I recently had a health scare, nothing imminent but a wake-up call for sure. It became crystal clear that I needed to change, that I needed to improve my health situation (why we wait to address these types of things will be subject of another blog because I know you are already thinking that!). So instead of doing what I normally do (go it alone) I saw a nutritionist, trainer and a few specialists to get more facts and advice to change my situation. I got some great advice and tips. One I especially liked and hit home was “Steve you can’t out exercise the fork”. Ouch but so true. Through all of this I knew I had to do something different, so I went back to my CI training and what Shigeo Shingo taught:
I thought about easier. What is not easy about my situation? What was the problem? After some A3 type thinking I landed on my biggest problem; uncontrolled stress eating. As a small business owner, consultant and father of three boys I have my fair share of stress. After a long day I would come home and go straight to the refrigerator and begin to eat—whatever was there. Now with three adult boys in the house what was in fridge was usually not good, but it was convenient and accessible (easy)! I recognized that my root-cause resides in the stress level not the eating…but I also recognized I had to start with something I could control. My nutritionist provided a visual of what good looks like and we discussed how to make that easier…we landed on healthy foods easily accessed and pre-prepared meals. The hypothesis was make better foods just as easy to access as the junk and do a little prep to get the diet under control. The rest will take care of itself. Could it be this simple? The answer is yes! One trigger made EASIER has led to BETTER (diet, choices) which has caused FASTER weight loss and hopefully a cheaper cost to my family and society (no heart attack or diabetes).
Does this apply in business, you bet! Instead of focusing on cost or fast (like most executives do), focus where the work is hard…get the associates involved and get to the root cause. Look for the triggers to poor results (stress eating and unhealthy foods easily accessible, for example) and find the leverage point. Implement the change and watch things get easier. If the work is easier, quality improves and things are made better. When it’s easy and quality improves things automatically go faster. Faster leads to cheaper!
Now on to sustainment and creating new habits that become automatic.