”It will not work in our environment… we are different”

25 December 2016

Too many times when I offered consultancy to companies regarding the quality assurance implementations I heard this line: ”It will not work in our environment… It is different here”. And I was just proposing basic strategies, verified and certified by research institutes. What surprised me was that the same persons were aware that the current process they used did not give results. Pardon my rudeness but what was called ”process” was actually the holy chaos. But why the line? Why people refuse to follow a standard which is verified and proven to be efficient? I will tell you a short story from my ecological farm who may help us make one step forward.

In August this year I was searching for a plant to cultivate who should be very efficient on a small surface and during winter (I am living in a temperate zone in eastern Europe). I do not want to heat the greenhouse because that would increase the costs. So actually I was looking for an efficient solution to increase profit without investing too much. Just like in testing, if you want it to be more efficient reorganize you process by optimizing and automating it, train people and be willing to accept challenges. In my farm I had the idea to cultivate Saffron, the most expensive spice on earth, and I began by consulting some local specialists… guess what was their answer:”It will not grow in our environment”, they all said. Limited local knowledge came up with this mindset, never heard of it so it will not work here.

Then I consulted a specialist with international experience, has seen may places in his career… and he surprised me with a positive answer: ”You will be able to grow it if you change your process a little and your mindset on how the crops should be taken care of and rotated”. Well that was a challenge… Take a look in the picture attached to this article:

victor horescu

victor horescu

It is Christmas and I have beautiful and tasty white saffron in my garden. Why did it work? Because I accepted I have to change the things I do on a regular basis, step into the unknown and change the nutrition rules on my land. How did I make it work? I took the bulbs from a provider who is respecting standards and followed his indications (according to a tested, verified and efficient standard). I only had to modify the quantity of nutrients in soil (saffron needs more than other usual plants) and of course for the next season I have to enrich the soil without digging 🙂 This is all… I had to leave my comfort zone to implement these small changes that made possible the appearance of that beautiful flower. Ecological agriculture is possible if you understand the process; make an effort to implement it and leave your comfort zone (repetitive work).

Coming back to my consultancy in testing and customers, why do they say ”It will not work in our environment”? The answer is simple: they are afraid to leave the comfort zone, they are afraid to try something new or they do not want to make any effort. But they want good results 🙂

The solution? Work on people fear rather than focus on how good your solution is. Convince them that in order to win more they need to leave the comfort zone, just like in ecological agriculture… and they will have beautiful white flowers in December when they realize the growth of their Return On Investment.

The story is real, from one of my current customers; the line is real and the solution is under implementation.

Merry Christmas ! And may Santa Claus bring you many flowers of white saffron 🙂

victor horescu

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