‘It Ain’t What You Do, It’s the Way that You Do it’

By Lisa Woodall

Have you ever listened to the words, “It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it” by Bananarama and Fun Boy Three. it’s a simple tune. But it got me thinking. It suggests that “the way that you do it” is what “gets results.”

And maybe it’s not what you do today. It’s what you want to do tomorrow that will get results.

With the pace of change in the tech landscape, the ability to do things differently has never been as much of a possibility as it is today (and getting increasingly so as we progress into every new day).

Too often, we all constrain our thinking to what we do today.

Enterprise Architects can spend too long pulling together “as is” landscapes, cataloguing every aspect of it to the nth degree.

Business Analysts can spend too long documenting today’s processes and asking too many questions on what people do today.

And operational teams can review new platforms and assess how much it enables them to do what they do today.

Those that will make the most of the new possibilities that technology will enable surely come at the challenge in a very different way.

They spend their time “imagining a world where …” – describing how that future state would work, describing the technology that that future state would need, and contemplating a world where AI and ML means many of the process steps of the past are irrelevant.

Think about it. If you asked someone how they took photos and looked to improve it back in the day, you would have been hung up on, “What type of film you’d load, how many shots you would need, setting up the perfect shot, sending the film away to get processed and getting the photos back in the post. Maybe that’s where Kodak was spending its time back in the day.

If you faced the same challenge from reimagining the whole photo experience, you may end up with the digital version. Just look at the iPhone, where film and processing time has been eliminated and you have endless chances to get the photo right.

We all know which approach led to a game changer in the world of photography and how a major brand disappeared as a result of the new way of reimagining the world.

So let’s not spend too much time on the as is. Let’s not spend too much time on how we do the process today – the processes that were invented to deal with the tech we had back then. Let’s not resist new ways of getting things done just because they are not the same as the old ways.

Let’s start with the “to be” based on a game changing outcome mindset. Let’s really consider how the technology we all have can significantly change how we think about things and get things done, and let’s only consider the “as is” as we help people migrate, transition, adopt the new ways of working.

Let’s help people be champions. Let’s help people reframe their thinking. Let’s help people improve their lives and those of others by focusing on what can be achieved rather than what can’t. It’s that “to be” mindset rather than that “as Is” mindset.

Have you changed the way you work? Are you spending too much time on the “as is?” Or are you in the “to be” with an eye on the “as Is” to help people on their way?

As the song goes, “it’s the way that you do it, and that’s what gets results.”