Horizon Newsletter • July 21, 2023
Embracing Control: Your Management Game Plan

Think about change management in operations. It's exciting; full of promise. Now, think control. Less exciting; mundane. Yet, just as you can't clap with one hand, you can't fully capitalize on change without exercising control. They form two sides of the same coin, inseparable and equally essential.

Consider Six Sigma's DMAIC method. Control is the last stage, but it should also be the first. It's that important.

Anton Chekhov said, "Only entropy comes easy." And Frank Herbert, "Who governs the governors? Entropy." Both remind us that disorder, or entropy, is a natural state, and even those managing are not exempt. Holding onto gains and maintaining order require relentless effort. Like any asset, what you've gained needs not just initial investment, but also constant upkeep.

On the Netflix show, Quarterback, Kirk Cousins speaks of his greatest challenge: repetition. It's not about taking hits or making comebacks, but doing it all over again.

Our customers have made incredible strides. These improvements came hard-earned. However, even with the most advanced software tools, there are risks. Processes can revert.

The world's best athletes focus on maintaining their performance over time. The same principle applies to top managers.

Processes, if not controlled, tend towards instability. It's not a problem, but a natural occurrence. The issue arises when we fail to anticipate it and do not place "control management" at the forefront. Its importance only grows as you further improve your operation. Each improvement must remain in check for subsequent ones to have a chance.

Control matters. It's not merely the endgame, it's the game. It's about doing it again and again.


Sean Devine
Founder & CEO, XBE