For a change, UK has been my base for a few weeks and even in that short time I have started to genuinely think I must now be a different nationality if not from a different planet. When my denim jeans rip at the knees it is time to throw them out. I do not have a badly drawn and inappropriately placed tattoo. Nothing on me is pierced and decorated with metal, precious or otherwise.
I do not have a preference for Ant or Dec – the “best” UK double act in a sea of tepid TV reality dross? What is Keith Lemon all about? So many TV channels yet so little worth watching. I put litter in waste bins. I still know how to queue. I honestly don’t care about the new line up of Top Gear. Even my waistline is now considered trim. I own music recordings where the performers wrote the lyrics and play the instruments and don’t get me started on that Justan Ameoba fool.
Nevertheless, there is something consistent. Something that has not noticeably changed since I packed my company leaving gift suitcases in 1991 and departed for the desert. Traffic Wardens.
Being a Traffic Warden is a universally hated career choice and possibly third on the detest list after Tax Inspectors and Bankers these days with Politicians closing in, of course. In the UK wardens patrol the streets looking for vehicles illegally parked even for a short time or even if the front bumper/fender overlaps the authoritative double yellow lines by a few millimeters.
Why do they exist; the role that is, not the people? What good are they doing for the general public and the fuel duty/road tax cash-cow motorist? Are they here to keep the Queen’s highways, byways and pavements clear of transportation obstacles to allow free flow of vehicles, people and prams? Are they here to generate as much revenue as possible for councils and police authorities?
Is their role to gently correct errors, show understanding and guide people on their future behaviour or are they here to discipline, penalise, visually allocate blame with a sticky yellow ticket and generally strike fear and hate in drivers? Should people hide and shy away from traffic wardens and treat them with mistrust or should they be seen as a welcome, integral part of day to day living.
Friend or foe? Beauty or beast? Pariah or paragon? Ant or Dec?
So what does your Supply Chain team think about your monthly KPI Scorecard discussions within your IBP/S&OP process? Is it a meeting all about blame and backwards looking fault finding and discipline? Or is it what it should be, an open discussion about what needs to be done better by everyone in the current and coming periods?
You certainly must learn the lessons of past shortcomings but applying the learnings to the future is a far more positive and healthy experience for everyone.
Applying a “…don’t look back in anger” approach will lead you and the business to a much more profitable oasis within the FMCG market place.
Image courtesy of iosphere at freedigitalphotos.net