I always loved traveling. The variety of cultures, architecture and believes fascinated me. Curiosity made me travel around the world and live/work in a few countries. Diversity is great in life and in business. You get different viewpoints and a variety of options. Traveling can be for the sake of travel. But for a for-profit or for-passion or for-purpose (non-profit) organization is a nightmare to have a diverse set of goals, behaviors, activities, and tools.
The following diagram illustrates well, what happens when each role sees a different view:
Diversity is a value in nature. But it is a nightmare in organizational culture, processes, and technologies. It blocks speed, flexibility, growth and generates unnecessary waste. The total cost of ownership is extremely high if you don’t consolidate your values, brand, processes, technologies, and data.
Why would you consolidate?
What do Tesla, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Salesforce have in common?
They are scaled-up enterprises with almost no limit of size. They started as a diverse group of people with a diverse set of ideas and with systematic growth they reduced their options and consolidated their culture, brand, products, processes, tech, and data. Now they can serve as examples of what is possible.
After consolidating their goals and systems, they could standardize, optimize and automate.
With each step, they became more efficient, flexible, and profitable.
Like when Ford decided to standardize their cars: “One of Henry Ford's famous quotes about the Model T was, "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black." The Model T only came in black because the production line required compromise so that efficiency and improved quality could be achieved.”
Diverse means complicated. Complicated means expensive. Expensive means expendable.
If you consolidate in your personal development and organization development, you reduce your options (variety), but increase speed (velocity), so you can improve quality (value).
How can you grow?
Unite, and unify the flow of information and goods.
The Assyrian Empire built a large library, a botanical and zoological garden, roads, and many other consolidated collections. Their constant innovation, efficient administration, and excellent infrastructure set the standard for every empire that followed them in the region and across the globe.
Rome created a consolidated road network. Milestones displayed the distance from a single location and it was always easy to see the direction and feel the speed.
They also built a consolidated water system. “The Romans constructed aqueducts throughout their Republic and later Empire, to bring water from outside sources into cities and towns. Aqueducts moved water through gravity alone, along a slight overall downward gradient within conduits of stone, brick, or concrete; the steeper the gradient, the faster the flow.” https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?search=roman+empire+roads
British Empire consolidated a wast amount of land and people. Its constitutional, legal, linguistic, and cultural legacy is widespread.
All 3 examples show how consolidation is the best way to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership and time wasted to get to your goals.
How can you consolidate?
How to consolidate/unite values?
If you are a founder or work with the founder in an organization, it is easy and clear. Usually, the founder nurtured his/her baby for a while so the foundation values are defined. If you inherited an organization or redefined it, you can search inside your deepest beliefs, world view, and disciplines - the principle laws.
The best question is to ask yourself and your team: Is this for me/us? If the answer is no, abandon that value. If the answer is yes, consider it. If the answer is Hell Yeah! then it is yours. That value is at your core. By authentic communication, shared experiences the values merge and become organizational.
How to consolidate/unite brand(s)?
A brand is a choice. It is a declaration. This is me. This is us. This is who I am. This is who we are. It is not given but chosen. You can define and redefine it. But most importantly it should represent the behaviors and outcomes you are promising to your people (your market, customers, team, partners, and yourself). You can unite a brand by defining and refining it. The most valuable brands (diagram above) consolidated their resources but more importantly, they consolidated and cleared their brand. So it is unique and memorable. Easy to recall. Easy to remember and opt-in. Customers buy and buy it again.
How can you consolidate your activities?
In my 24 years of consulting experience, I haven’t found a better way than to go deep and document processes from top to bottom. Depending on your size and industry you can do it in a simple spreadsheet, in an online charting tool (like Lucidchart), or in a sophisticated database (like ARIS). I tried and applied all. Once I ran a team of 6 process analysts who documented business processes in different business units and subsidiaries in Fonterra Australia and New Zealand for half a year.
Once you have your Process Catalog, you know who (role) does what (activity) on which inputs and creates outputs. Then you can consolidate your processes and remove and re-train a smaller set. You really don’t need complicated purchasing, pricing, sales, and finance processes. Most probably 80% of your volume, velocity, and value comes from 20% of your processes. So stick to them and simplify the rest.
How can you consolidate your technologies?
Platforms are the easiest way to consolidate your tech stack. Look into Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscriptions (Google, Facebook, Wix, Salesforce, Xero, Zapier, etc). Look into leasing physical assets rather than buying. Look into sourcing services and outputs to create your desired outcomes. In 2021 if you want to consolidate, you don’t build but buy tech. More on this in the coming blog episodes.
What should you not consolidate?
Diversity of free speech, opinions, people, ideas. But once the point-of-views are discussed and carefully considered, the decision is made, consolidation comes again...
Consolidation can save you a huge amount of time, cost, and frustration. If you chose to buy (rent) instead of build most (80%), it frees up your resources to build the 20% that is truly you, Younique.
About the Author
Laszlo Csite is a business coach who helps gifted and keen leaders and teams to be extraordinary and fulfil their potential. He is also a digital product owner, who helps great ideas to grow into admired digital/physical products.
If you enter a new field, want to grow, acquire, transform or exit successfully - using proven methods can save you time, cost, and frustration.
When you are ready, I can show you how to CONSOLIDATE your resources. I will share my 24 years of consulting experience and my carefully selected network of professionals with you.
You can contact me for a complimentary chat or feedback on my articles here: lacix.co