Smooth sailing is what most people desire. Things are a lot more productive without workplace calamity. Are things going smooth?
I believe it was Franklin D. Roosevelt who said, “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”
Of course, we can find a lot of metaphorical truth in that statement.
Yet, what we typically try to construct are processes and systems to keep things calm.
Many years ago, there was a warehousing and manufacturing buzz term, “just in time.” It is still true today, only today it is often considered a common sense practice.
As an example, just in time inventory helps keep costs lower and efficiencies higher. Having only what you need when you need it makes sense.
In practice it is a system. A design that will keep everything running smooth.
Systems don’t always fit every scenario, but they often work well for operations.
People factors can wreak havoc on systems. Assuming that the decisions, emotions, and experiences of people will fit nicely into a tight system can be a big mistake.
However, having a frame or guideline can still be helpful.
Systems, metrics, and measurements are helpful for keeping many things in check.
One of the biggest benefits to a good system is that it makes things easier. It keeps the sea’s calmer.
When you step outside of the system, and this happens often, it rocks the boat a little bit. The waters are not so calm. Things blow up, get embellished, and often become far more dramatic.
The key then, or so it seems, is to keep the calamity out of our workplace. It won’t be effortless, but it will be worth it.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.