Production before Perfection

Not long ago, I was brought in by a company with a horrible safety record. My assignment was to improve its performance. A short audit revealed significant deviations in core safety processes throughout the entire organization. When I argued that we should focus on this quickly, the initial reaction was pushback. To make changes in a sustainable way, shouldn’t we look at a new organizational model first? I realized that this company had a culture where looking for perfection was actually an excuse to do nothing and preserve the status quo.

Organizations which use the justification of perfection to avoid doing actual work, have two things in common. First, there will be frequent meetings without action lists and lack of accountability for taking actions. Furthermore, the language of the procrastinator—we need to review additional alternatives/get more information/conduct a bench-mark—is used everywhere.

A focus on creating value and speed of implementation is called production before perfection. If you take an honest look, how would you rate your organization in this area? 

Photo credit: iStockPhoto/Waxwaxwax

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