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  • Jerry Phillips

Doing the Absolute Minimum

It always seems like trash day is windy. Today is no exception. My neighbors had a rather large box that they didn’t tear down (a requirement for pick up), that blew from in front of their house, into my landscaping in front of my house. My reaction was to take it to the curb and anchor it behind my recycling bin. I thought about taking it back to my neighbor’s yard, but the wind it still blowing hard and I thought I’d just have it back in my yard again. Einstein defined that as insanity. I just looked out of my window and the box is gone. My anchoring didn’t work. I can’t see it, but I’m certain it’s in my landscaping again. This time it is out of my sight line, but it’s still there.

This is a rich example of so many things related to business.

  1. My neighbors aren’t bad people. They just don’t think about what happens beyond getting their trash to the street. How many of your team does the same thing? Let’s just do what is right in front of us, not thinking how it might impact the future.

  2. The recycling people won’t pick up boxes that aren’t torn down and flattened. They won’t pick up boxes that aren’t in the bin. How often does your team do something without doing it properly? They just do the minimum to move it off their task list.

  3. My initial thought was to take the box back to their curb, but the wind would just blow it back. Now the issue has become mine. How often does your team’s mediocre response to a problem make the problem your problem, or your customer’s problem?

I realize that a box blowing into my yard is not a major problem, but it is a nuisance. It just hit me that this is something that would make a great example of what happens in businesses every day. Let me do the minimum expected and let someone else take care of the rest.

Can you measure the effectiveness of your team? Are they doing the least possible to get a task off their list? Are they causing issues for you and/or your customers? People, process, and technology are the driving factors to the proper execution of your strategy. As 2021 strategy is put into action, can you measure the effectiveness of the execution? We can help.

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