Stop Projecting the Past Into the Future
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Stop Projecting the Past Into the Future

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t keep doing things the same old way. The status quo isn’t working for us anymore. We have to stop projecting the past (the way we’ve always done it) into the future. The future doesn’t have to be an endless rerun of the past.

“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Agile Process Innovation” and QI Macros [software]. Here’s my Improvement Insight for this week: Stop projecting your past into your future.

“Way too many people do this, right? We start thinking, “Well, we’ve always done it that way so we have to always do it that way.” No! “Well, it’s always taken 18 months to come up with a vaccine…” No! We don’t have time to do it in the old way. We have to find a new way, right? We can’t keep moving at the speed of slow; the fast eat the slow.

“What we want to do is start to figure out how we start to recognize that we’ve had these [concepts] that we’ve always embraced: Why do hospitals have waiting rooms? Because patients have to wait there. Why do patients have to wait there? Because they’ve always waited there. No! That’s stupid. This is not how we want the world to run.

“So I want you to start thinking about your own business. In my business it’s software and I’m trying to figure out how to be better, faster and cheaper about getting the right software to you. Over the years I found that it took too long for people to learn things like decision trees and how to do data analysis and stuff like that. What did I do? Well, I built that all into the software: the Control Chart Wizard will pick the right chart for you. The Data Mining Wizard will build entire improvement projects for you. That’s because I was lazy and I didn’t want to have to do that manually anymore. That was for me because I was lazy, but it’s something to benefit you that collapses the learning curve.

“So that’s what I’m trying to say with “Agile Process Innovation”: We don’t have to spend weeks and weeks in training and months and months on projects. No, let’s just get on with it, right? We have to stop projecting the way it was always done into our future. “Well, we always did Six Sigma this way (in the last century, I might add) and we have to always do it that way.” No, that’s not correct. I think we all have to embrace the fact that the world is moving much more quickly than we can stomach, but we have to get on board with that, right? We have to get used to it, all right?

“So let’s stop projecting the past in the future. You may be doing that in your own life: “Well, I’ve always been this way and I’m always going to be that way.” No, that’s not a requirement. It’s not necessary. At some point, you may want to change and go off and do something else. This is something we can all do in our personal lives and in your own business. It doesn’t matter if it’s aerospace or banking or baking buns for a food chain. It doesn’t matter what it is, everything can be better, faster, cheaper… flawless.

“So let’s create a hassle-free America. Let’s create a disease-free America. Let’s go out and improve something this week.