Most of us think … a lot!
We’re driving to work and we’re thinking (well, maybe dreading it). We’re bombarded by staff questions and customer interactions so we’re thinking of answers to the problems and challenges hurled our way. We’re at our desk or working in the field so we’re thinking and problem-solving as we go through our work day.
We’re headed home from work (whenever that is!) and we’re thinking about what’s left to do and what tomorrow will bring. Maybe we’re dreading it again. We’re trying to sleep but the thoughts come flooding in like water raging over the shores of a swollen river. So, we’re really not sleeping. Maybe we’re waiting for our phone to ring in the middle of the night. Or, we’re just dreading the thought of starting the process all over again tomorrow.
And so it goes. Only the calendar is changing and little more.
The famous quote attributed to Albert Einstein is, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
But, that’s what we do. Isn’t it?
If you want to break the “Chain of Insanity” you need to expand your thinking beyond the latest fire you’re dealing with and you need to spend time thinking and implementing the changes that move you into the “fire prevention” business.
The trick in business is figuring out what you must do to keep fires from ever breaking out in the first place. Or, at least, making them break out less often and in a more manageable way.
If you are thinking about what you must do right now to solve a problem and what you must do going forward to fix the problem so you stop falling in the same hole, you’re already on the right track to breaking the endless cycle of “Fire Fighting”.
The key is to create policies and procedures that attack what happens 80% of the time and treat everything else as an exception. Then, the next step is to train your staff on these policies and procedures and hold them accountable to the written guidelines.
But the only way you can ensure buy-in from your staff versus a revolt is to give them a voice in helping shape and change policy and procedures whenever a faster, cheaper or better way is discovered. It’s only by their having a voice can you ever hope to achieve anything lasting when it comes to owning and operating a company that can consistently deliver on your promises.
Change your ways of thinking about only today’s problems into thinking about today’s problemandhow you’re going to commit to the changes needed so you don’t have to live the “Definition of Insanity” anymore.
Give Me 60 Minutes And I'll Show You The Secrets To RunningAl Levi is a consultant and a contributing editor toPMmagazine and blogs for many other BNP trade magazines. He is now presenting a free
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