Is what you’re doing going to get you the results you want?

The other day, I was talking to a continuous improvement leader about my impression that they needed to do a few things differently. His response was, “Am I doing a bad job or are we doing it wrong?”

That’s not the question that matters. Here’s the real question: Is what you’re doing going to get you the results you want?

They’re certainly doing good work at his organization—putting in work standards, having daily meetings, writing boards, doing training, and more. But if all that good work doesn’t add up to success, will they be satisfied with the results? Likely not.

I call this: the proof is in the pudding.

The reason I knew what they were doing was likely insufficient is that they weren’t getting the improved results they wanted.

Without targeted efforts and a cohesive system built to have the greatest impact, the metrics weren’t moving. And they’re not the only ones — improvement teams all over struggle to move the needle. It’s heartbreaking to see people put in so much work and not get the results.

The question of the day is: what would it take to make the success of your improvement efforts probable instead of possible? Meaning: how can you find the 2 or 3 things that are most likely to limit your success and close those gaps?

These realizations are changing the way I work. I’m curious to hear your reflections. Are your efforts integrated? Are you getting the results you’re looking for?

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