Better, Ideal, or Both?

A critical doer capitalizes on opportunities to be better 

Today’s post is the first installment of a two part story.  I will introduce a concept today and be back tomorrow with a personal and powerful story that demonstrates the concept in action (would you expect anything less from a critical doer?)

I’ve been in organizations where discussion centered on the choice between incremental improvement now versus an ideal solution at a more distant point.  The most prevalent talking points in the discussion normally involve:

  • total cost of an incremental improvement in addition to possible additional cost of the optimum solution
  • impact of maintaining the status quo while awaiting the optimum solution
  • acceptability…the effort to get started

Situations like this are where critical doers define themselves.  What a critical doer knows is that meaningful accomplishment involves willing people.  If the challenges of today are not addressed with solutions or a clearly communicated way ahead, people will not follow.

If you’re in a situation like this, here are some simple guidelines that you may find helpful in guiding your actions:

  • avoid binary “either/or” courses of action that indicate you can only have a near term or long term solution rather than both
  • find something you can improve today…hope may not be a course of action but it is darn sure a cause for action. Doing nothing now in order to “do it right” later could “get you left” by your people.
  • share the problem, solutions, and reward for a positive outcome…nothing garners commitment like ownership
  • communication is vital…the near term plan, the plan to bridge near and long term, long term plan, how the plan is progressing…it keeps people invested and interested
  • say “thank you” early and often to your people for trusting you, enduring less than optimum circumstances, and having confidence in themselves to change things

Capitalizing on opportunities to be better is a powerful force multiplier for a critical doer.  Whether it’s organizationally or personally, a commitment to improvement not only allows a critical doer to accomplish more but it offers a level of fulfillment that makes the effort worth the while.

Tomorrow’s follow up will be a personal story of this concept and it begins where most great stories start…at home.  Until then, take a look at something going on at home or work and find something that you can make better right now.  Opportunities abound and the rewards are immense.  It’s what a critical doer would…do!


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Updated: December 23, 2014 — 1:44 pm