At the end of a hard day, sometimes I sit back and wonder why I’ve chosen such an incredibly difficult profession. When you’ve had one of those days where you feel like you’ve accomplished absolutely nothing, you feel like you’re pushing rope, or maybe you feel like you have way more expected of you than you could possibly ever achieve, it’s hard to stay motivated. That’s why I have taken some time to remind myself of why I truly love continuous improvement.
The Before and After
I am an absolute sucker for a before and after. I love watching home improvement shows. It’s amazing to see the big reveal at the end and see how all of that hard work paid off to create something absolutely beautiful. The homeowners truly love and cherish that it feels like a home.
That’s one of the things that I love about continuous improvement: taking something that needs improvement, putting in the hard work and then being able to see that beautiful improvement.
I can see where the true potential has not been realized.
We can take an ugly process that creates a lot of frustration for employees and create something that makes their day better. Something that makes coming to work a little bit more enjoyable for them.
When they see the possibility of that improvement, they want to do more and more, and they’re willing to put in the hard work to get those benefits.
The thing that I love most about continuous improvement is when the lightbulb goes off for someone else.
The Power of the Team
Another thing I love about continuous improvement is bringing people together and the power of a diverse team. So often when I am presented with a problem in a work place, I very quickly assess it. I make my own opinion on how I think it’s going to go, and what I think the solution is going to be.
But very often, once I get a good, diverse team together in a room, I quickly realize that I was completely wrong. When I can see their perspectives and understand how the process impacts each one of them individually, my eyes are opened. And I love having that insight. It’s such a wonderful thing, quite honestly, to be so wrong.
That experience demonstrates the power of the team. When we can successfully bring people together, we can deliver a much more powerful solution. We can deliver a result that is so much better than if just one of us was working alone.
The “Aha” Moment
Finally, the thing that I love most about continuous improvement is when the lightbulb goes off for someone else. Continuous improvers and process improvers, we love this stuff. We eat, breathe, and drink this stuff.
But we are often put in the situation with others who don’t fully understand continuous improvement and who don’t see the opportunity. However, when you work with someone, and you see that “aha” moment where the light turns on and all of a sudden, they get it too, it’s such an amazing feeling.
That is my absolute favorite part about continuous improvement, seeing when someone else finally gets it.
Why Do YOU Love CI?
So, when you’re having a hard day and you feel like nothing’s going your way, just take a moment to reflect on why you love continuous improvement so much. It will help give you that renewed energy that you need to go back and tackle those problems the next day because you can see the big picture. Because you can see the things that are going to happen at the end of your effort.
Want to join a community of people who LOVE CI too? Join the CII Membership at www.continuous-improvement.com/membership
Author: Allison Greco
I created my foundation with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and MBA from the University of Oklahoma. Over the past decade, I have held Continuous and Process Improvement roles for Black Hills Energy, Williams, the US Air Force and BNSF Railway. I’ve started new CI programs and reinvigorated stale ones. Along the way I earned a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and became a licensed Professional Engineer.