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38 SMT Magazine • October 2016 The best answer here is fix or optimize a few key systems. In most cases, nothing improves performance like optimizing the few key sys- tems that are holding the company back. Be- cause all systems are connected, optimization in key areas creates synergies throughout the orga- nization and even to customers and suppliers. The second best answer is to reduce real costs. Systems optimization naturally reduces real costs, usually significantly. In certain circum- stances, people really are the issue and require us to bring in new people in key areas. Remember, however, that bringing in new people will not change results unless systems are optimized. Like bringing in new people, in some cases we must implement the latest information technology. Be aware that, even when absolutely necessary, implementing new technology will take lon- ger and be more expensive than even the high- est estimates. Rally the people through teambuild- ing may give a short-term boost to the compa- ny but it won't last without systems work. The other answer options will usually make perfor- mance worse, not better. ____________________________________ The answer to this question will likely sur- prise many. The best answer is 100% emotion. In fact, every decision that the human mind makes is driven by emotional energy and only later backed up with logic. It doesn't matter if we're running numbers in a spreadsheet, pick- ing out a dress or ordering dessert, the mechan- ics are the same—emotion before logic. Think how this may affect your decision-making. No- tice most leaders and managers believe that log- ic drives emotion rather than vice versa. The further you get away from 100% emotion as the driver, the worse your answer. For those who are not convinced, we have an exercise we do with skeptical executives which proves the point. ____________________________________ This question is really a look in the mir- ror for leaders and managers. Without doubt, the root causes of most frustration in the work- place is poor leadership, poor direct management and poor systems where people cannot feel suc- cessful in their jobs. The mind of top manage- ment shapes the culture of the company. Poor or faulty thinking by leadership equals a trou- bled culture. Poor direct management imping- es on every aspect of the workplace experi- ence for most employees. Poor systems impris- on an employee in a no-win situation. Is it any wonder that 70% of the U.S. workforce is dis- engaged in the workplace? If I could wish any single improvement to leadership and man- agement worldwide, it is systems thinking. No matter how poor leadership or management may be, systems thinking will create a dramat- ic improvement. BIZ BRAIN IQ TEST: THE SURPRISING RESULTS

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