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Stop being a busy fool 

"You will never get to where you want to go by remaining where you are right now"


It’s often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. The old saying – most commonly attributed to Albert Einstein – can be used again and again in the world of discrete manufacturing.

Today’s PLM systems need to be product innovation platforms that give an organization the ability to achieve their business and digital transformations.

Unfortunately, this won’t be achieved if your system is old and isn’t flexible and agile.

The root of the problem is not the system itself as much as the decision-making that has you still using legacy PLM along with its associated processes, organization of people, and treatment of data.


The times they are a-changing – and so should you!

It still surprises me how many companies this situation applies to. With legacy system – often more than just one – and outdated work methodologies, these companies work hard – with big teams of people, old-fashioned elbow grease, and hundreds of manually updated spreadsheets, Sharepoint solutions, local databases, network folders etc...

But they don’t work smart. Yet, management expects different results.


Trapped in silos

And while one department in the organization realizes that a process change is needed and make their own solution, project managers in another department insists on manually updated spreadsheets and hand-cranked databases to manage a business-critical project. They insist on it because they believe it to be a proven approach.

The problem with this approach is that a change in one silo does not affect the rest of the organization. In some cases, it prolongs the problems or makes them even worse. Leaders need to look at the big picture and implement changes throughout the entire organization.

But where is the leadership? They are busy climbing ladders.


Too busy to think

It is a trend that concerns me. Nowadays, leaders tend to avoid difficult decisions by occupying themselves with less urgent things. They fall into the activity trap by busily climbing the ladder of activity without realizing it is against the wrong wall. It is easy to be focused on the doing and the implementation and not enough on the outcomes and the end results.

But the truth is that every company that is going to thrive over the next few years, is going to do so through a digital transformation. No company can sustainably grow their business on the back of legacy thinking or legacy PLM.

IDC, Gartner and CIMdata all agree that future products will be designed on PLM platforms. So, if you are looking for the keys to a successful digital enterprise, you need to change direction.


Are you a busy fool?

In my career, I have met hundreds of business leaders around the world where many of them act as “busy fools”. There are many nuances to this where they’ll seek out old facts and arguments to support why they stick to the status quo.

These are leaders who would much rather get busy doing all kinds of different activities to occupy them from stopping up and having to think. Why? Because it’s easier to stick to the status quo than breaking the old habits and engage in real transformation.


Take a moment to breath

Dear leaders in the world of discrete manufacturing. Please, take a moment to stop and think. Reflect on your current processes in your organization.

Put a new perspective on your legacy-ridden processes and business routines. I can guarantee that you will soon realize that now is the time. Time to change your processes to prepare for the future that is coming.

The world does not stand still. Tomorrow’s requirements need to be met quickly in order to be a leader and disruptor in the marketplace. So, now is the time to stop being a busy fool!


About the author

Leon Lauritsen

Leon has worked with multiple IT systems from ERP to BI and PLM. His experience ranges all the way from programming to business consulting, project management and business development. Leon started his career in IT development and has further earned a diploma in IT and Economics at Copenhagen Business School and an Executive MBA at Henley Management College.  

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