Friday 15 April 2016

Do you have the holistic view?

I went to hear Chief Inspector Andy Brown speak at the Royal Society of Edinburgh last night. His talk was entitled

Crisis communication:lessons from Afghanistan
One impressive fact was that deaths due to insurgence infiltration were significantly reduced after the security forces implemented the process, tools and techniques Andy taught them.

One insight for me was regarding the piece of information the security forces had been missing previously, and that was 'why' there has been so many deaths.

The reason given was that there had been a lack of understanding previously of the cultural differences between the UK and Afghanistan. That is in Afghanistan there's a saying 'life is cheap, but reputation is life long', and many British soldiers had inadvertently dishonoured Afghanistan soldiers with tension then escalating with often disastrous consequences.

Obviously I'm not saying that was the only issue, nor only reason for the deaths. However by simply remembering that how we interpret a situation, and how another interprets it, are not always going to be the same, did then lead to a change in strategy that allowed the outcome to improve.

Isn't that the same in any situation where we're facing an undesirable outcome.

There's a need to stand back and holistically see the whole picture. It's only from this perspective that strategies are able to be developed, and solutions found.
I'd suggest this holistic view is needed in health, relationships, business, politics, the environment, and yes even procurement.

That is, if the outcome you're getting isn't working you can't keep doing the same thing. You need to step back, and look holistically to try to discover what you're missing.

It's certainly no use forcing the solution to be one way:
When it's clearly another way
Or perhaps even

Especially when other people are involved

How can you view a current challenge in your life holistically? and who will help you do that?

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Inspiring Change - inside and out

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