There is a cost of ignorance. If you are in the business, you can not be ignorant about, no matter which. The Managing Director of one company had a great vision of being number one in his sector. He tried to implement best processes in the organization. Top international consultancy companies were hired for building business strategy, operational excellence, Human Resource processes and so on. People were charged to make the difference. However the leadership development was the crucial factor. He appointed a core team to lead the organization under his leadership. Unfortunately he was ignorant the ground level fact of competencies of these people. Just philosophical lectures in the meeting don’t make you successful. You need to act and lead from the front. The members of his core team (they use to call them as “a steering committee” and employees used to call this committee as “steering committee without steering”) never worked on the ground or shop floor or in the market. These people were philosophers in the organization and were more interested to push their own agenda.
The leader was fully reliable on his core team members. He never tried to listen the voice of common employees in the organization. It does not mean what top leader has to spend his time on shop floor, but at least he should have the method, tool to understand the pulse of the organization, market etc.
Top to down communication is always easy but most of the times selective. Same applies to the down to top communication where most of the communication is convenient. People have a tendency to keep the issues under the carpet or to be ignorant to the same. In above case company lost a big revenue, market share and core employees. These all were very much ignorant about the market, issues and people dimensions.
|Iceberg of ignorance|
The gap between knowing and doing is definitely responsible for such cases. But the major reason is being ignorant to the situation; the gap between the shop floor view and the balcony view. Balcony view helps you to act on a vide spectrum of the business, however shop-floor view helps you to detect and correct errors. Problem known the senior management is only 4%. 96% problems are hidden from the senior management. This big iceberg of ignorance sometimes hits to the whole ship, the organization.
You may get lot of stories why you lost the market share, revenue etc, not necessary that are facts.
Learning, knowing from the circumstances, people, and being close to the ground, either market or shop floor will help you to remove your ignorance. Learning facts is important scenario. In knowledge society, where lot of data flows, you have to work out on the factual scenario. This will help you to change your existing response, challenge your assumptions and reframe your knowledge.
“Let’s remove our ignorance and be more knowledgeable from this Diwali. Wish you all Happy Diwali.”