You better make sure you’ve picked a good one! Not only can your Quest for Purchasing Fire require a lot of work, but it can also require that you fight a number of battles with people who don’t want to change, don’t want to spend money, or just don’t want to admit that there might be a better way. As a result, if you want the odds to be on your side, you need to make sure that the fight you pick is a good one. To this end, a recent article in the Harvard Business Review on how to pick a good fight, which should be based on the kind of conflict that can spark creativity and innovation, can help you figure out if your fight is the right one.
Remembering that conflict is healthful only when people’s energies are pointed in the right direction and when carried out in a productive way, a good fight is material, focussed on the future, and noble in nature. More specifically:
- The Fight Has Value.
As per the article, the initiative you want to undertake should save 15% or more of your resources and time a year, allow you to charge at least 10% or more for your services than you do now, or grow your sales or market share faster than your competitors. If the initiative doesn’t have this level of significance, find another one.
- The Fight Focusses on Future Possibility.
The quest should not be about sorting out what happened in the past or figuring out who is accountable for the current state of affairs. That just won’t fly. Make sure you’re focussing on how to improve in a blameless way and that you’re proposing innovation and a vision the organization can get behind, with a little persuasion.
- The Fight is Noble.
The goal must be about more than making or saving money, reflect a larger organizational cause, and align with the values of the organization. Make sure it addresses risk, sustainability, or corporate social responsibility if you really want to tip the odds in your favour.