Over the past few months, I have been actively involved in multiple exercises aimed at process improvement. During these exercises, we have envisioned various process enhancements and subsequently crafted designs to achieve the desired improvements.
What has come in handy is a phrase I created over 20 years ago that says: Think new – think bold – think different!
What does it really mean? Well, when someone asks you how you want things to work in your business and also asks you to design the improved situation, then you should take action. Too many put a lid on the creative part of the brain and limit themselves from the start.
At a workshop the other week, Eva asked if you should really wish for something that you know can’t be done. My simple answer is yes, of course we should.
I also posed a counter question to her and the rest of the group; is there anyone else in the business who knows more about this process than you? Is there someone we are missing? After the question had sunk in, the group concluded that this was not the case. They had already gathered the expertise that was available.
-Good, I said. Then we know that you have been appointed to develop the process, and that you also have the deepest expertise available on how it works and how you would like it to work. With that said, we moved on to creating the future.
Embracing a Bold Vision: Unlocking Potential for Process Advancement
An important part here is that it takes as much energy to think a big thought as it does to think a small thought. I can think that it never works and I choose a lot of good ideas. Or I think wouldn’t it be cool if we customers… whatever it is we could do.
Furthermore, when you think about process improvement, you need to think of solutions that are new, bold and different.
If we think as we always have, we will get the same results as we always have.
Unleashing Creativity for Progress: Thinking Beyond the Norm
We need to think outside the box, as they say. We cannot limit our thoughts. If we limit ourselves now, when we have the chance, we won’t get as far as we really want and need to. There are enough counter forces out there that will want to limit the new, bold and different ideas that you have. There will be a “discount” on what you intended anyway.
For instance, if you think 100, which may present your thoughts when you take in. Once those thoughts meet the realities of various kinds such as budget, existing IT systems, contracts in place, etc., well then in a first version of the new process you might only get to 40. Then you can continue the evolution so that the next version may reach 60. Then 75, and so on towards your new, bold and different idea.
Now suppose that instead of reading this post, you voluntarily limit your thoughts. Instead of thinking 100, you only thought 50. The funny thing is, in my experience, the same percentages apply to the first version that I mentioned. So from 50, you will only get started with a first version of your “new” process which is 20.
Unfortunately, it gets worse than that. This is because when the business sees that you are so far away from something that you really feel you would like to have, then the commitment and enthusiasm for any further work disappears. It ends up with hardly any improvement at all.
In conclusion, to really kick-start your process improvement efforts; don’t forget to think new, think bold and think different. The future of your business depends on it!