More on the Power of the Routine Task

Our previous post discussed the power of the routine task. Part of the purpose of this approach is to achieve a state of wei-wu-wei or “effortless effort,” where our achievements seem to occur almost as if by magic. Objectives and targets begin to finish on or ahead of schedule, yet we don’t appear to really be doing that much.

We can also tie in our efforts to the quality concept of kaizen, also known as incremental and relentless improvement by small changes (not the fly-by-night “kaizen event”). Not only does our work appear to happen by itself, but the 10,000 changes also effect a steady modification of the organizational culture. We are leery of programs, books, and consultants who promise a transformation! No, we don’t think it works that way and nothing we have seen in the workplace supports these supposed transformations.

We suggest thinking long and hard before making drastic changes; that is, unless you are already in a “turnaround” situation, where drastic is probably going to happen anyhow–usually with the end of the existing culture in a blast of poorly understood social darwinism…

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