Do what you can today; you might not be here tomorrow

Once gain one of our local churches provided the basis for this blog post. Driving past it the other day their electronic billboard admonished drivers to “Do what you can today; you might not be here tomorrow.” When I stopped and gave it some consideration it reminded me of some business organizations out there.

Consider first your own personal situations. I am almost certain that each and every one of you has a “honey-do list.” It contains all those projects that you plan to get to eventually. What is your typical response to the items on the list? Most likely you find some way to postpone getting these projects completed. I get it, procrastination is only human. With summer just beginning you probably say it is too nice to not be at the beach, or it is too hot to be working out in the yard today. The run comes when the hone-do list is from work and not at home. Procrastination in the business world can mean the death of the organization.

You know you have issues within the organization. Management tells you sales are down. Customers are threatening to move their business to that other organization down the street or across the globe. We come up with ideas on how to resolve issues confronting the organization to resolve these critical problems. So what is our immediate response? We assign it to a study group to investigate it. We get a management team to completely analyze the idea. We send the concept to finance to do a total financial analysis of the details as compared to the organizational bottom line. Then we send to another committee for review. We rapidly reach a point of decision paralysis. Decision paralysis leads to decision death of the organization. When we keep putting off decisions we have a direct effect on the future of the organization.

General Electric understood this when they introduced both the GE Workout Process and the Change Acceleration Process. In either case the impetus was to design a process whereby decisions were made correctly and quickly. The design of the two processes was to have a team to identify a problem and its proposed solutions and have management immediately provide a thumbs up or thumbs down on the project. If the decision was thumbs down, the management team member had to explain why. No passing it in for further study. No passing it on for a committee to make a delayed decision. The decision was in the present future.

As a viable business organization you have as an ultimate mission to locate, sign on and retain customers (internal and external). We do this by delivering our products or services cheaper, better and faster than the competition. We do this by being first in the market with new innovations. In order to reach that goal we need to be assertive in resolving service issues.

Take a moment and look at your organization and tell me are you acting on the process improvement needs today or are you hoping that your organization won’t be gone tomorrow because you delayed making necessary decisions?

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