It's Not My Fault!
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It’s Not My Fault!

I was on a cruise and almost everyone had an explanation for why things weren’t going as planned. Almost everyone said or implied: “It’s not my fault!” Isn’t it time to take responsibility for reporting all faults whether it’s yours or not?

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

“I was on this Cruise in Scandinavia and we were in Oslo and we had to take a train over to Bergen to get to the cruise ship, and they said, “Well, unfortunately they’re working on the tracks and so we have to take a two hour bus ride to get to the remaining four hours of train ride.” And they said kind of like, “Well, it’s not our fault,” and then they said “Well, we can’t leave yet because the catering truck hasn’t arrived from Oslo with the food for the train.” Again, they say “Well, it’s not our fault.”

“They said that phrase over and over again. I started listening for it and I heard that a lot: I would hear people say, “Well, we could do this but we can’t because… and it’s not our fault.” Even when I got on the plane to fly home the pilot said, “We could leave early but the cargo doors are still open because we’re waiting for stuff, so we may not leave until ten minutes late.” Well, why did you tell me we could leave five minutes early but we can’t because cargo is delayed getting to the plane? “Not my fault; I’m just the pilot.”

“So one of the things I want you to listen for is people saying, “Well, it’s not my fault.” Yes it is. Guess what? If you’re not part of figuring out how to feed these things back to your company leadership so that you’ve fixed this stuff so that planes leave on time, so that food arrives in time for your train ride to wherever you’re going if you’re not part of helping to create those improvements every day right to focus on those improvements that are going to make it seamless, hassle-free for your client, your customer, somebody else will and then you won’t have a job, and you won’t like that very much.

“That’s my improvement insight for this week. Let’s create a hassle-free America and a hassle-free world. Let’s go out and improve something this week.”

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