2012 is upon us - time to develop our improvement plans.
"Every day a little up!” an esteemed sensei taught me.
Doing so means focusing your energy of the critical few improvement areas.
What will we emphasize in 2012? What's holding us back?
What's the root cause of each obstacle? What are the countermeasures?
Strategy is all about emphasis.
Failure modes are daunting. Here are some:
- Not understanding our current condition - hence, our remedies are ineffectual
- Not understanding root causes & jumping to countermeasures
- Not confirming cause & effect, before embarking on a difficult set of countermeasures
- Trying to do too much - not focusing
In my experience, if we "go see", get our hands dirty, and grasp our current condition, we have a chance to answer the above questions honestly.
And thus, we'll have a chance to improve.
Strategy is a never-ending game. Perfect execution is unlikely and, in any event, not the point.
The point is to continually deepen our grasp of our business, deploy improvement strategies each year, learn from what happens - so we keep getting better.
Keeps us young, keeps us relevant.
We learn from where we've been, and look to where we're going.