Are You Just Taking Easy Wins?

Chad Q Brown
Jan 16 · 3 min read
(American Press Association from Flickr under Commons/Creative Commons)

Today I’m here to kick-off the new year talking about something that may have been an issue you didn’t even think about in the last one, and that is the concept of an ‘easy win’ in your organization. What this looks like in practice can vary from organization to organization, from the corporate world to the athletic arena, but what it translates to in any of these settings is this: easy wins do a disservice to the potential value of your organization.

For our purpose today, let us consider an ‘easy win’ as a process or a product that is not performing at the apex of its capabilities, but still somewhat gets the job done. The first question you need to ask yourself is do I only want to ‘somewhat’ get the job done? Or do I want to get the job done? The second question to ask is what’s keeping us from being better? And this second question is the harder of the two to tackle.

One of the biggest culprits of systems and/or processes crippling an organization to just rely on easy wins is a team structure that isn’t running as smoothly as it could be. Somewhere along the chain, someone (or multiple ‘someone’s) is causing a kink in the system and reducing the quality of the output. The fact that this happens is okay, I think it fair to say that one cannot avoid these situations 100% of the time. Perfect structures and systems are not built overnight, nor are they perfected on the first go. But the first key to any successful organization is to recognize this issue. Maybe you are already at this point, a lot of smart and perceptive leaders get here. They see that there are hitches in the ride, but at least operations are producing wins and there is somewhat of a return happening. It’s easy; it’s a win. Too many leaders stop right there.

The second key is taking action to smooth out those bumps. This is without a doubt more difficult than letting things slide and taking the easy bucket, but what it allows is a truer, more valuable return for your organization. And here is the kicker: you don’t have to tackle it alone.

By having an open conversation with your team about what is working and what isn’t, in tandem with a battery of personality assessments like we have here at Profile, you allow your team to have this conversation with a common language to communicate in; furthermore, everyone on the team (including you) gets a chance to step back and look at themselves in a new light. It is work to do this, and it may even put a halt to your organization’s production for a moment, but the small amount of time that would be invested in creating these more efficient and self-aware channels is a minuscule trade-off when it could mean the difference of winning a couple more games in the season or a higher profit margin for the quarter or even the year, for that matter. The other benefit of this? It’s focusing more attention on your people rather than your processes (and yes, we will have an article about this idea in due time).

We’re just about halfway into January, and it is a ripe a time as any to be making moves that will better you, your team, and your organization in this coming year.

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