Monday, October 20, 2008

Try Something Different Today

One of the barriers to Kaizen is found in the comfortable arms of the status quo. For most of us, we have difficulty breaking away from what we feel secure in doing. If you really think about it, we are creatures of habit.

The biggest reason preventing us from change is fear, either real or imagined. To help us overcome our fear, we should embrace opportunities to practice doing things a little different. This spirit of adventure is extremely helpful in embracing the kaizen way.

You don’t have to do anything radical in trying something different. Pick a small change but pick something. For instance, it could be just trying a new way to go to work or picking a new restaurant for lunch or dinner.

Just last week while in Chihuahua, Mexico, I took this challenge. For the first time, I rented a car for the week and drove myself around in a foreign country. I did have a little help from a co-worker who knew his way around the city which made it a little easier. Certainly, there were some anxious moments but the experience was thrilling to me.

On the way to Toronto, Canada today for the AME Conference, I sat on the plane behind a family of four going on vacation. The two kids were probably 4 and 5 years old on their very first airplane ride. As we took off, the kids were looking out the window, really excited to fly.

Even as we hit a few bumps soon after take off, they filled the cabin with laughter like we were on some amusement park ride. Their laughter was contagious as all the adults around us started to laugh with them. These two kids embraced this new experience with complete joy and pure wonder.

For our lean journey, we could learn plenty from those two young kids. Embrace the experience of trying something different today.

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