Are You Hesitating to Improve?

Improvement Insights Blog

Are You Hesitating to Improve?

Lots of people hesitate to get started on improvements. Here’s why and what to do about it.

“Hi, this is Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and the QI Macros [software].

“I have noticed that a lot of people, when they get trained in Six Sigma or whatever, they hesitate to get started. You know it’s like, “I’m afraid of not doing it right,” or “I’m afraid of not tackling the right problem,” or “I’m afraid of somebody [making me feel] stupid or somebody criticizing what I’m doing,” or whatever it is…

“Well, I hate to tell you this, but you have to be bad to start, right? I was awful when I started, right? So cut yourself some slack, but get going. Last week I had to learn some JavaScript language to do some something on the website that I needed to do, and I’ve learned dozens of programming languages… I know all kinds of dead programming languages: COBOL, PL/I and all kinds of assembler languages, and you name it and whatever… Do I want to learn one more language? No, I do not! But what did I do? I just sat down and started fiddling with some examples I found on the internet; I started doing it. I figured it out and finally found something that worked and did what I wanted it to do. So now I know THIS much JavaScript, but I can tell you from past experience: once you know this much of anything, you get better at it. Right? My performance will improve. I’ll understand it better.

“So the only way that I know of to get good at anything is to start doing it. That’s my Improvement Insight for this week: Stop hesitating to make improvements. Start making improvements now.”

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