Thursday, September 08, 2011

Sometimes the Best Lean Approach is to Just Jump into the Mud



“You don’t have to be good to start, but you do have to start to be good.” Unknown Author

Regardless of task, project, or journey, everyone is faced with the same question, where do I start?

This question may take some thought before you decide on what you are going to do or it may leave you paralyzed in fear that you decide to do nothing.

Do you feel overwhelmed?

Do you lack knowledge or skills?

What if you head in the wrong direction? Make a mistake? Make things worse?

Do you fear failure?

Decide on a direction (call it a plan) and jump in the mud (do it).

Yes, you will get dirty! Change is messy and it can be scary. You might even feel some pain, more so in the landing than the jump itself. But most importantly, you make a decision to take action.

I am not saying to be reckless in your action, don’t jump off a cliff to get to the mud hole.

All action has risk. It’s unavoidable. Plan to minimize the risk where possible but it can never be entirely eliminated. So jump.

Once the action is taken, evaluate if you made an improvement or not. What did you learn? Where does it hurt? How can you do it better? (Check)

Make your improvements the new standard or adjust your actions accordingly. (Act)

Jump again. It’s the only way to improve.

You will find at the end of the day that there is no secret, no one-best-way and no perfect method, you just have to power to decide to jump or not.

4 comments:

Jonathan Sands said...

Mike,
love the blog, keep up the great work. As leaders we can also remember to help our staff to jump with encouragement and support. I guess knowing that you can always get up out of the mud and be supported to jump again is as important as jumping... Who knows, you may enjoy it. ;o)

Jonathan Sands said...

Mike,
great job with the blog. Keep up the great work you do.

This particular blog posting made me think that as leaders we should also encourage our staff and team members not be afraid and to jump into the mud. Invite them to think a little before, as you mention, and then support them wholeheartedly as they get up to jump and then brush themselves off afterwards...

Sure it might stink and there are muddy tracks, but boy, what an experience.

Happy jumping!

Anonymous said...

Working for unethical managers and supervisors gets alot of mud on a group.

Patrick Doyle said...

Mike,
I Enjoy reading your blog, often finding it interesting and informative.
My two cents regarding 'fear of failure'. Everyone is, or should be, afraid to fail. It's the fear of failure that motivates people to work hard to avoid it. Usually, this is because of the memory of the pain of failure is a lasting one. Failing is how people become competent. If you've never failed, you've probably never tried to achieve anything difficult, and you wouldn't know how to appreciate success.