“But that’s the way we’ve always done it!”
Is that the way it was done 100 years ago? (no)
How about 50 years ago? (no)
20 years? (no)
10? (could be)
Perhaps you mean that’s the way you learned to do it because that’s the way it was being done right then? (yes)
The Bigger Questions
Even if it has been done that way for the past century, is it the best way now?
Just because it made perfect sense in the past, even when the past was only the day before yesterday, does it make sense now?
If you had to remove three steps from the process, which would be the least missed and the first to go?
If you were creating the process from scratch RightNowToday how would you do it?
Does it even need to be done at all?
These are GREAT questions! I think very wise companies/departments ask themselves these types of questions.
The answers can help businesses move beyond doing more (which might include doing more things that don’t really matter) to doing more of what really matters.
Greg, glad you enjoyed. In business, as in life, the difference between poor and average and great is often the questions we are asking. You make a nice distinction between doing more and doing more of what matters. Love it.
Wise companies / departments & individuals ask those questions. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut, to accept the status quo, but change, while perhaps a little scary, can lead to mundane, but important things like improved efficiency or exciting new opportunities. Great post!
Thanks, Laurie. The right question really can make all the difference.
That ever complex changing environment. “I’m going to sit here and snooze in this lovely clean water” thinks the Lobster as it sits deliriously unaware that the pan has been placed on top of a warm stove and is being “humanely” bought to a boil.
Maybe the words “…because that’s how we’ve always done it”, are all the justification you need for deciding to do it differently.