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Forming disciplines to get results

Many improvement projects aim to improve the performance of a business in one fell swoop. Many times however the shift that the business undertakes needs to be backed up with new habits and discipline.

By discipline I am referring to routines of working. If certain things need to happen every single day in order to maintain the new way of working then we need to ensure that we do what we say we are going to do. There is no magic bullet and we have all seen how quickly habits can be broken.

Abdication is another aspect to consider. When new tasks are established in a business and responsibility is handed down to complete the tasks then it is essential that some form of inspection takes place. There are those people who will say that this is not only a waste of resources but that you shouldn't need to do this. The inspection however can be relaxed in its frequency and as long as you ask the right question(s) then it won't take long at all. Abdication of responsibility is not an acceptable alternative.

The little things in the business that need to be maintained might not seem important to many people. "If it doesn't get done today then the business won't fall over". True, but don't do the task for a week or a month and watch as all the symptoms of the problem and the subsequent fire fighting appear. It is a surprising process to go through to find out the minutiae that can bring a business down if it is not maintained and acted upon through discipline and habits.

If your business is struggling to achieve the results that it needs then it could well be worth your time to reflect upon the disciplines and habits that are present within your business. If they are lacking (or missing) then establishing a new set of routines and policing them until they are set in place will be a great investment for your business.

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