Operational Literacy, What is it?
- by Tallgrass
- September 1, 2020
Operational Literacy is the clarity to know which levers to pull to get the desired results by aligning tactical processes with strategic plans. It requires that leaders are provided the information to know which data points are relevant to the situation and that they have access to high-integrity data that will always leave them in a defendable position.
A leaders’ perspective will dictate what they choose to support. There is nothing sinister about that, it is simply human nature. Although the perspective from finance may focus on cost control, sales may focus on volume while HR and operations focus on people and efficiency. Leaders burn far too much energy positioning for their individual perspective to lead in decision making. Operational Literacy allows unbiased solutioning with a Decision Support System to find what best achieves overall business goals and customer experience expectations.
Operational Literacy is Measurable
Highly successful leaders know the most impactful processes and systems are those everyone believes in, from the board room to the front line, and are fact-based. Compliance to that which is non-essential cannot create success but is often the primary focus of front-line leaders. Operational Literacy results when business facts effect the implementation of processes which align front-line tactics with corporate strategy. While many seek a decision support system to assist, top business leaders recognize that a complete Decision Science System supports both Operational Literacy and Data Literacy.
When it is fact-based, compliance to aligned processes becomes measurable. Next-generation Decision Science Systems take on the heavy lifting needed to provide leaders with the ability to measure the performance of compliance to fact-based systems and processes. The tools providing measurability become strategic decision support systems.
The Operational Literate have strategicinsight. Tallgrass.AI can bind their hard won vision to the actionable processes that will prove their direction and insight correct.
A Tribologist Knows the Truth about Operations
Tribology is the study of friction, wear, and lubrication. About 1/3rd of the fuel you put into your internal combustion vehicle will be spent trying to overcome friction. It is easy to see at least 1/3rd of the energy in the workplace consumed while trying to overcome that same antagonist – friction. Commonly, workplace friction is an unintended consequence of policy or strategy, and sometimes an absence of one or both. When workplace friction is optimized, we see a sharp increase in results.
We cannot expect to avoid all friction and acknowledge that some friction is good. But to be high achievers we must have the capability of measuring friction in comparison to history, current events and model the friction created by new decisions. A managerial decision support system helps to ensure that when change causes friction and when unexpected change tests your processes, leadership decisions remain aligned to strategic plans.
Tallgrass.AI can help benchmark the natural friction around you so when a tight turn is required the level of resistance is quickly identified and can be optimized.
The Inequality of Dysfunction
Any process that is not tuned to optimize friction is not the most effective option. Any culture unable to measure or acknowledge an unhealthy process is dysfunctional. Dysfunction causes unnecessary friction to operations and cascades cost across the organization. Dysfunction has many faces and places within the processes of any organization. A Decision Science System (DSS) will provide leaders with the ability to minimize dysfunction and optimize business processes.
Luckily, Tallgrass.AI can make these inequalities measurable and create transparency around disfunction.
Why this Skill Matters Most Today
The pace of decision making is accelerating within the boardroom. New competitors are incredibly agile and new challenges (such as Covid-19) demand innovation. The modern leader can form decisions based on high-integrity data and achieves measurable, rapid, alignment within their organization. This can be managed and improved now, in real-time, almost automatically between process-to-process and even process-to-employee.
No Technology will Save You
Technology, even in its current advanced state is still just technology. The most advanced capability is useless without Operational Literacy powered by a Strategic Decision Support System. Technology requires that leadership first align the organization to its overall goals. Only then can technology move and prove decisions, compliance, and value-creation. And only then can tactical processes be truly aligned with strategic plans.