I’m a continuous improver AND a beauty pageant winner (and loser). I certainly cannot ignore the parallels between two of my favorite things – making ugly processes better and walking on-stage in 5″ high heels and a swimsuit. Stay with me here….

Lesson 3 of 3 –> Post-Mortem: Don’t Steal the Crown


We all know that moment in Miss Congeniality when Sandra Bullock’s character tries to grab the crown off of the new winner’s head. Don’t do this (unless there is a bomb attached to that crown).

When you lose a pageant, don’t steal the crown –> do a post-mortem. Whenever you have a continuous improvement project fail, do a post-mortem and document your Lessons Learned. And whenever you win, you should still do a post-mortem.

You can’t possibly continue to improve if you don’t learn from your past experiences.

The Lesson? After any success or failure (pageant or project), ask yourself and your team:

What went well?
What can be improved?
If you could go back and change something about the project, what would it be?

Then document and share these Lessons Learned so future projects can be better! A true continuous improvement culture embraces success…and failure!