We've all heard the boast of the Manager who "doesn't take no for an answer" and claims that this is the root of their success; that they always deliver despite any barriers in their way. When we hear this it sounds impressive, doesn't it? This is surely exactly the type of Leadership that we need to drive results in our Business, isn't it?
However, whilst we should accept that tenacity is an essential part of the execution required in a High Performance Organisation, what I often observe is that not taking no for an answer is a positional activity between managers in an organisation or, even worse, the whim of leader, and is deleterious to the focus required for the organisation to achieve excellence in its service to its Customers.
What we really need in the organisation are Leaders who take the time to translate the Strategy into a deployable plan and align the organisation around the common goals. This strategy deployment (also called Policy Deployment or Hoshin Kanri) means that the organisation is aligned on why they are doing what they are doing, what they need to achieve and how they are going to do it, with plans in place that account for the available capability of the organisation (people, capital, competences, tools, etc.) and that are made in an inclusive way (sometimes called 'Catchball'). The most important part of this is that the Leadership has decided what they are going to say no to, either completely or for a period of time, and this is non-negotiable; not just because they might not be interesting to the organisation or bad ideas but because they do not figure in the Organisational priorities and therefore the organisation does not have the resources to invest in them.
Ultimately, we do indeed need every team member to be a leader and refuse to take no for an answer but only when the organisation is aligned to fight the external barriers to success and not those created internally.
"I aim to promote the global sharing of best practices in the application of Lean Thinking."