It was a routine operations review with the age-old bickering between line and support. The argument from the business heads was that support departments were just not “supporting”. Rounds of justifications and counter-justifications followed. And then came the “aha!” moment. One senior support leader thumped his fist on the mahogany table and pronounced: “I have a point to make. Please don’t keep calling us ‘support’. That makes us feel so second class. We are ‘business enablers’. Your comments imply it. So please call us that.”
Indeed it is not just the title, though that is symptomatic, but the whole attitude that organizations take towards these business enabler functions— finance, human resources, training, quality, information technology, administration. And that is the key difference, in many cases, between good and great, average and superlative institutions.
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