How to change the way it always was

Many of executives ready to leave their current role discuss their frustration with “the way it always was” and their workforce.

A big buzzword today is process improvement. We tend to think about process improvement as a complete overhaul of processes to improve operations. It can be but sometimes it is not.

The way it always was

Sometimes all you need to do is prove how much easier it would be to do something a different way. Most likely you run into resistance and it may be voiced with “but this is the way we have always done it.”

The way we have always done it phrase always reminds me of the roast story I first read in a Zig Ziglar book. I told the story to one of my clients this week:

A young woman was making a roast for a special dinner. She cut the ends off the roast and her husband asked why. “Because that’s the way my mother always did it.”

The young man was persistent in his question so she asked her mother. Her mother told her, “Because that’s the way your grandmother always did it.”

Continuing to ask, she asked Grandma why she cut the end of the roast. Grandma responded, “I had to. It wouldn’t fit in the pan otherwise.”

Allow yourself to ask “Why?”

We do many things without questioning why. We assume it is the right way. The client I was working with felt that she had only done little obvious things but by questioning the way it always was, she made massive changes that improved efficiency and yielded cost savings. Analyzing what she had seen and how she made changes created some of the best content for her resume.

Your assignment? Today look at something with new eyes and think of the roast. Ask why.

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2 Comments

  1. edmusesupon on August 6, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Julie, I love this story. I saw when you alluded to it on FB this morning but haven’t had a chance to read until now. I love it!



    • Julie Walraven on August 6, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      Thank you, Ed! I love it too! Change it up! Blessings on your new endeavor! So excited for you!