Is there a Silver Bullet?

If we install this new software then we can save 12 seconds per transaction, which means that over a day we can save four hours. Therefore, we can work with one staff member less and save $48,000 per year in each branch.

If we only employ people with a degree and who also have experience, then we can reduce our training budget.

If we provide a day of sales training then our revenue will increase by 25% in three months.

If we have an open plan work place then we can make faster decisions to be more effective, save time, and increase productivity. Therefore we won’t need to replace the next person who leaves.

Have you heard this type of rationale before, or been on the receiving end of it? Frustrated with the lack of understanding of the day to day reality, while agreeing with the theory of it? In theory, they are all reasonable assumptions. But only in theory!

I have recently finished reading Mastery - The Keys to Success and Long-term Fulfilment by George Leonard. Leonard points out very clearly that there are no short cuts to achieving mastery – regardless of the sport, industry or relationship.

We live in a fast paced world where we expect our needs and wants to be quickly met. We are constantly offered immediate gratification, instant success, and fast pain relief. However the only way that we are able to master anything is by practice. Not by being extraordinarily talented or gifted, (although that may be helpful!) but by persistent and long-term practice.

There are no shortcuts to success and no quick fix solution to our business problems. That isn’t to say that we don’t install new software, employ people with experience, provide training, or open our workplaces. However it does mean that we need to be realistic about the outcomes of doing so.

There is no quick solution but a steady round of constant test and measure for incremental overall improvement.

Leonard also cautions to be aware of the role of homeostasis which works to keep things as they are – even if they aren’t very good! This is why we resist change and can back-slide after embarking on a new regime. Homeostasis doesn’t distinguish between change for the better and change for the worse. It resists all change.

There is no speedy silver bullet, but there can be slow, steady, measured progress.

A key ingredient to ensuring progress is having an effective and motivating Team Leader to provide ongoing Coaching and Feedback to their team. We are holding an in-depth public workshop in Parnell on July 5th & 6th for Team Leaders. This course is registered under the NZTE Capability Voucher Scheme and you may be eligible for funding for up to 50% of the cost. Please check out our website or call us on 09 447 1994 for more information.