The Warnings Etched on the Plane
Did you ever look out of the plane window while you’re flying and read some of the rules and regulations painted on the plane engine and wings?
They are very specific. They are written in short, one-liners and don’t look like the originators of them want you to do things other than how specified. I’m sure it’s for both safety and consistency. In fact, I would imagine they read pretty similarly— regardless of what airline you are flying.
We have certain rules like that in our professions, don’t we? We have rules, procedures and systems that are never to be debated. We have found them essential so that quality and safety are upheld.
But what about rules that aren’t so firm? Do we ever think about bending them so that we can see if there’s another way that’s better than the present way we do things?
This is part of what “disruption” is all about. This is part of applying the magic to what we do to get a better outcome.
Seth Godin recently wrote a blog that delved into this topic. He compared the sports of golf and surfing. He described how precise golf was and how those playing it were working toward perfection of their game. There are specific rules and techniques to what they do.
Surfing, though, is different because you never know what the next wave is going to look like.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
- What are the things in your business that are not debatable? They are the things that are the secret recipe to success in your business. (Write them down.)
- What are the things that you can experiment with in order to service your customers better, contain expenses better, improve quality or get better results? (Write them on another list.)
Pretend the items that should not be changed or questioned are etched into your “plane engine and wing”.
Next, picture all of your “outside-the-box” ideas to ponder are all floating up in the sky—waiting for you to pull them down and make something wonderful.