Anyone who travels often has a story to tell about an unpleasant experience with air travel. Many of these stories revolve around weather, cancelled flights, rude passengers, sitting on a runway, etc. I want to share a set of personal observations that prompted me to think about the perception of quality.
Actually, this particular day started out as quite routine. The check-in, security, and boarding processes were uneventful – just the way you would like them to be! I took my seat and soon the flight attendant was giving the usual announcements. You know the drill…
“place your smaller items under your seats…you must be willing and able to aid the flight attendants in case of an emergency if you are in the exit row…laptops cannot be placed in your seatback pocket…”
Imagine that your group or organization had just reached a milestone of achievement that was noteworthy. Perhaps it was a new productivity target or quality performance or safety record. The management team has decided that they should recognize everyone for their efforts and a celebration is planned. What could possibly be the down side of that?
Unfortunately, some celebrations ring hollow – even to those who are the recipients of the accolades or recognition. Why? Perhaps you have heard some people gossiping in muted tones as they await the lunch that is being served to them to acknowledge their achievement. For these employees, there is no connection between anything that they did and the outcome.
“Sure, it’s great to get a free lunch/pizza/whatever. But I don’t really have a clue about what we did differently to get to this performance level.”
I thought that an appropriate starting point for this blog would be to review a concept which I believe holds great promise in the way that we think about improvement. In the spirit of the Continuous MILE (minor improvements / large effects), the notion of a “tiny habit” may be viewed as perhaps even less significant than a minor improvement. Yet, it can be the start of something much more substantial.
The originator of this concept is Dr. BJ Fogg, Director of the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University.