There is a lot of talk about “Big Data” and how we deal with it. Large organisations are constantly challenged with how they mine large volumes of data to such that they can use it effectively. Organisations use statistics to come up with appropriate models and hypotheses. This data can be used for good intent, such as predicting climate change, population growth, how much food the world will need, and how to eradicate disease and epidemics.
However large volumes of data and information for individuals can be confusing, generate unnecessary complexity, especially if you don’t have the tools or understanding to deal with it. Furthermore, a lot of the time a lot of the data or information superfluous. Let’s think about the humble TV remote, or functionality on a modern labour saving device. There are probably 50-100% more buttons, or programmes that we actually use. There are plenty of examples that are similar. If I wear my “Lean Practitioner” hat these buttons and functions are “waste” or unnecessary, which is what we try and eliminate from a cost and efficiency perspective in the process or manufacturing world. But what if we can’t eliminate the waste for good reason, and still are struggling with the complexity. Well one way to deal with the complexity is to get more focussed. We only process the data that is important or immediately required.
It is possible to train ourselves to be more focussed. Athletes and business leaders do it all the time. The one thing they have in common, if they are performing in their specific arena’s at the high end is to have a coach. Coaches can help in all areas, but specifically in the area of being more focussed, and achieving one’s specific goals. We follow a similar process in coaching to “Lean”. We help the client analyse their own personal waste, discard what is not needed, and focus on what is important. This personal waste could include, a plethora of email, data and information that is not core to their job, and constant requests for help. The key point here is that the coach guides and facilitates the client to eliminate their own waste. This process creates personal ownership, and thus sustainability. Take the opportunity and move forward.