Knowing how we are doing - the Dyson inspiration

If we are going to find the time to think differently then there comes a natural but oft overlooked question - how do we know that we have succeeded? Lets be honest about this - would you invest your money (or your organisation's money) in a project that could not demonstrate its return on investment both quantitatively and qualitatively? So how often do we as individuals set out to do something differently without considering how we would be able to measure what we have achieved - and indeed demonstrate it to others? 

Here is a question for you to consider. What is the key feature that has made the Dyson vacuum so successful and has been the one that virtually every other upright vacuum maker has adopted? Take a close look at the picture below. 

Of course the technology is important but not earth shattering whatever anybody says about cyclones and bag less cleaners. Nope - its the psychology of the user that has been so carefully handled in the design. Still cannot spot-it? That's because it is so obvious you often miss it. Look again at both of the devices above. They are transparent - you can see the amount of dirt you are picking up - transparent measurement in action. You can measure your success, get that warm feeling of achievement as you see the dust (and in my case the labrador hair) fill the container. Next time you use your hoover - think about how you feel as you see the results of your labours build up. How the objective measure of achievement influences how you feel about the effort.

So sit back and watch Mike Davidge telling us more about Measurement for Improvement. You are going to be your own Improvement Project. You are going to learn and apply the techniques to yourself that you can use in any improvement project.

Cannot see the video because your organisation has blocked access to YouTube? Then do something about it - challenge, kick and sort. I will be talking about Self Limiting Assumptions (SLA) and Somebody Else's Problems (SEPs) in a later post..