Recently, my business partner Dave was telling an old friend about how much of our work at Easier Inc. is about helping organisations to keep the purpose and value of their work central to their decision making. His friend laughed a wry laugh then told this story…
Working in the British forces, he had been deployed to a war-zone and was tasked with enabling the country to get back on its feet by building a reliable mobile phone network. To do this he had a budget of $90 million.
The progress of his project was to be measured by how many mobile phone masts his team were able to build across the country. There was a key challenge in their way though. Insurgents viewed the mobile phone network as an instrument of enemy propaganda and so as soon as a mast was put up they would come and blow it up… or rather down.
Understandably, security quickly became a focus. In order to get masts up and keep them up, the project team started to locate them on military bases and at other secure sites. This made a lot of sense to everyone and, to their relief, the project plan moved back into the green; masts were going up fast and staying up.
Except that pretty much anywhere in the country, people were still complaining that they couldn’t get a mobile phone signal. The hoped for socio-economic uplift and information spread - the whole point of the project - was therefore simply not happening. Dave's friend went to find out why.
It didn’t take long to get to the root of the problem, as illustrated by this map:
To everyone’s alarm, masts were being placed where they were safe rather than where they provided coverage to the population.
The focus of the project had become “find safe places to put masts” not “create a reliable mobile network” and so, while there was money in the budget to build secure sites in useful locations, the fact that this would have taken longer or meant fewer masts overall, meant that the project team had dismissed the approach out-of-hand.
At Easier Inc. we help people to make the relationship between what they are doing and what that is achieving visible so that it enables better, clearer headed and more effective decision making.
We do this through a range of flexible approaches, which help to tether operational delivery and strategic intent in a way that improves the efficacy of both.
If you would like to find out more, drop us a line at www.easierinc.com. We will take the time to understand your situation and we won’t give you the hard sell.