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2. Aiming for Gold – learning to hit the target

24th April 2018

Its what we all do; aim for gold. Whether it’s in our work or personal life.

Often, we try to plan to achieve our aim – we go through all the right motions and processes, but for some reason we fail to reach the target that we were aiming for. There’s always a reason, usually something stopped us – it cost too much, would take too long….

But perhaps we just didn’t take the time to really research and establish at the beginning what it was that we actually wanted. We all say that we ‘want’ things – often that want becomes confused with need. Those with children understand only too well how this happens, and how often have you passed someone in the supermarket with a small child saying ‘I really need that ….’ (insert anything - sweet, comic, dvd, toy…the list goes on). We understand that children mix want with need, but often fail to see it in ourselves. Surely as adults we can determine the difference between the two?

Deep down we are still those children, we see a something and, having been told that it will be the solution to all our woes and bring us happiness, we want it and as a result we tell ourselves we need it. In our working lives we think that we are different: we think things through, we understand what it is that we need, we won’t be swayed by the next ‘shiny’ thing or quick fix solution, we build a business case and make sure that the solution really will resolve the issue that we have.

But how often do we find ourselves in the same situation 6 months, 12 months or 18 months down the line? With a similar issue that needs to be resolved.

Admittedly, some of it may be due to changes in the business environment – a new order perhaps, a new line, change in suppliers or to the business plan – but some of it won’t be. Understanding true need needs challenge and challenging ourselves objectively is hard to do – especially when you have already convinced yourself of the end solution. But by being challenged you can end up with a better, cheaper and more innovative solution, with more longevity than you ever thought possible.

Being challenged helps determine the difference between want and need. By discovering need enables a solution to be built that is based on that need and not a pre-determined solution. Specifying need breaks down boundaries and enables ground-breaking or innovative solutions to be built and efficiencies to be discovered.