Judy Dobles, General Management Consulting YOUR TOUGHEST BUSINESS CHALLENGES SOLVED.

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  • The Tale of 6 Blind Men and the Elephant – the importance of seeing the whole picture.

    I believe in the infinite ability of people to learn and grow. I also believe that analogies and metaphors are powerful tools in helping people and organizations learn, grow and improve. That is why I like the Tale of 6 Blind Men and the Elephant and use it to help drive insight into process improvement. Take a moment to read the tale and look at the pictures on WIKI.
    Leaders with global and cross-functional responsibility oversee hugely complex processes. By their very nature processes are not flawless and issues arise. No doubt you have had individuals “complain” to you about something they see as wrong in a process or another department. From their perspective they are not wrong – however, they do not have the whole picture. This is where the tale of 6 Blind Men and the Elephant comes in.
    When an issue is large enough and the solution elusive, it is time to bring together a cross-functional team. I use the tale as an introduction. The end-to-end process is the elephant. Each person brings important insight, intelligence and thoughtfulness to the situation but may not see the whole picture. As a leader, spell out the situation and ask them to put their collective insight together to solve the problem. Over and over I have seen teams successfully solve problems because they stepped back to see the whole picture.
    The benefits are threefold: [1] A solution is found, [2] People appreciate each other and the end-to-end process better and [3] Individuals have enhanced their knowledge.
    Do you have a favorite metaphor or analogy that you like to use with teams?

    Published on January 19, 2012 · Filed under: Finance, Process Improvement; Tagged as: ,
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