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 The Business Realist

   A dose of reality for a saner workplace


Many initiatives suffer from common problems. A reality check can make sure your project doesn't fall victim to common pitfalls and can also help you achieve same benefits for lower costs.

What are Reality Checks?

Posted  on 7/23/09

See no evil, hear no evil, say no evil Large initiatives often go awry due to problems that have little to do with the content of the issues being addressed.

I've spent over two decades involved with large-scale change initiatives, from major cost-reductions to systems implementations, and have noticed some common causes of the problems that occur in these initiatives. Many of these have little to do with type of initiative, whether it be supply chain improvements or getting closer to the customer, but instead are caused by fallacies in the ways people think.

Today's business world is rife with methodologies, certifications, and functional specialties and is prone to unquestioningly trust in models and theories. Just like the belief in the free market to regulate itself brought the world economy to collapse, faith in business methods can be equally dangerous.  I've seen the development and implementation of competitive strategies bring companies to ruin or near-ruin and supply chain optimization efforts only increase costs and worsen service. This is why businesses sorely need reality checks on its initiatives.  Reality checks are looking beyond the dogma and the logical models and focusing on the real-world, i.e., people-based, reactions and consequences of these programs. Businesses are comprised of people, and people rarely act on a purely logical basis. The stock market is evidence of this.

This section of the website is devoted to the problems I've seen and to easier and/or more effective alternatives to achieving business benefits that are grounded in real-world experiences, not a theoretician's model. My own belief about business today is that much of the stress and effort involved in the workplace is due to actions that add very little value. Businesses insist on these ineffective practices mainly because everyone else is doing it or because consultants and academic literature tell them it is a best practice. In an effort to help companies and their employees live a saner lifestyle, I am sharing my knowledge with you.  Please read about my experiences with improvement programs and learn about the consequences to watch out for in these programs.

I also offer a reality checking service where I will look for a better, cheaper, and easier way for you to obtain the benefits you are looking for. My reality checks are a review of your project's goals and methods where I will look both for potential problems with your initiative and also easier ways of achieving the same goals. For a nominal fee, I can save you a lot of money, time, and effort and more importantly, make life saner for all involved.  Either get me involved to help design your project for the simplest way to meet your goals or have me review your existing project plans. An external perspective is always vital to a project's success.


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Got Ideas?

Pile of light bulbsIf you have some ideas for articles, please drop me a note or leave a comment. If you have an article you'd like to contribute or link to,  I will be happy to publish your link and ensure that you get attributed.

Featured Neologisms

Undue diligence   –
the endless process of collecting more information in order to avoid making a decision
Team vynamics   -
Group behavior wherein individuals at a meeting vie for dominance