Are leaders suffering from a serious lack of curiosity?
According to the gurus of today, leaders want to receive information in soundbites, and it must answer only HOW-TO questions instead of any WHY questions. Does that mean leaders need or want to be prescribed how to do their job?
These gurus assume implicitly that the WHY question is always How to Raise Bottom Line Results. Consequently, the market reacts with a supply of countless one-size fits all silver bullet solutions. However, each of these ready-made solutions addresses a different symptom originating from a different root cause. In addition, the mere fact that different root causes can manifest themselves with similar symptoms does not imply they can be solved with the same solution.
The collateral damage of this trial-and-error approach to leadership is evident in employee disengagement, the war for talent, inefficiency (waste, re-work, warranty claims, law suits), ineffectiveness (weak brand identity, mediocre value propositions, lack of customer loyalty), narrow profit margins (price warfare), and a lack of creativity, and business system renovation or innovation.
The medical world rebukes this trial-and-error approach to their profession with the adage “Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.” Remember that an important step in becoming a doctor, medical students must take the Hippocratic Oath, which includes the promise “first, do no harm”.
Despite the fact that executive leaders do not take an oath of office, they still hold the livelihoods of their employees in their hands. A lot of collateral damage can be avoided with their deliberate decision to diagnosing systemic problems. The reason for doing this first lies in the simple fact that authentic solutions for stubborn systemic problems are found within their root cause(s). You’ll arrive at the right answer once you ask the right question(s)! Formulating the right questions is a matter of curiosity.
How Curious Are You?
Lack of curiosity, disinterest for root cause analyses, and worldwide executive leaders’ admittance to their bewilderment with complex business systems made me decide to write The Root Cause: Rethink Your Approach to Solving Stubborn Enterprise-Wide Problems.
The only solution to bewilderment with complex business systems is gaining insight in, and understanding of system complexity. Capability and capacity includes making money, whereas growing bottom line results is often done at the expense of system capability and capacity.
No system can exceed its own capability and capacity. Therefore, success is a matter of DEVELOPING a system’s capability and capacity; not GROWING bottom line results.
Being a successful leader is thus a choice for being curious!