The solutions to most of your organization’s challenges are already among you.
They are sitting all around you, in the office next door, and throughout every level of the organization. They think about working smarter as often as you do. They come up with ideas that will improve the bottom line as if that were the very thing they were hired to do.
They are the people you have already hired.
In some organizations, the default setting is to seek external advice the moment a challenge presents itself. They seek “new leadership models” from external consultants, tools and resources from vendors and “wise counsel” from gurus. In many cases, the organization pays a high price to be sold goods and services that are already available internally.
I don’t think organizations mean harm to their people. I do think, however, that sometimes there is a rush to solve problems. This negates meaningful assessments of the risks involved and a thorough exploration of possible solutions. Organizations get caught up in the moment and want to get to solutions first. Thinking, assessment, and analysis just gets in the way.
The result? Organizations overlook their people, which means they also overlook more nuanced, effective solutions to their problems in the process.
Are there valid reasons for seeking external help? Of course.
My argument FOR looking internally first is more about making the time to get your people involved than it is about an absolute opposition to external assistance. The question then isn’t about whether external assistance is ever justified. It’s about whether or not it is worth taking the time to find out what your people think before taking action.
You have already made a significant investment in the people who work for you. Why wouldn’t you want to make a genuine, meaningful effort to find out what they think?