Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Did you paint the outhouse?

I have read a bunch of Tweets recently about the power of 1% improvements.  I have also read several articles and blogs about using consistent, incremental improvements to make things extraordinarily better over time.

Likewise, there comes a place in the timelines of a  process to simply overhaul the entire thing.  If something is ineffective and needs more than a tweak, 1% adjustments won't get it done!

As you evaluate your systems and processes, don't simply tweak when the system needs an overhaul.  And don't reinvent the whole thing if a little bit of polish will make a noticeable improvement.

Most importantly, never ever describe a few minor changes as a completely "New and Improved" process.  Likewise, never ever tell folks that there are only a few minor differences when the entire process is newly unfamiliar.  Both cause eyes to roll.

Like my favorite ag teacher once asked me when I tried to describe an exciting change, "Did you slap a new coat of paint on the outhouse or did you install indoor plumbing?"