Improve or Decline?

Continuous improvement is a mindset and attitude that is woven into the fabric of every successful individual, business and enterprise. As Heraclitus said way back around 500 BC “Nothing endures but change”. On any given day you and I are in the state of improvement or decline in every aspect of our lives.

Military organizations utilize this principle with discipline and determination. They know that if perishable skills are lost after training they cause casualties and so every soldier is trained and re-trained in those areas that require maintenance and proficiency.

If you do not make a conscious effort to keep growing and improving then, by default, you will lose ground. Having a clear understanding of where you are now is the first part of the process. Assessing capabilities and shortcomings will enable you to see what areas may require focus. The more critical an aspect of your life is to your success, the more energy needs to be placed there.

The second important aspect of continuous improvement is knowing where you want to go, seeing the goal. Without an objective in mind you are on a treadmill, lots of activity with no added value. Without a target you are shooting blindly. Picture, with clarity, where you want to go and start moving.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
Tony Robbins

Continuous improvement is just that, continuous. Growth happens at different speeds depending on internal and external circumstances but is spurred by choice. So does decay. Choosing to ignore the need for improvement does not make that need go away.

If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.

Take a survey of yourself and look at your organization. Change is occurring. Is it managed? Does your mindset and your environment promote a healthy place for continuous improvement? What can you do to impact your organization to embrace continuous growth of individuals and teams?

“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.”
William Pollard

We would like to hear from you about your challenges and success stories in the continuous improvement arena! Please email or post your comments!