on products that are no longer relevant. And, that realization might give rise to the solution: Divert those people to the new project. If that’s not the case, then an even deeper analysis of available resources may reveal that adjacent departments have people who have the time, relevant experience and the willingness to learn new things. And, that a simple “loan” of such resources is all that’s needed.

This is just an example of what might happen if you don’t immediately default to asking for extra resources. Doing a deep reflection, instead, on your existing resources and how they can be creatively repurposed is bound to ramp up innovation in your organization.

 

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