One of the big frustrations I see from people like you is how to improve on what you’re doing. You might think about all the great things that will happen when certain improvement happens. The more you talk about the issue, it seems nothing ever changes.

I know that’s a truly frustrating thing. I’ve been there where I’ve talked about changes, I want to see happen and when I check back a week or two later, nothing seems to have happened.

Then, I found a secret. This secret was so simple that I had to use it several times before I started to believe.

 

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Transcript

One of the big frustrations I see from people like you is how to improve on what you're doing. You might think about all the great things that will happen when certain improvement happen in your company or your life. The more you talk about the issue, the less it seems things get done. In fact, it seems like nothing ever changes.

And I know that's a truly frustrating thing. I've been there, where I've talked about changes I wanna see happen and when I check back in a week or two or three, I find nothing seems to have happened.

Hi, this is Josh Patrick. And today, I wanna talk with you about a simple system I've used when I wanna see improvements in my company.

Too often, I see business owners like you feel like they're banging their head against a wall when it comes to getting simple improvements done in their company. Too often, those same owners just give up and they might even say to themselves, "There's nothing I can do about it."

You know, I've been there. Although it could have been my style, but back in my early 30's we had all sorts of projects for improvement in my food service company. Week after week after week, I would look at the internal numbers we had generated and they didn't even seem to budge a little bit.

I was so frustrated, I wanted to scream.

Then, I found a secret. This secret was so simple that I had to use it several times before I started to believe it. And from this secret, I came up with one of my silly mantras. And the mantra is, "That which gets measured gets done."

It's really pretty simple. If you measure something, it's going to get better. I don't know why. It just does.

And the only change I made was instead of having the metrics just come to me, and this is where the problem was, I started sharing them with the people who could improve the processes I wanted to see to get better. Let me give you a couple examples.

Back in my food service and vending days, we had this thing we used to track. We used to track what we used to call repeat service calls. And what a repeat service call is, is that if a mechanic went out to fix a machine, if he got called back 24 hours within 24 hours, I consider that a repeat service call. And if he got called back within another 24 hours, and it was a three-time repeat service call. And when I had a three-time repeat service call, I'd called up the service manager and say, "What the heck's going on here?" And he shrugged his shoulders, "I don't know what you're talking about."

So I started sharing the numbers first with a service manager and they got a little bit better. But then I had this idea. We had this big bulletin board. Why don't we just take and put the numbers week by week in location by location where he had these repeat service calls and we'll start posting it. Now, let me see what happens. Well, that was just one of those experiments. I really had no idea why I was doing it. I just started to do it. And lo and behold, guess what happened? They got better. Because I posted the numbers and people were paying attention to it, it became top of mind. And when something becomes top of mind, you pay attention to it. And when that top of mind is something that needs to be improved, you get improvements.

So after I solved that improvement in our service calls, I kept sharing more and more information. And here's what I found.

I found the more information I shared, the better our performance became. Now, this seemed to me to be really kind of, I mean, didn't we always want to have good performers? Weren't we always gonna have good performers? Isn't that something we always wanted? But the problem is when we want good performance, it's about too many things. The truth is there's three, five, six, maybe seven things in your business that you have to get right. If you can continue to improve those few things, the entire business will get better and better and better.

You know, when I share stories like these with folks like you I often hear, "I can't do that. My employees will misuse the information."

And here's what I say to that, humbug. In fact, I found the exact opposite. The more information I share, the more trust that I'm showing my people and the more trust they returned to me. I know I might not sound logical to you, but it's really the truth.

So if you wanna get some real improvement in your company, do these simple things:

  1. First, choose between three and five things you wanna see improved in your company.

  2. Next, find a way to measure where you are now with those three things and post it.

  3. And post it every week with new numbers and watch the numbers get better on their own without you having to do a thing.

And after you proved yourself that this really works, expand what you share. Keep doing this until your folks start to come to you and ask for more information, then you'll know you're on the right track.

And if you decide to share all of your numbers and use an open book manager system, just remember, there's one thing I don't want you to share. I don't want you to share individual salaries. I did that and it was a complete disaster. This was a mistake I made and one I can promise that you don't wanna make. You do wanna share all your numbers, including salaries, but instead of having individual salaries or even a salaries by department, just have one number that says payroll. No one's gonna figure out who's making what by doing that. And you're gonna save yourself a lot of heartache.

But on the other hand, when you do share all your numbers, you're making your people aware of what drives the business. And if you can figure out the numbers that drives your business, and you put those numbers together on a bulletin board every single week and you update them every week, you're going to see improvement. I can promise you that. Hey, I would love to have a conversation with you about sharing your numbers.

So I would love to have you contact me at jpatrick@stage2planning.com and we can set up a time to talk. In the meantime, if you're not ready to talk, DOWNLOAD our Free eBook on Hiring For Unique Abilities. If you use this format to figure out who all the people you should work with are, you'll find you get the right person and way more often than not and ones who won't abuse your trust.

Hey, while you're at it, scroll down and let me know what you think about my mantra of what gets measured gets done. I really would love to hear what you're thinking about that.

And this is Josh Patrick. You're at the Sustainable Business. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.

Topics: measuring, getting things done, performance improvement, business improvement

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