What We Can Learn From Our Pets?

August 19th, 2014

Some of the most valuable lessons we learn are the most basic, what are you learning these days?

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President and COO at SafeSourcing.

This weekend I had a few incidents with my two dogs that made me stop and think about how some of our most basic behaviors in life and in business can be learned from little things.   It should me how we hang onto things, we learn new tricks and we find out that covered up mistakes almost always get found out.

Not letting go  – The first incident happened when one of my dogs would not let go of his favorite toy.  He had to go outside and he was going to get the toy back but he wouldn’t let go and finally the toy (it was an old one) ripped in half so instead of letting go of the toy and doing what he needed do in which case if he wanted it back he could have had it.  It reminded me of how strongly we hold to processes and relationships, refusing to let go for just a moment and examine the options, doing what we need to do, and then deciding whether we want to keep those things we hold onto.  Not letting go causes tensions and in some cases forces management to look at that process or relationship and ending or changing it so that the option of going back to it isn’t even there.

Learning new tricks – With some time my other dog learned a new trick.  It was not something he ever knew how to do before but when he was able to do it, he got rewarded and we got a dog that was much more pleasant to be around.  New tricks are the way business advance and succeed.  They take time and effort but usually the effort benefits the team or process and the business itself.  Take for instance a process that requires a team to look at historical spend and vendor relationships and attacks a category in a new way that benefits the company and the supplier.  It takes time and it generally doesn’t happen on the first try but in the end it benefits everyone.

Covering up mistakes – A friend of mine had purchased a cinnamon roll that she was planning on having early Sunday morning.  When she woke up her dog was hiding and walking around the house with his tail between his legs.  He had obviously done something wrong and was feeling guilty.  Then she found an empty container behind her couch and realized her dog ate her cinnamon roll.  She was upset, the dog felt bad and then the dog eventually got sick.  This typifies behavior in the business world in so many ways.  Mistakes happen but attempting to cover them up leads to guilt by the offender and prevents the business from being able to reduce the damage or correct the mistake in a timely manner.  Helping to prevent mistakes comes with putting processes in place that help protect your employs from making the mistakes to begin with but that also have checks and balances to ensure mistakes are caught early.  The worst thing you can do is place an unprepared employee in a situation where they are not closely monitored.  It almost always leads to the cover up situation.

For more information on how we can help you develop “new tricks” or work with your procurement departments to development effective sourcing projects, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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