Thinking or Reflecting

Solving Problems We No Longer Have

When we no longer have the problem, should we stop applying the solution?

What does that mean?  Read on.

Why did we start asking (requiring) many of our employees to have a college degree?  It was (and mostly still is) a prerequisite to being hired.

I submit that it was because we had so many resumes that we implemented a “one-size-fits-all” solution to reduce it to a smaller number, a number we were capable of sorting through manually.  For many of us, it didn’t make sense purely from a job requirement perspective.  But we had so many applicants, that it was a quick way to reduce the screening workload.

Then, we evolved into using artificial intelligence (or some technology at least) to search resumes for key words to sift through the mountains of resumes. Brilliant.  Surely, no one will figure out how to make their resume acceptable to a computerized screening for key words.

Let’s look at our current situation.  We have a handful of employment applications.  Sometimes only one or two.  Isn’t it time we remove the artificial barriers and actually meet with the people that apply to and want to work for our company?  Why do we continue to apply a (questionable) solution to a problem we (clearly) no longer have?

In inventory management, we often try to segment our parts into categories.  We call it ABC Classification.  Some people add another dimension, but let’s keep it simple for this discussion.

Why did we first come up with the idea of segmenting inventory?

I submit that it was because we needed help to focus on the priority items. Why?  Because we had so many items that we couldn’t review all of them all the time, so we needed a way to segment our work into manageable numbers.

Now, we have technology (RFID, Smarter Planning Systems).  So, in my world, that means we no longer need to limit ourselves, we don’t have to segment our work in order to complete it all. We can watch all the parts, because we can use smarter methods to put them in order of critical status.

So, why are we still applying the solution when we no longer are facing the problem? There are only two possible answers to that: One, you don’t think the solution exists. Or two, you are comfortable having people still think there is a problem.

Once you’ve solved the riddle, you can stop searching for the answer.  In other words, you always find the answer in the last place you look (because, why would you keep looking?). It’s also true that it is smart to ensure that your answer is still the best answer.

As the world continues to add complexities and new information, don’t forget to question the status quo.

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