Welcome to the second Business Excellence Article of 2014. This one was written in a Budo dojo and the inspiration comes from my experience of Jujutsu and other Budo disciplines.
In the dojo belts are worn to show the level of development that has been achieved. It is a clear symbol of how far you have come. When I started with Budo I was taught that it is only when you reach the level of black belt, that your true development begins.
It would therefore seem that the black belt is not the final goal, it is actually more of a beginning. It is the beginning of being able to master the discipline. In order to become a black belt and beyond you need to put in a lot of effort, effort to constantly improve towards a fixed goal. That goes for all sports, and actually for everything in life, therefore also at work.
To be able:
- To have more fun every day
- To deliver more value to your customers
- To improve the working environment
- To have a better financial situation
Alongside this you need to constantly develop.
All of this may seem like common sense, however, it is far from common practice. I meet a lot of people from different organizations who believe that they do not need to put in that much of an effort to improve. They think that there is a quick fix that enables them to reach Business Excellence without too much pain.
As the old saying goes: no pain, no gain. Development, in any area, does not come out of nothing. There is nothing like something-for-nothing.
I do not mean that we should work harder and sweat more just for the sake of it. That might be true if we just wanted to burn off fat and build muscles. However, we need to work in a smarter way, and to accomplish more by doing less.
A contradiction? Maybe, if you mix the terms. We need to work more efficiently and give more value, but to get there we need to sacrifice the comfort of doing nothing and to move outside our comfort zone. Only then can we improve.
To be able to improve you also need to improve your skills and you need to have an environment that lets ideas grow and be discussed.
As a leader it can be a good thing to start the New Year with training sessions that will take you and your organization further. May I suggest that you take a look at my training sessions which are listed on my website. Please also make sure that you let me know if you interested in any of them?
I will leave you with a quote from the black belted sensei leading a very physically tough training exercise: “Come on! There is nothing that you can’t accomplish. When you believe that you can’t take it any more, you have only used 30 % of your strength. Come on!”
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