Exercise 18: Find three things in your day to day live you are absolutely satisfied. For each of it, find five ideas for improvement.
For gathering improvement ideas, you could do one of the following as a starting point:
- Look at the value created. Imagine even more value.
- Look for waste. There is always some.
- Ask “why is this not perfect?” You could start a “5 Why” round with this.
- Draw a fishbone diagram. Put whatever you want to improve in the box at the right side.
These approaches are mostly driven by conscious thinking. There is a risk that you will think too much without acting. Continuous improvement, on the other hand, is about doing things to improve. In order to avoid too much unproductive thinking, be sure to get some actionable ideas. Furthermore, improvement steps may be tiny, as long as you act.
There is another risk with the drive towards perfection. Setting too high goals (remember, goals are only milestones) can prevent you from starting to act. And if you act, there is the possibility that you try to improve too much. Against both obstacles the Pareto Principle may help.