But…But we’ve come so far!?

Why do I blog? So I can rant, duh! You guys know I’m always talking with my HR friends about what is going on in their organizations (I’m so curious) and for some reason this is coming up in more than one organization. Is it the change in weather? Whatever the reason, I don’t like it.

What is it you ask? This annoying phrase (or variation of this phrase) that absolutely makes my skin crawl: “Well, compared to where we used to be things are a million times better”… Sorry, come again? I know the mantra “Strive to be better than  you were yesterday… Only compare yourself to yourself…” blah blah blah. That doesn’t apply in business. Measuring your organizations success to yesteryear won’t get you very far in the business world for long.

In business, you have competitors. You have competitors that you don’t even know about, that know everything there is to know about you. You have competitors that are devoted to out doing you.

You have customers. Become complacent with business practices and force your competitors to leave you for a better vendor. Relationship shmelationship, you can’t provide then you don’t get to keep the business.

You have employees. You have employees that you need to take care of. Lose all of your work to a competitor and you’re no longer able to feed your employees.

What about this “metric” of success at a department level? “Oh that manager used to be so hard to deal with, at least now he doesn’t cuss us out”. He’s still scary and impossible to please. I don’t care if he is better than he used to be, I know how good he should be. “Our procedures may not be where they should,but they have come a long way.” Oh, but we know where they should be? Then let’s take them there! “We don’t have the best way to track our AAP, but it’s come a long way.” “Our safety procedures need improvement, but they aren’t as bad as they used to be.” I could rattle off hundreds of comments like this that slowly hold organizations back from taking their performance to the next level. It irks me to no end when “long timers” use this as a reason to not work towards continuous improvement. “But we’ve come so far, isn’t that far enough?” The answer is no.

Where do you start? I don’t know, but in my opinion-HR. Your HUMAN RESOURCES department should be able to help you maximize your HUMAN RESOURCES. Hello! There’s a concept. Really the answer is longer than I’m willing to give in this post (it’s getting long enough in my opinion), so let me challenge you to think of answers to this issue. Have you already dealt with this issue in your organization? Or a previous organization? Where would you start and what steps would you take to help change the mindset that is holding back your organization.

Now that I look successful, I don't have to do anything ever again.

Now that I look successful, I don’t have to do anything ever again.

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