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April 13, 2012

We’ve Always Done It That Way!

By : John Barbar

How often have you heard the phrase, ‘we’ve always done it that way’? It is a secure answer for things in our lives we may not want to change. When I hear the phrase ‘we always done it that way’, the story about ‘the ham and the pan’ comes to mind. One day a young girl was helping her mother bake a ham. In preparing to put the ham in the baking pan, the mother cut off the edges. The young girl asked her mom, ‘why did you do that’. Her mother replied, ‘I don’t know, this is what I was taught’. Together they called the young girls grandmother and asked the question; but got the same answer, ‘‘I don’t know, this is what I was taught’. So they pressed on and called the young girls great grandmother. They asked the great grandmother the question of ‘why do you trim the edges off the ham before putting it in the baking pan’. Great grandmother had a reason…know what it was? Her pan was too small!! So for generations, her daughter, and her grand daughter were trimming the edges off the ham, without knowing why! Now in their defense, maybe the ham they were making was also too big for their pan (I know some of you may be thinking that, especially Robert), but the point is, they didn’t know why they were doing it. So what’s the application? In each of our personal and corporate lives, there are things we are doing, because ‘we’ve always done it that way’. There was a valid reason at one time, but we have not taken a step back to see if something needs to change. Here’s the exercise… 1. Identify an activity or process in your company that is critical to the success of the organization 2. Write down the entire process – each and every step 3. Have a team question each step for the purpose of understanding the reason for each action 4. Ask the all-important question, ‘why are we doing it that way?’ or ‘is there a better way to be doing this?’ 5. Redefine the process and document the new step by step procedure 6. Implement for a couple of weeks 7. Monitor the progress and effectiveness of the new way of doing things 8. Make changes if necessary 9. Repeat the process in a year 10. Pick another activity and start at number 1 Let me know your experience and your personal story with how this exercise works for you. Some maybe thinking, we need help to get this done! We’re not process thinkers or would like an outside opinion to help us improve! The team at Barbar Financial is available to assist you as needed. Call John at 561.302.6304 to see how the team at BFS can help! Live Passionately! John 561.302.6304 Click here to sign up for the weekly article from Barbar Financial This is the Barbar Financial Minute: A weekly business strategy brief for entrepreneurs and business owners. For more information visit: | email: | or call John Barbar: 561.302.6304.


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