Quality or effort,which one is for you..?

It seems as though the opposite of careless ought to be careful. That the best way to avoid avoidable errors is to try harder, to put more care into the work.

This means that if surgeons were more careful, there would be fewer errors. And that so many of the mistakes that mess things up would go away if people just tried harder.

And this is true. For a while. But then, its not effort but systems that matter.

Years ago, I created a trivia game for Prodigy. The first batch of 1,000 questions was 97% perfect. Which is fine, until you realize that this meant that 30 questions had an error. And every error ruined the experience for the user.

The second batch, we tried extra hard. Really hard. Our backs were against the wall and we couldnt afford any errors. Our effort paid off in a 50% decrease in errors. We were down to 1.5%. Alas, thats still 15 game breakers.

Then, I got smart and I changed the system. Instead of having trivia writers work really hard to avoid mistakes, we divided our team in half. Half the team used the encyclopedia (yes, it was a long time ago) to write the questions, and they made a photocopy of the source, along with the question, and put it in a notebook.

The other half of the team got the notebook and was charged with answering the question based on the source. They got a bonus of $20 for every question they found where their answer was more correct than the original.

The result of the new system? Zero error for the next 5,000 questions.

We need to put care into our systems. We need to build checklists and peer review and resilience into the way we express our carefulness. It seems ridiculous that a surgeon needs to write her name (with a Sharpie) on the limb that shes about to operate on, but this simple system adjustment means that errors involving working on the wrong limb will go to zero.

In school, we harangue kids to be more careful, and spend approximately zero time teaching them to build better systems instead. We ignore checklists and processes because weve been taught that theyre beneath us.

Instead of reacting to an error with, I need to be more careful, we can respond with, I can build a better system.

If it matters enough to be careful, it matters enough to build a system around it.

Trapped by the incoming

motivation articles

The incoming is coming to you because a while ago, you did something brave and generous and risky.

Incoming is great. Its a reward for your impact. Its a chance to serve and to make a difference. And it enables you to go to work every day.

If you spend all your time dealing with the incoming, though, youll have no time and no energy to create the next thing.

Every successful organization that has ultimately faded away via irrelevance has failed for this very reason.

We are not the enemy (if we try)…..


dolphins_training_blog

Fewer than 1% of our population works hard to divide us. To pit people against one another for their selfish aims.

These are the pundits, divisive politicians, media companies and short-term trolls who have decided that schisms and fights are a good way to achieve their aims.

But if everyone is demonizing the other, then everyone is the enemy to someone.

We end up spending our time fighting each other instead of fighting for the things that really matter. We end up focusing on the current thing while something more important shrinks away in the background.

Its possible to be fierce, fierce in your dedication to change, to whats right, to making things betterwithout finding the source of your power in the destruction of others.

We ought to be fighting inequality, corruption and inefficiency. Working to stamp out ignorance and missed opportunities while creating access and possibility. Keeping our promises and making things better.

Every system is improved when its in sync, and the narcissism of small differences is a seduction that keeps us from focusing on creating real value by doing important work.

Realizing that things can get better (they can always get better) opens the door for productive conversations, conversations that arent based on prior decisions about what team someone is on, and instead, on putting our shoulder to the work, taking responsibility and actually making things better.

We can fight injustice without becoming pawns in a boxing promoters game.

Maybe this year…

Dolphins Group Blog

 

Your knowledge will reach critical mass..

Your boss will give you the go ahead..

Your family situation will be stable..

The competition will stop innovating..

The traffic jam will cease..

 

There won’t be any computer viruses to deal with, and

Then…

You can act, you can launch your project, you can make the impact you’ve been planning on.

Of course, all of these things won’t happen. Why not act anyway?

[While others were hiding last year, new products were launched, new subscriptions were sold and new companies came into being. While they were laying low, websites got new traffic, organizations grew, and contracts were signed. While they were stuck, money was being lent, star employees were hired and trust was built.

Most of all, art got created.

That’s okay, though, because it’s all going to happen again this year. It’s not too late, just later than it was…

Get started and Good Luck….

 

 

Don’t go to the supermarket when you’re hungry.

dolphins_training_and_consultants

 

Looking for seekers (who are looking for you)

“Don’t go to the supermarket when you’re hungry.”

The reason is obvious–when you’re hungry, you’re likely to buy things. The risk is that you’ll buy something you don’t need, because, of course, all that buying isn’t actually making you less hungry.

The same thing is true for just about anything we seek to sell. Selling water to a thirsty person, education to someone seeking enlightenment, goals to someone eager to move forwardthis is dramatically easier and more satisfying than first having to persuade someone that they should actually care about the difference you’re trying to make.

Obvious? I think so.

But most marketers make this mistake on the very first day and keep making it for their entire career.

You might be in love with the change you are trying to make in the world. Best to begin with an audience that’s rooting for you to succeed.