Are the people in your organization empowered or better yet, encouraged to ask the tough questions that get to the bottom of why things are the way they are? And while we’re on the subject, why are things the way they are? Is it because of your organization’s careful planning and diligent implementation or because, um, well, because it’s always been that way. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle. Almost all organizations large and small maintain a stable of sacred cows. They can be physical or cultural, obvious or subtle, but somewhere within your organization (and yourself) there exists a velvet rope beyond which question and criticism shall not pass. In this digital, connected, flat, spiky, hyper-local, super-global economy there is no room in the figurative inn for a flatulent herbivore that must be fed, watered, and cared for. Every day someone in your organization is expending resources to protect and nurture your sacred cows and the odds are that neither you nor your customer is achieving any incremental or strategic value from that expenditure.
One sure way to measure the differences between good and great organizations is by counting cows.