Show me the data
.All change needs to be based on knowledge. We have to move from changes being based on “I think” or “I feel” to where we need to be: “I know”. We need ensure that change is made on the solid foundation of data and knowledge over assumptions and opinions. You’ve been told a problem exists – great.
All you want to see is the data so you can understand the problem. Show me the data, please.
There are always issues and problems. Some talk about them being opportunities, and they can be, but only if we know they exist.
It takes a lot of courage to look to see exactly what is happening in an organisation. It’s like the show Undercover Boss, just without the undercover bit; if you are prepared to look, you’ll find bad news. That’s ok. It’s better than not finding it. And yes, you will discover that you have an ugly baby. Uglier than you thought anyway. Facing reality is gruelling but incredibly rewarding.
Sure, most people don’t like our term “Ugly babies”, but most remember it.
We should really enjoy our work
That New Year’s Eve feeling. You know that feeling – it is New Year’s Day and everything feels just that much more cool.
Everyone is friendlier, you are leading the way and you think “why can’t it just be like this all the time? Why can’t everyone be this focused on helping each other out and having the closeness that’s needed to make this a better place – every day?” We know that this can be done and this is what we stand for – and we bring it through continuous improvement.
There’s a cost to leaving conventional wisdom unchallenged.
Nothing inhibits innovation and improvement in performance significantly than adherence to conventional wisdom.
Targets are toxic
Your team expends energy. With targets, and especially if targets are set above current performance, teams will do what it takes to meet that target rather than use that energy to improve the system.
Without improving a system, the only way to meet target is through manipulations and short cuts. That leads to ugly stuff; hidden ugly stuff usually. Working to targets and working to purpose are two very different things. Measure performance, but don’t compromise the teams focus to improve the system through using targets.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
- Chinese proverb