Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Dig a well before you need the water.

… "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," is past it's time, if it truly ever had a time. That's how Yahoo!, MSN, Lycos and all the others lost out to Google in the first place. If you're not constantly trying to make what you have better, you're going to eventually lose ground and share to a competitor who is. The minute you stop evolving and learning is the day you start becoming irrelevant."

I've talked about this in the past, but Paul Isakson has eloquently iterated the importance of continuous improvement - Japanese car manufacturers call it kaizen* - as a necessary process to be proactively managed, rather than retroactively implemented after the horses have bolted.

In business it is tempting to think that a successful idea should be mined, like a vein of gold, until it is exhausted. The only problem with that idea is that mines tend run down before the end. Prospecting has to happen well before that time. Dig your well before you need the water.

Having a spirit of playfulness is the opposite of capital conservatism, ringfencing and monopolising the Golden Goose. But it is necessary to inject new life into business and ideas or go the way of the great buggy whip manufacturers

*Kaizen (改善, Japanese for "continuous improvement") is a Japanese philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life. When applied to the workplace, Kaizen activities continually improve all functions of a business, from manufacturing to management and from the CEO to the assembly line workers. By improving standardized activities and processes, Kaizen aims to eliminate waste. Kaizen was first implemented in several Japanese businesses during the country's recovery after World War II, including Toyota, and has since spread to businesses throughout the world. (Wikipedia)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home