Fix what is broken before you start something new

New is shiny, new is exciting, and new is noteworthy, but if it is not the limiting factor, it will make things worse. Most success in life and work comes from doing what you know you should do but aren’t.

To quote The Phenix project, ‘Any improvement that is not at the constraint is an illusion.’ We tend to think that to grow or improve, we need to add something new, but if that new thing is not the constraint, it is unlikely to make a positive difference

The Theory of Constraints is a methodology for identifying the most important limiting factor (i.e., constraint) that stands in the way of achieving a goal and then systematically improving that constraint until it is no longer the limiting factor.

Leanproduction.com

Imagine if the goal is to develop more online courses, but you are having trouble getting Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to commit to their projects and deliver the required inputs on time. You might need better onboarding, clearer guidance on time commitments, better project management processes, improved project selection, or more straightforward tools and advice for the SME. Externally, the expectation of improving output would be to add more Learning Designers and take on more projects when you first need to address why they are not committing.

Better, More, New

Alex Hormozi explains this theory using the leaky bucket analogy. Think of your project or business as a bucket and the water as your customer. To handle more water, you first have to fix the holes in your bucket, and then you can increase the flow of water and finally add new buckets. Better, more, new.

Try it

Alex suggests the following activity: list the 25 things you should be doing to improve your work, then complete these things before thinking of doing something new.

Let me know how it goes…

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