Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Marriage Counselling by The Logistics Project

Just recently we have been hitting the Twittersphere with a number of our Resource Notebooks.  They cover Job Descriptions, Common Forms and we are even starting to build some local work instructions into a generic manual that you can customise to fit your operation.  It has been a lot of fun working with some great platforms to start creating a really useful free archive of logistics resources.

"I may be at risk of gushing
like Huka Falls, NZ"
Big thanks go to www.macmost.com, www.lucidchart.com and www.evernote.com for their ingenuity and generosity in getting materials out there.  We don't know these folk personally but Gary at MacMost is amazing at getting our wee laptops working to their optimum!  Lucidchart is that tool that you always wanted to draw flow charts on; and generously they have a free account which allows you to draw simple diagrams.  Evernote is simply an amazing resource, we have a paid account with them so we can upload lots of information for you but you can access all this free because they aren't parochial about it!  Anyway gushing out of the way let's get on with the marriage counselling.

Why am I talking about marriage counselling?  Surely this is more diversification than is truly necessary?  There are no impending nuptials on the celebrity horizon.  There is no stress between me and Mrs L at Lamb Towers.   It is actually the publishing of our notebooks that has prompted me to conduct a little bit of marriage counselling; you see the notebooks are full of rules, and formula and systems.  Now rules and formula and systems are all good for making things tick over but rules are never as important as the relationship!  WHAT?!?!?! I may get excluded from some arcane loggie brethren for saying this but it is true.

Mrs L and I are heading towards our fifth anniversary and are happily married but it has unquestionably been a journey to get here.  This is not me pouring out my soul in a blog; but you come to marriage with an agenda and a set of rules that you picked up from your family.   Do you open your Christmas presents before or after Christmas lunch, who runs the family bank account, are public displays of affection a good thing or gross these are all questions you assume have a universal answer....not so!!  You may remember that I had a habit of whipping my clothes off the very second I got in from work, well I don't any longer!  Let's not talk about our first year and try to work out social scheduling, dates nights, friend nights, quiet nights, cleaning nights trying to regulate it just didn't work!

"Do not deploy the nuclear option"
Where am I going with this?  Simply this when you find yourself entrenched in a position of defending the rules of building a relationship with the operator you are trying to support you are quite simply in the wrong.....always and unequivocally.... your point may be right; but if you are allowing that relationship to deteriorate you have lost.  I say this having worked with Mr "I am a successful programme manager and I will do it my own way" and Ms "This is not the way we did it in a large and impressive agency" so I know that at 400th time of hearing you are reaching for the nuclear option!

William Wilberforce
I encourage you flip the safety back on and cover the little red button and take the approach of one of my heroes.  William Wilberforce was credited as abolishing slavery in the UK and I in no way want to detract from that reputation but I do want to make an observation.  In 1826 Wilberforce nearly died through illness many have thought brought on by unsuccessful combative attempts to abolish slavery.  The act finally passed in 1833, sadly Wilberforce died 3 days later.  In these 7 years there was a huge change in the approach of Wilberforce and his friends to abolishing slavery. They moved from legislation to education.  They had realised that you needed to stay in relationship with those that feared the change, engaging in those fears understanding them and gently "hugging" them away.   You may feel I am demeaning his achievements by putting them alongside some logistics conundrum you are facing; but I think the greatness of the lesson we can learn from Wilberforce is that it can be applied so broadly to any area of conflict.  

All too often in consultancies I find that the ops and logs teams have ceased to communicate over an issue of rules or legislation.  The truth is that if the rules don't reflect the aspirations and understandings of the whole community they will just create rule breakers. Engage with those who flout the rules and build the relationship and you will be surprised to see that the objectives of the rule can be achieved through relationship.  So if your marriage with the operators in your organisation is looking as though it is heading for the rocks The Logistics Project is always ready to act as The Love Doctor.  We are only too happy to deploy a little love!!

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