A Beautiful Road Rarely Traveled
If I told you there was a beautiful road that led to a beautiful destination which you had never seen, would you take it based only on my sincere encouragement? “Of course,” may very well be your immediate answer.
But in reality your answer will most likely be, “It depends.” It depends on how long and challenging the road is. It depends on what else you have going. It depends on whether you trust that the destination is really worth the journey.
In essence, the real issue with traveling a beautiful but unfamiliar road is the trade off between effort and benefit. Though fear may also be an obstacle.
Then if I told you this beautiful road was among the five most dangerous roads in the world – even with the destination being one of the five most beautiful sights in the world – my guess is your interest in the journey would quickly wane.
What made me think of this metaphor is a reality I have seen again and again while installing the NOW Management System with clients. If the leaders are committed to doing the work, I have never seen it fail to completely transform an organization. Not only does it make it a remarkably better place to work, but it also improves results across the board.
In fact, the Management System journey is not dangerous, though it is challenging. Many leaders aren’t willing to do the work necessary to get to the beautiful destination. However, those who do are incredibly grateful they did.
Now I know that many leaders and their employees readily accept that there is a ton of waste in their organization’s processes. They accept the reality that in most manufacturing businesses there’s usually 25-30 percent waste, in service businesses 30-40 percent, and government in excess of 50 percent. This doesn’t mean people are making mistakes or playing instead of working. It simply means there’s a ton of disconnects and a lot of activities that add no value for the customers these processes serve.
And I know many leaders simply don’t believe that our system can actually make a material difference and they fear the journey may not be worthwhile.
But I encourage you to think about this journey in these terms: What if every employee were able to:
- Comprehend where the organization wanted to go and what it had to accomplish to get there
- Explain in concrete and measurable terms what you were counting on them to get done
- Access whatever data they need to understand and monitor their work
- Effectively solve the problems they encounter either working alone or with their team
- Exercise the genuine authority to take action to fix things that are broken and improve their work processes
- Felt safe to take action and take it now
How could your organization not quickly experience across-the-board improvements? Well, this is exactly what the NOW Management System accomplishes for organizations.
One thing I can tell you is that while it is a road too rarely traveled, it is anything but a dangerous road. How can a journey that engages, informs and empowers people to act smarter on behalf of the organization and its customers not achieve dramatic improvements?
The journey and the destination are worth the effort.