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May 01, 2015

experience curve and seeing problems

I came across a really interesting concept while i was doing some research and i found it really thought provoking. Hope someone may find it interesting too.

Decision makers learn from their successes and failures with responses to perceived problems becoming more routinized for those subsequently confronted with similar problems. Unfortunately, as decision makers move higher on the experience curve, the organization continues to make its transition through the organizational life cycle. The question is, does this movement bring forth new problems/concerns and/or rearrange the relative importance of previously recognized problems.(Dodge, Fullerson and Robbins,1994)

We never really consider this aspect as we progress and develop ourselves within a role. Its strange to think of this concept as ive noticed in my own family business. There were some external issues that seemed so big at the initial stage of business, but i find that we dont even think about these now that were established 12 years on. However this doesnt mean its not a problem anymore, we have no idea how much of an impact these things still have on a business but since weve moved past this initial premature stage of the life cycles of the business we have just changed our priorities of problems.

It brought me back to biases in decision making, and how some problems that may seem big to someone at the lower end of the hierarchy, is no longer a priority to the higher-ups (but this means that it must still impact the business at the bottom and direct customer level, we just overlook it). It links to the concept of trying to solve the problems that those directly producing your product are having, instead of the problems you as a developed manager my perceive.

As leaders or managers, we should try and consider this prioritisation of problems issues. Its great that we will be moving up our experience curve, but we should try and resolve the problems that our employees have at their level so we can really enrich their own experience, and to tackle any external problems we used to know. Ultimately its only going to impact our business better.


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