Today we’re bringing you the Introduction of Rex Conner’s book What if Common Sense Was Common Practice in Business?. Republished with permission from the publicist, Smith Publicity.
Common Sense Brings Clarity
Continuing time-honored, but dysfunctional business practices is like having a virus in an organism. Sometimes we don’t know how sick we are until we get well. We may not realize how some of our business practices have faded into a very inefficient darkness until the bright light of common sense illuminates them.
For example, who would argue against the wisdom of everyone in the workplace understanding all directions, expectations and requirements the same way? No one. And yet, is that common practice?
Isn’t it common sense that jobs be filled with people who’ve demonstrated they have the skills required to learn and to perform those jobs? Of course, but is it common practice?
And can we avoid a crisis when people leave their jobs and take their skills with them? And even without conducting or reviewing all of the indepth research, who doesn’t relate with Buckingham & Coffman’s insight in the book, First, Break All the Rules, that “people join companies, but then they leave their boss”? Haven’t we all had that experience or know someone who has?
We’ve all seen — and experienced — all too many situations where people don’t quite know what’s expected of them on the job or don’t have the skills to do their jobs. Some people have simply been put into the wrong jobs — they’re like fish out of water, but would be all-stars in another department. We’ve seen excellent employees leave jobs out of frustration; and we’ve seen the chaos that can result when companies try to find people to fill the resulting sudden loss of quality performers.
These problems cost time, money, and frustration; they can cause increased employee turnover, and can even destroy a business.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Simply put, we’re out to insert common sense into people’s performance and into establishing solid work processes. That’s it!
The first step toward accomplishing this involves creating a Common Performance Language for all of the work processes of your business.
Introducing Common Performance Language™
What does that even mean – Common Performance Language?
People’s performance in the workplace is guided by the processes they follow. Those people, performances, and processes are typically put into place by several different departments of the organization that have differing objectives and motives.
For example, the process of attracting someone to a position in an organization is typically the responsibility of recruiting professionals with their particular skills, processes, and motives. Once hired, the new employee follows a training process established by training professionals also with their own different sets of skills, processes, and motives. Later on, once that new person is performing in their role, the work processes and methods of evaluating performance are established by business-unit professionals who again have their own skills, processes, and motives.
The potential for inefficiencies is enormous … unless … all of those processes to attract, train, and evaluate are established using the same performance principles, practices, and language. That would be a Common Performance Language.
The Common Thread to Common Sense
As you read the following chapters, you’ll notice this common thread:
Common sense can prevail in the workplace to the degree that the work processes are objective.
You can create work processes that are objective and revise current work processes that are infected with subjectivity so they become objective.
That’s the point of this book.
Here are five examples of rules of common sense addressed in this book to get you going:
- Create a Common Performance Language.
- Match people’s skills with required job skills (“Don’t require fish to climb trees”).
- Deliberately create work processes identifying and documenting all the skills required to produce the business results you need.
- A work process is no place for subjectivity; make it as objective as possible.
- Minimize potential conflict to engage and retain your high quality people.
This book is divided into two parts. Part A includes descriptions of common sense scenarios. The stories in Part A related to the scenarios are true. Some of the stories may seem outrageous, but they really did happen.
Part B is the “how to” part of the book. It has instructions on how these principles could be put into practice. The “how to” exercises in Part B are separated from Part A so you don’t get lost in the details and miss the point.
In other words:
- Part A = Why do we need to replace subjectivity with objectivity and establish a Common Performance Language?
- Part B = How do we go about doing it?
This structure gives you the option to read in any order you please. If a particular scenario in Part A leaves you wanting to know how to practice it, go ahead and read the corresponding chapter in Part B. If you prefer to focus on the examples without the implementation detail, stay in Part A.
You can find the book What If Common Sense Was Common Practice in Business on Amazon
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