Every day, thousands of hidden and ignored problems frustrate workers and customers and, in turn, reduce profits. The key to finding and fixing these problems is to engage employees closest to the work and closest to the customer in new ways so they can contribute their ideas. This book provides rules that, if followed, will allow employees to harvest all the low hanging fruit – and some that is not so low hanging – that will grow earnings, make customers happier, and increase morale. Some examples of these rules include
- Rule 15: Routinely review – and stop – “zombie projects”. No one admits it, but projects approved with fanfare are often completed even when midway through it is clear that they won’t work because no one wants to say they made a mistake. Killing “zombie projects” saves money and allows precious resources to be reallocated to worthwhile projects.
- Rule 17: Get out of the habit of always doing the best job you can! It’s counter-intuitive, but conscientious employees often waste time and money trying to do a great job when a good job is all that is needed. This rule finds ideas that eliminate well-intentioned “gold plating”.
- Rule 30: Always ask, “how do you know that is true?” Nothing kills good ideas faster than someone uttering, “customers won’t like it” or “operations can’t do it” or “it won’t pay back”. These tend to be opinions not facts. By simply learning to ask “how do we know that’s true?” and demanding facts, many perfectly good ideas will live to see the light of day!