When Opportunity Knocks, Do You Hear?

“… You find out that life is just a game of inches. So is football. Because, in either game – life or football – the margin for error is so small. …The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in every break of the game every minute, every second. On this team, we fight for that inch.  …cause we know when we add up all those inches that’s going to make the **** difference between WINNING and LOSING, between LIVING and DYING. … ”   –  Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday

Many regard Al Pacino’s monologue in Any Given Sunday as the most inspiring speech ever on screen. It is widely cited to motivate teamwork. The above excerpt from the speech plays up the fact that everyone has an opportunity to contribute to the team’s win. Further, it highlights that opportunities to contribute exist at all times and little successes can add up to a big win.

Contrast that to today’s enterprise where opportunities to grow the topline or shrink the middle, is generally a topic for “quarterly/monthly reviews.” Hunting for these opportunities is the task of a few experienced analysts who are privy to the related analytical episteme. The rest of the team spends their time tending to routine process issues. Given the infrequent cadence, the focus of the analysts is in discovering that big opportunity… the superstar who finds that mile long stretch as opposed to Al Pacino’s method of stitching up the mile by getting every team member to notch up his/her inches.

In today’s business environment where markets overemphasize quarterly growth, can managers just rely on the occasional bluebird delivered by the analysts? Can they allow competitors to nip away the “inches” and still hope for market share growth? In the “war for talent” era, can they consign a major part of the team to mundane work and still keep motivation levels high? If you have answered in the negative to these questions, it is time to embrace Al Pacino’s way of making every team member contribute in a meaningful way.

Now, that is easier said than done. Unearthing OPPORTUNITIES however small is no cakewalk. But, some opportunities hide in plain sight. For example, it might be possible to improve the fill-rate (and hence revenue) of an order just by getting the customer to consent to a later delivery date. The only issue is that identifying such orders and the right delivery date to propose involves a bit of “analyst” work. Effort that may not be commensurate with the “inches” delivered. But, what if it takes just a click to surface such opportunities? Now the inch long opportunity is worth the effort it takes to exploit it. Not just that, even the least experienced team member can chip in towards larger organizational goals instead of just focusing on operational efficiency.

Al Pacino notes that “when we add up all those inches” it makes a difference. How do you ensure that there are enough of those inches? Of course, by exploiting a wide assortment of OPPORTUNITIES. At OpsVeda, we are getting ready for just that. The coming release OpsVeda 8.0 includes a framework to exploit a range of opportunities from reducing customer churn, to increasing fill rates, proactively addressing inventory aging… there will be something for every team member to bring in the inches. As the saying goes, opportunities knock but once. OpsVeda will ensure that your team members hear the knock!

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