“Our People. Are They Ready?”

01-08-2007 | |
Reynertson

The challenge of the 21st Century value chain is not going to be in the collection of data, but in the processing of data such that knowledge is created, and at speeds that allow people to make decisions that positively impact every corner of our organizations.  Employees in our organizations are being transformed into “information workers”.

“Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything.  Plans don’t
accomplish anything, either.  Theories of management don’t much
matter.  Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved.” – Colin
Powell

“Most discussions of decision making assume that only senior executives
make decisions or that only senior executives’ decisions matter.  This is a
dangerous mistake.” – Peter F. Drucker, Harvard Business Review, June
2004
The challenge of the 21st Century value chain is not going to be in the
collection of data, but in the processing of data such that knowledge is
created, and at speeds that allow people to make decisions that positively
impact every corner of our organizations.  Employees in our organizations
are being transformed into “information workers”.
“[Toyota] encourages every worker, no matter how far down the production
line, to consider himself a knowledge worker and to think creatively about
improving his particular corner of the organization.” – Takis Athanasopoulos,
Toyota Motor Europe.
Consider our industry and the impacts of GMO, weather
pattern changes, consolidation, ethanol, farm subsidies, global competition, new
compliance standards, margin pressure, etc., and consumer concerns over food
safety. Think about the amount of information that exists and is being created,
not just in your business applications – but via email, fax, word documents, on
the internet, at your customers, at your suppliers, in labs, at universities,
via our associations!
What if that information could be harnessed, retrieved with policy (meaning
you only get what you are supposed to) and presented in ways so each information
worker in every part of your organization could make better decisions faster and
with more confidence?  Wouldn’t it then be possible to decentralize MORE
decisions?  And wouldn’t that be a GOOD thing for the organization as a
whole?  Sales quotes, customer complaints, inspections, audits, validation,
pricing changes, substitutions, returns, run outs, knowledge of supplier
inventory, projections based on customer usage, etc., could not only be handled
faster – some issues that cause lost business, slow downs, and rework would
plain get eliminated – not to mention greater employee satisfaction and less
turnover!
Consider this a future path of technology. How feed manufacturers can
leverage this will not only provide competitive advantage, but most importantly
the ability to strategically meet consumer needs for safe food. Microsoft may be
taking the lead on the concept of leveraging information for what only “you”
need to get your job done (or to manage your digital lifestyle), but I suspect
the concept will take hold in a variety of ways.
As further evidence, Microsoft just introduced OBA’s. Go to http://www.obacentral.com
 and tell me what you think.




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