Operational intelligence: the truth is in here
Honesty is a scary word for some people. Perhaps because they think it means spilling your guts or sharing your darkest secrets. They fear being exposed and found wanting. Others go over the top with it and TMI with abandon. By sharing everything they determine who’s worthy of their friendship and dismiss those whose responses don’t appeal. It’s like an upfront vetting system.
Honesty, though, isn’t really about either of these extremes. It’s a stepping stone to truth and, in the process, promotes responsibility. Hiding information that is pertinent to a situation is the equivalent of avoiding your accountability. Similarly, vomiting it all out with a “take it or leave it” attitude results in the same by shifting the onus of responsibility to the listener.
Inevitably, the most important person to be honest with is yourself because this is how you discover your personal truth. Does this resonate with me and do I feel good about it? If not, why not? What needs to change? Who do I wish to be? How do I get there and how can I express it in the world?
And personal truth is vital in understanding not only what motivates us and creates joy but where we need to grow. This in turn develops responsibility by empowering us with choice. How? Because realising our truth highlights where we are or aren’t making choices that resonate with who we wish to be. This precipitates the acknowledgement of our role in a situation and, consequently, our responsibility. We begin to question instead of blindly follow; to actively engage rather than just tick the boxes; to discover creativity and inspire others.
Perhaps you’re wondering how this psych session relates to operational intelligence? How is honesty even relevant? Bear with me, we’re getting to that.
How does personal truth relate to work?
There are many examples of avoiding responsibility in the work place – from covering up mistakes to the seemingly innocent “that’s not my job” mentality. Those who are honest with themselves choose a different route: Did I do my best? What can I do differently next time? How can I assist my team? How can I use my skill set more effectively? Do I have the right skill set for this role? How can I improve? Do I need to delegate? That is, they question themselves to determine the best options for growth in their position. Whilst this might come across as selfish, it is actually driven by the desire to be the best version of themselves, which ultimately leads to a high performing individual with a collaborative attitude.
I’m sure that you see how this is a more valuable mind set to have in your work force. Not only is it proactive, it creates a positive energy resulting in efficiency, productivity and team work. Oh, and in case you didn’t catch it, it also means happier employees.
However, building a culture of responsibility in your organisation comes from the top down – and it starts with honesty. For example, saying, “I don’t know” instead of making something up is honesty. Asking, “What’s the solution?” instead of dictating some flimsy quick fix is the same. Of course, it also means not screaming blue murder when mistakes are made. That’s a sure fire way to get your personnel to clam up and hide behind half-truths.
Naturally, there are times when security trumps honesty; where transparency is not possible; and when it would do more harm than good. However, you can still be honest without being deceitful. A simple, “I can’t talk about that,” or “It’s not appropriate for me to say anything,” acknowledges the situation without compromise. More importantly, this openness indicates to your employees that you care enough about them to not lie, which actually increases trust and loyalty in your organisation.
So why the big discussion about truth and responsibility in a blog about operational intelligence? Because to figure out what aspects require attention; which systems work or need tweaking; which departments are effective or could communicate better is a process that demands an open, honest forum: What’s working? What’s not? Because, if you don’t know what’s wrong, how can you fix it?
Let’s return for a moment to personal truth. Someone who seeks personal truth is really looking at how they operate. Am I acting in a way that resonates with who I am? Does my success make me feel good about myself? Am I operating at my best and is it a true reflection of my abilities? If not, why not? How can I grow?
When we relate this to a company, the questions change slightly but the essence is the same: Are we acting in a way that resonates with our mission statement? Does our success make us feel good about what we are doing? Are we operating at our best and is it a true reflection of our potential? If not, why not? Where can we improve? These last three questions, in particular, pertain to operational intelligence.
These days, systems and processes are equally about data as they are about personnel. Understanding your data is a vital aspect of strategic operations, whether it relates to sales, accounts, marketing, stock, services, IT, logistics, performance, customer service, location of outlets, etc. And it is a major factor in risk management.
Operational intelligence provides real-time insight into personnel, equipment, processes and other company activities. It allows you to monitor internal systems to identify effective areas, target those in need of transformation and optimise existing processes. A data intelligence platform helps your business to evolve into an efficient, productive and successful enterprise.
If Thabo consistently makes sales targets, even in slow months, wouldn’t you love to know how he’s doing it or to whom he’s selling? What about Gina in collections with the lowest number of unpaid accounts each month? Or Pieter’s stock management – does he have a sixth sense or is he just a great planner? Could his organisational skills or systems be used in another department?
Understanding how your work force operates allows you to assign clear-cut roles and identify proficiency shortages or areas for training and growth. Basically, you have the opportunity to maximise the human factor in your organisation.
Oh and let’s not forget about siloed data, resulting in duplication of work and departments with incomplete or outdated information. A data intelligence platform facilitates interdepartmental communication and relays insights across your enterprise to those who need it. Imagine your Customer Services operative having real-time access to a customer’s explicit interactions. So when the customer phones your employee already has information to hand about his or her concern. Immediately, this creates a better understanding and makes the customer feel valued.
Locstat’s data intelligence platform can monitor your equipment in real-time and provide recommendations for maintenance or usage-based service reminders. Sensors providing real-time operational intelligence feedback on your machinery will ensure that it’s always functioning optimally. That means the days of hearing about a faulty part after the damage is done are long gone. You can achieve a predictive maintenance paradigm.
This kind of oversight also applies to IT, allowing you to predict and prevent cyber-attacks, be alerted to potential problems or prepare for system downtime.
With the ever increasing volume of data, it’s no longer possible to monitor it by the human eye. As for analysing it, drawing correlations and harvesting intel, without technological assistance you are bound to miss something. Recurring business processes and events can be made more efficient with each iteration if you have the right diagnostic tools.
Streaming analytics displayed in a user friendly dashboard allow you to implement changes on the fly and adapt to internal and external influences. This kind of real-time visibility creates a more agile approach to your operations, meaning that you can take advantage of rising trends or mitigate detrimental factors. Is your supply chain affected by the weather? Are your services stock market dependent? Or perhaps you have ideas for increasing productivity but you don’t have access to the right data?
A data intelligence capability is also phenomenally useful for risk management, especially in areas like fraud detection, compliance and general risk evaluation.
A data intelligence platform
Locstat’s data intelligence platform uses a powerful trinity of Complex Event Processing (CEP), graph technology and a strong recommendation engine to derive intrinsic value from your data. This translates into meaningful operational insights for strategic decision making and an enhanced, holistic understanding of your enterprise. As a quick to implement light touch on your existing architecture, even legacy tech issues won’t inhibit your ability to fly!
If you’re after the truth Locstat is here to help!
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