Issue 97 - 06 | Cure the (Self-Inflicted) Chaos First

By Karen Martin
Published Aug. 8, 2012 12:00 p.m.
“More than 80 percent of improvement efforts fail to make a discernible difference in overall business performance, regardless of the improvement methodology in use.

The reason isn’t a flaw in the methodologies, but a flaw inside of companies. Organizations in all sectors fail to meet their full potential because of self-inflicted chaos. I’m not talking about acute cases of chaos brought on by external events over which a company has little control, such as sudden supply chain disruptions, new regulations, or economic downturns. I’m talking about chronic long-term chaos brought about by ambiguity, lack of focus, inconsistency—habits and behaviors that organizations can control but choose not to.

Self-inflicted chaos is an insidious disease that must be addressed before any meaningful improvement in performance can be achieved.”

About Karen Martin | Karen Martin, president of the global consulting firm The Karen Martin Group, Inc., is a leading authority on Lean management and business performance improvement Her clients have included Fortune 500 companies in nearly every industry and government agencies at local, state, and federal levels. Her latest book, Clarity First: How Smart Leaders and Organizations Achieve Outstanding Performance, has just been released by McGraw-Hill.

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