Helium Blog 20170616

Choose Your Tools

Strategy, The Dream Team

These days the market seems to be flooded with tools for everything. I’m talking about physical tools and software tools. There’s a seemingly endless supply of things. By things I mean useful tools, useless tools, tools we didn’t know we needed until they were invented. So what now.

I understand the importance of consistency and process. That being said, let the individuals that are using the tools, pick the tools. This can get complicated with certain things, but for the sake of this post, let’s just talk about the things that don’t have a large ripple effect. 

We work our computers pretty hard with design, motion graphics, and video editing. We are using fairly industry standard equipment, however when it comes to capabilities we ensure that the individuals using the equipment have it built the way they need it. Saving a few hundred dollars on a computer isn’t worth the headache it would otherwise create for the folks using it because it can’t process fast enough, or crashes from the workload. Why would I dictate to my team what tools they are using for their duties? 

This happens all the time in many industries. Sure enough you can’t please everyone, but you can put the power of decision in the hand of your team. Allowing individuals to choose their tools isn’t just about maximizing productivity through the tools they know and love, but it’s about your culture. If you allow your team the freedom to choose, they will respect you more and appreciate it. They will be more positive, more willing to “do the impossible” when things happen. It’s just better for everyone, even if it costs a bit more. 

This can be challenging for some businesses. Industry standard software exists and changing that can be a nightmare, so instead of looking at the big stuff, start small. Lots of people have a preferred pen, get it for them. Get your team notebooks that they like. If you’re in a manufacturing, construction, or a similar industry, ask your team what their preferred tools are and work towards that. 

Remember, every decision that you make FOR your team removes their ability to make a decision for themselves. Empower as much as possible and allow them to choose their tools.