Tuesday, August 9, 2011


An observation seeded by and elided from an e-mail I had to send today.

Improvement has three steps: 1) recognizing where it’s possible, 2) suggesting a better way, and 3) implementing that solution.

Those who often and publicly take the first step without ever making it to the second drag everyone down.

Those who consistently take the first two, but regularly witness good ideas die on the vine, seldom witnessing that third crucial step, eventually lose hope in the project or institution and abandon it, if they have options.

My job as a supervisor is to always be participatory and encouraging in that process along every step of the way. I should be looking for imperfection in our processes and open to hearing it from my subordinates and those above me. I should be innovative in finding better ways and encouraging to suggestions for them from below and above. And finally, I should be the impetus behind implementation of improvements, not the source of inertia or fear that roots every process in the status quo.

Now if I can just live up to what I know.