Monday, August 30, 2021

Variety of Gaps

Bridging the gap of opportunity between where you are and want to become is a welcomed challenge.

The gap is created when there is a difference between two schools of thinking or the difference between demand and supply. The digital era upon us is volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous, many business problems today are complex, without the contextual understanding of the situation, gaps are inevitable. It is important to scrutinize all crucial factors from mindset to behavior; develop a series of gap-minding practices to speed up changes.

Cognitive gaps:
Cognition is a perception, sensation, and insight. Cognition can happen in many different ways and cognitive complexity is a multifaceted issue. Cognitive gaps enlarge problem-solving gaps because it will cause the blind spots for defining the real problem and solve them effectively. Cognitive gaps deepens miscommunication by enhancing pre-conceptual judgment, random assumptions, or simply lack of deeper understanding. Because people are different across every dimension with different cognitive skills, backgrounds, life experiences, and personalities, etc, so they filter information differently, they perceive things differently, and they prefer to apply different philosophies and methodology to solve problems. Therefore, collectively, with heterogeneous team setting, we can always gain insight and empathy to understand problems from the other angle and be creative to figure out alternative solutions.

Some say the cognitive gap is even enlarged because each individual evolves into the “VUCA” digital normal at a different pace. Hence, it is the responsibility of each individual to examine themselves and make sure they are open to true understanding. To dig further, what is the gap between the complexity of problems and problem-solvers’ minds? How big is the "complexity gap" really? How effective are professionals in tackling complex organizational/social/global issues once they have experienced advanced mental growth? To overcome the common challenges and advance the human race, we have to really dig beneath the superficial layer, see around the corner and transcend the interdisciplinary knowledge, to get to the heart of the matter by enforcing multidimensional thinking and embracing inclusiveness, in order to solve it thoroughly.

Planning-execution gaps: During the organizational development and strategy management cycle, the gaps exist because the strategy planning or ideation team and implementation team have a different focal point, priority, and performance evaluation criteria. The top reason why strategy implementations fail is because they were not actionable from the get-go. There's a gap between different functions or geographical divisions; there is misalignment of process, resource, talent in strategy management; there is illogic of strategy management scenario. Thus, to close the gap, cross-functional communication and collaboration are important, strategic plans need to get to the level of specifically achievable goals such as "Who is doing what, with whom, how are they doing it and when does it need to be started and finished by." Then it needs to be easy for employees to understand, align their daily tasks with the strategic goal of the organization, to ensure on value and on time deliveries.

However, many managers or professionals today still apply silo mindsets to new ways of organizing, creating a multitude of gaps (motivational gaps, resource/asset gaps, etc.) To close planning-execution gaps, it’s crucial to take a systematic approach by leveraging effective tools such as a balanced scorecard, focusing on the most critical issues, putting all things in context, and setting measurement to gauge the right things to gain holistic perspectives. A well defined scoreboard helps to facilitate the strategic communications within the business executives, to highlight changes with standardization, coherence, and visualization of business improvement initiatives and accelerate strategy execution.

Talent/skill/capability gaps: Businesses become over-complex these days, there’s talent/skill/capability gaps in bringing up innovative solutions and shaping the next generation of workforce. More often than not, the skills gap is caused by candidates lacking integral capabilities - not having the appropriate balance of the right technical skills with business/management acumen, or lack of system, critical and creative thinking, interpersonal skills, etc. As at the end of the day, it all means how to solve complex problems effectively.

The high professionals across the vertical domains that have demonstrated he/she can solve complex problems are on demand. In reality, some talent gaps are natural, some are artificial. Too often, leaders are allowed to complain generically about what they mean by skill and competency gaps and often they pick the symptom, not digging through the root causes. In many traditional organizations, the talent gap is perhaps caused by misunderstanding or miscommunication (lost in translation) between talent requests and the organization’s searching mechanism. There's a disconnect between short term staff needs and long term talent perspectives; There is also a gap between the traditional way to recruit and manage talent and the alternative pipeline for talent identification and development. Generally speaking, a combination of the multiple factors such as lack of a solid recruitment strategy, poor candidate research mechanism, wrong communication channel, or weak employer branding is the very obstacle to enlarge talent gaps and unlock business performance.

Either individually or as a team, we simply can’t stand still. Gap bridging is great management practice to reach the vision of professional growth or organizational maturity. Start changes from the mindset level in order to gain in depth understanding about the big “WHY,” further drive change attitude and sustain change behaviors. Bridging the gap of opportunity between where you are and want to become is a welcomed challenge.


Post a Comment