Today, I want to share a short story with you. A newly married couple was cooking their first Sunday meal together. The young woman began preparing an excellent beef roast while the man prepared the vegetables. As they worked, the man noticed that his wife sliced off both ends of the roast and then rolled it in spiced flour. Curious, he questioned her, “Why did you do that?” “Do what?” she asked. “Cut off the ends of the roast,” he responded, “Does that make it juicier or something?”
“Well, I don’t really know,” she replied, “Mom always does that when she cooks a roast.”
So they called her mother and were amused to hear that she also didn’t know why the ends should be cut off the roast. “Your Grandmother always did that, and so I do too.”
Of course, they called Grandmother and heard a hearty laugh when they asked her, “Why do we always cut the ends off the roast of beef before cooking it?” After Grandmother got control of her laughter, she exclaimed, “I can’t believe you guys are doing that! I only did that in the early years because your Grandfather and I had only one roasting pan, and it was too small for a roast big enough to feed us all.”
How many things are we doing in our businesses that are no longer necessary, no longer efficiently done, or are downright damaging to our processes because “that’s the way we’ve always done it?” Do you regularly review your processes to ensure they are needed, effective, and efficient?
Here’s something to consider in both your personal and business life. Implement a practice of annually or twice a year sitting down and thinking about what you and your team will “Stop,” “Start,” and “Continue” from that point forward. Pay special attention to what you will stop doing. Your employees will fight this practice since they want to stay in their comfort zone and not make changes. We must review processes during this time when we find it challenging to hire the talent we need.
Be stingy about what you decide to start doing. Ensure the new tasks are goal-achieving, effective, and integrated efficiently with the rest of the system. And celebrate what you choose to continue doing – that means (hopefully) that those tasks are critical to success, effective and efficient.
The time we spend analyzing unnecessary tasks and policies will be paid back in future efficiency. And it will force us to make room for the new things we need to do as our market changes.
Once again, thank you for joining us on the Leadership Podcast. I look forward to “seeing you” next week.