Be ready to challenge old systems, assumptions, and pointless routines
A young girl loved to watch her mum as she prepared the family meal. On this particular Sunday, Mum was cooking the Sunday roast. The little girl watched her mother cut the roast into halves before placing it in the roasting pan.
“Mum” she said. Why do you always cut the roast into two?” Her mother thought for a while and then said, “It’s what you do! It’s how my mother showed me to prepare the roast.”
This confused the little girl. She really couldn’t understand why her mother persisted in cutting the roast into two, so the little girl set off to ask her grandmother.
Grandma thought for a while before responding to her granddaughter’s enquiry. “Gosh, my darling, how that you ask I really don’t know. It’s how my mother did it. I just followed her lead.”
So the little girl and the grandma set off to visit Great Grandma to find ask if she knew the answer.
Great Grandma smiled before explaining why she cut the roast in two and said, “Well my darling, when your grandma was a child, I had a very small oven so I needed to use a small baking pan. It was too small for the size roast I needed to feed my family so I solved the problem by cutting the beef in halves so that it fitted in the pan.
So, there’s a lesson to be learned from this story.
We often continue to endorse policies and work traditions which no longer serve a purpose.
Times and situations change but we fail to adapt believing that what we traditionally do remains right and proper.
An organisations operating systems, policies, service standards and so on, evolve over time. Times change though.
Are the systems work policies and standards, observed and taken for granted in your organisation in keeping with today’s standards of excellence?
Organisational culture evolves over time and it becomes difficult to challenge old assumptions, particularly when they once served us well.
Encourage your workforce to challenge assumptions, routines and ways of operating. They may be outdated or no longer relevant for the organisation’s purpose or meet the needs and expectations of your customers.