One of the challenges my professors had was how I look at information from an overall view. Correlation does not imply causation. In contrast, it is important to inspect correlation to consider questions for the hypothesis so we can prove or disprove the null hypothesis. “Who is our customer?”
A system is a system and every system has a cadence. A heartbeat. In technology, the heartbeat is called ‘timing.’ Sometimes we can ping devices to verify whether the communication is clear so balance exists in the system and network.
Building the hardware for electronics involves a heartbeat and it is complex and ambiguous. When I was green in the chip industry, I was feeling industrious and took a chance to clean a backlog of test wafers. What could it hurt?
‘Cleaning’ test wafers is a process of recycling used wafers. We reclaim them through a process that, in essence, resets the wafers for more tests that need to be performed for quality end-products on each piece of equipment.
In telecom, I knew who my #customers were. It was ambiguous depending on the process we were working on. Sometimes my customer was #Intrado, #PSAP, #RF Engineering, Field Techs, and sometimes my customer was Project Management. Those are internal customers that may be upstream and downstream from the roles and responsibilities I had.
In my early days at my #employer, one of my first questions was, “who is our customer?” That question was met with consternation and implication that I was dimwitted for asking that question. They did not know what they did not know.
One day, someone in #leadership showed me information that answered this question. All of a sudden, the new team I was a part of in remote operations began to clarify who my upstream and downstream customers were.
I stood up from my desk and began looking around the room and looked at the different modules that were scattered around the room. Except, they weren’t really scattered. Our seating arrangement was in a way that conveyed a certain pattern that aligned with the different #lifecycles involved with building the #chips our external customers (what people buy off of the shelves in the stores) need.
It clicked and I began to understand the impact I had on my downstream customers when I sent a massive number of containers filled with wafers to be cleaned. I clogged the system without realizing the impact I was having.
With #training, it is vital for trainees to learn who their customers are. It is not “everybody” while it IS everybody. However, that answer is a disservice to the #trainee with the knowledge they need to be able to be successful with their roles and responsibilities.
Some folks just want to know the minimum to “do their #job,” and that is an important mindset to recognize because there may be a possibility that person may have a negative impact on the customers they support.
This is why #communication and understanding the importance of cadence (heartbeat) is significant in the workforce. It is crucial to have a set of educators that can take this complex information to teach it to onboarding staff members entering the #workforce #community. The companies that fail to embrace becoming educational organizations willing to teach the concept of strategic ambiguity will fall behind in their #leadership.
The #companies that reinstate the #training groups to educate their personnel will flourish. The greatest investment we can make is in the people doing the #work in the field and on the floor. Those are key #stakeholders that need #businesses to be emotionally intelligent enough to step their people into success so they can continue to grow and thrive.
#StrategicAmbiguity can be a negative thing. It can also be a tremendous benefit for resilience. All things in #manufacturing and #technology involve strategic ambiguity because our customers are ambiguous and fluid.
Someone asked me what I thought about ambiguity. I responded that I thrive in ambiguous environments because ambiguity is my superpower. What’s yours?