Stay on the Beam! That is what pilots did to stay on course. It was a radio beam…when they were on the beam it was silent. This quiet was a benevolent affirmation of their plane’s trajectory and velocity. When they got off the beam – they heard an audible noise. This negative feedback continued until the pilot responded with the required course correction. During a flight from San Diego to New York, they would literally get back on the beam 100s of times.
A mission statement works in a similar manner. When we divert from our mission, we start to get negative feedback. Unfortunately, it is easier to ignore this feedback than the pilot’s radio beam. This is why successful CFOs consider the mission when they assess a potential innovation.
It is smart to understand how mission centric a new program might be. Is the area of innovation literally in the mission statement? That is a clear first question to answer. Most innovations are mission supporting rather than truly centric. They are on the periphery of the target.
When you consider outsourcing solutions for a new innovation, remember to consider the mission statement first. A defining question to ask is how important is the topic in relation to the mission? The closer the area is to the bull’s eye the more cautious one should be in embracing an outsourcing solution. It’s smart to stay away from the outhouse!
This is part 1 of 4 in the series In-House or Outhouse.