There is a section early on in Stephen Covey's excellent book 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' where he talks about balancing your time between production and production capability. This is of course the essence of continuous improvement and carving out some time for improvement is essential in the longer term.
We all talk about developing our businesses, but how much time is spent on doing so?
Are we proactive with improving our operations; do we do it by design or by complaint?
What would happen if we spent the first part of our working day working solely on improving how our business worked?
It is essential that we ensure that our 'production' is completed fully, to the right quality and delivered on time. It is also essential that we improve our 'production capability' over time so that we are fit for the competition of the future. In most businesses production capability loses out but this is not a chicken and egg dilemma. If you don't work on your production capability, at least from time to time, you may not have any production to worry about in the future!
...fixing MRP systems and re-engineering business processes