New direction vs. tried & true. Little things that mean a lot.

New directions versus…

Tried and true


It’s always exciting and even a little invigorating to launch a new project or just adopt a new way to attack an old challenge. One downside to doing so is that while it’s tantalizing, that new bright and shiny approach might not be as effective as what you’ve been doing all along.


That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be open to adopting new methods because change can be great. But at the same time we don’t want to walk away from what got us to where we are just because something looks like it has possibilities.


On the other hand, if we’ve been trying to gain that prospects attention by focusing on saving him money and he continues to turn a deaf ear, maybe we do need to make a shift. If we’re seeing a competitor eating our lunch with a creative new offering that’s getting him a toehold in our accounts, perhaps we really do need listen to our intuitions and follow suit by doing it too.


But if we’re really only looking to make a change in our tactics, product mix, or services because we’re bored, or seem to have lost our mojo, we might be better off rededicating ourselves to working harder at what’s worked all along.


Of course if you can honestly examine the situation and convince yourself that you aren’t jumping off the boat to chase a pipe dream, then go for it – but be ready to stop sooner versus later to confirm that your new direction is truly valid.


Little things…

that mean a lot


For a task we do multiple times every business day of our lives, it’s surprising how many of us do it wrong … or at least not optimally. That task: titrating the wash tank of a dishmachine.


Despite the fact that we probably know that titrating a solution that’s not at operating temperature will yield a lower than actual running concentration, we’ll bend to time pressures and take that sample right after it fills -and before the tank hits 150F. Or maybe we pull a sample when we walk up to the machine not knowing if it’s just fed, or if it’s just about to.


Or because we know that a particular machine has a 25% concentration swing between pre-feed and the post feed cycle we’ll take two samples (at both times), at the right temperature but then not catch the actual end point of the titration because we rushed the addition of reagent drops! The result: What we accepted for ten drops was actually nine … a 10% overstatement error.



The bottom line is that like many of the mundane things we have to do day in and out, this one is critical and the time and effort we need to invest to get it right is worth the effort.