Thursday, April 8, 2010

Doing it better

During the recent Apple training I attended, Rebecca Stockley facilitated several of the meetings. She is an improvisation specialist and helped facilitate the meeting times, encouraging the flow and collaboration. She has worked extensively with Pixar. When asked about her experience at Pixar, she said a key to their success is the philosophy...

If it worked the first time, don't do it again. Do it better.

It is integrated in their organizational culture. If they don't push the envelope to get better, they will not stay on top. It sounds very similar to Thomas Friedman (note this is a loose paraphrase by memory) when he says the question is not whether or not your product will become obsolete. Everything becomes obsolete. At this point, it is more a question of whether you will make it obsolete or someone else will.

So there is something to be said for going beyond the status quo. What is the motivation and what does success look like? I think the "why" is a critical component. Why do you seek to be better? Why do you seek to be the best? As we invest in our organizations and set priorities, the why is a pivotal key to defining success. We need to stay focused on pursuing goals for the right reasons or it is easy to get sidetracked and "busy" without substance to our work.

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