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Caution! Pursuing Even Better

Four Words of Caution When Promoting a Culture of Even Better

We’ve talked before about the four benefits of promoting a culture of even better. While we believe in those benefits, we also want to offer a couple words of caution to go with them.

Promoting a culture of even better means that as an organization you make a commitment to regular reflection and adaptation. It’s a bit of an agile mindset where we decide and agree as a team we’re comfortable with – and in fact desire – regular, incremental changes to help us serve our customers and achieve better results every day. It’s an organizational culture where we’re not satisfied with the status quo, but we push ourselves towards continuous improvement consistently, intentionally, and I would argue, happily!

You may think to yourself, ‘I’m sold, and I’ve bought in. The benefits of a culture of even better are crystal clear to me. Sign me up!’ but with the benefits come a few things to be cautious of. Let me share a few of these points so that as you implement this culture where you work, you can be as prepared as possible.


1. You must model it.

mannequin-sitting-two-books-readingThe reality is, you can’t say ‘we’re going to build a culture of even better’ and then not demonstrate regular moments of reflection and improvement. You must model self-awareness, self-correction when necessary, and being receptive to feedback. You must model and demonstrate, in your own behaviors, how operations in your own organization are better in September of 2019 than they were in August of 2019. This month is better than last month. Today is better than yesterday. This afternoon is better than this morning. You must be prepared to demonstrate how these are true. Your team will not take you seriously as an implementer of a culture of even better if you’re not willing to demonstrate the work yourself.


2. This will take time.

hourglass-wooden-boardsYou cannot say to your team ‘We have a culture of even better starting today, see?’ and expect everything to change immediately. This doesn’t happen overnight. The reality is you might implement this cultural shift, but you don’t see results until incrementally the group improves, day by day, over a period of time. You might adopt this idea of continuous improvement, applying it to your conversations, your customer interactions, your internal processes, your products, your deliverables, and your team meetings, but these things take time. If you’re thinking of implementing a culture of continuous improvement, or a culture of even better, be prepared for this to take weeks, months, sometimes years depending on the size and scale of your organization. But we promise it’s worth it!


3. Verbal reminders are necessary.

business-hands-holding-megaphone-flat-designA culture of even better gives us many opportunities to reflect on the work we’ve done and how we can improve it. By default, we will likely also be given the chance to give others feedback about the work that they’ve done and how it can be even better. When you are giving someone feedback in the spirit of that relentless pursuit of even better, you need to message it appropriately. These moments will often require verbal reminders that we are pursuing continuous improvement. It is not a criticism or a correction or an attempt to discard the value that they bring to the table. This is a solid acknowledgement of their value and a coaching forward opportunity to help them be even better at what they’re doing. You say this with a smile, you say this out loud, and you say it over and over and over again.


4. Be prepared to celebrate.

group-enjoy-young-people-celebrating-throwing-confetti-while-cheering-jumping-party-white-roomAs leaders or influencers in our organization, we need to be prepared to celebrate, even the tiniest demonstrations of even better. When someone says, ‘I thought about it and I think that I can do it even better next time’, even if it’s not a bold gesture or a concrete statement like, ‘I know for sure this is what I will do’, we need to be prepared to celebrate that progress, the desire for continuous improvement, and that demonstration of applying even better.

We also need to be prepared to celebrate when someone gives us feedback. When someone identifies something we could improve about our task, our deliverable, our approach, or our process, it’s up to us to celebrate that. If someone gives us feedback in this culture of even better we need to ditch our egos, and cast aside our pride, and say, ‘Thank you so much for helping me get even better’. As we’ve said before, these moments are not criticism or critique. They are opportunities for growth, celebration, and even better.

How about you? When have you implemented a culture of even better? What words of caution would you add? Join us on social media!


Topics: Sinikka Waugh, Business Skills & Business Acumen

Sinikka Waugh

About the Author

Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka Waugh is a recognized leader in understanding people and in adapting tools, techniques, and processes to meet the demands of the situation at hand. Since 2006, Sinikka has provided compassionate leadership in transformation initiatives. When she isn’t in front of a class, she enjoys putting her background in English and French Literature to work, by writing blogs about the subjects she teaches every day. Are you ready? If you are, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!


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