“Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.” – Al Franken, “Oh, the things I Know”, 2002.
I strive to deliver consistently great service, and deliver a product that exceeds expectations. Part of the process is always looking for new innovative ways to improve on the current processes and procedures. Improve the product and improve profits, its good business right? The problem is, even though a new idea might pencil out fantastic, it doesn’t work and could cost a lot of wasted time in the process.
But is it really wasted? No, it’s invested. It’s only wasted if nothing is learned.
Over the years, some of the best and most innovative ideas I’ve implemented have resulted from some of the most idiotic ideas. Defining what the desired end result is and focusing on the best way to achieve it and not on how bad the idea is, is really a fun process and amazing what is produced through such an exercise.
I have implemented some not-so-good ideas though. The ideas wasted time, money and caused some embarrassment. It’s not something you ever set out to do, but there it is and it happens to a lot of people who are not satisfied with the status quo. Some people want to walk away from it, ignore it. Others dissect it, do a root cause analysis and become intimate with every detail of the process.
I think there is a good middle road here. Really take a good look at what occurred, analyze it and find some solid solutions. Too much analyzing and nothing gets done, almost the same as walking away from it. Find solutions!
Some questions I often use to evaluate an idea are:
- Safety: does it increase, have no effect or decrease safety?
- Time: does it increase, decrease or have no effect?
- Money: increase, stay the same or cost more?
- Popular: will employees want to do this? Eventually or never?