Predators are Lazy
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Predators are Lazy

Predators are lazy. So are humans. Here’s why that’s a problem:

“I was out in Hawaii and I saw these people doing shore fishing. I thought, “That might look fun.” I went to this one store that sells sporting goods stuff and I said, “Is there anybody who has a class or anything on shore fishing?” He said, “No, no; nobody does that,” he said. “But all you have to understand is that predators are lazy.”

“I think I’ve talked about this before, but essentially, the predatory fish come in on the tide and then they go out on the tide. So if the tide’s coming in, you got a good chance of getting a bigger fish. If the tide’s going out, they’re probably gone and you probably shouldn’t even bother to wet your line.

“Humans are like this, too. Humans are predators: we’re lazy, right? We’ll put up with all kinds of stuff. Some of you come into an organization and they do something in a way that’s blatantly stupid and slow, it’s a lot easier to [say], “Okay, we’ll do it the blatantly slow, stupid way because that’s how you do it.” Rather than fight the crowd, rather than trying to figure out how to simplify, streamline, optimize, mistake proof the process, we just kowtow and [say], “Okay I’ll do it the slow and stupid way.”

“There are people out there who figure out how to do it really quickly, and they automate all of it using some tools or something like that. They do four hours of work that used to be 40 hours of work and then they take the other 36 hours off, right? “I got it all done, but I’m not going to deliver it until Friday afternoon because that’s when you want it, right? I can do it Monday morning and then I can take the rest of the week off.”

“This is humans. But I want to encourage you to take the time to simplify, streamline, optimize, make things so smooth, so easy, so fast, that our customers – our internal and external customers – [say] “Wow. Those people are fun. I like them. They get things done when I need them done.”

“When we do that, then we get more business, and when we get more business we’re more successful and our business works better than the other businesses and we get some competitive advantage and we ensure that our job will still be here next week. Because I’m telling you, I’m watching sort of this mass extinction of retail businesses out there, right? Everybody from Macy’s closing stores and even Starbucks closing stores and Victoria’s Secret being sold. All these stores are slowly are being eroded by the internet and other solutions. I think everybody who is not making things better, faster, cheaper, more profitable, more productive, [with] less patient harm in healthcare… anybody who’s not doing that is hoping to be extinct.

“That’s my Improvement Insight for this week. Let’s go out and improve something.”