Edit ModuleShow Tags

Clearing out the crud


Published:

Out my second floor bathroom window the other day, I saw that a long section of my gutter was full of water. I’m a fan of leaving minor housing issues alone, hoping that (a) they’ll improve on their own (they don’t), (b) my wife will see them and call someone (she doesn’t) or, if they’re bad enough, (c) waiting for death to take me so I don’t have to paint, repair, replace or clean them (I guess I should quit exercising).

Anyway, my gutter didn’t drain itself, my wife didn’t see it (or perhaps she secretly has the same strategy I do!) and I didn’t pass away peacefully in the night. So I figured I should do something.

I climbed the ladder, found a slimy ball of accumulated crud in the drain, pulled it out and voilà! Gallons of water made their way downstream. All this backup from baseball-size crud. It took two minutes to solve the problem.

Organizations get crud in their systems as well. It’s amazing how much backup you can get from one bad system, employee or customer. If leaders treat their organizations the way I treat my household problems, they can get into a world of hurt.

The ball of crud in my gutter wouldn’t destroy much value in my home, but if I left enough of those kinds of issues, it would. One bad apple on your team may not destroy your company, but a couple of them could. A few bad systems or processes might as well.

As I write this, the Obama administration is trying to fix the “front door” to the Affordable Care Act. Time will tell whether this is a workable program, but they initially took the same strategy I used on my gutter, and look what happened.

Which balls of accumulated crud can you eliminate to get things flowing again?

Edit Module
Todd Ordal

Todd Ordal is president of Applied Strategy®. Todd helps CEOs achieve better financial results, become more effective leaders and sleep easier at night. He is a former CEO and has led teams as large as 7,000. Todd is the author of Never Kick a Cow Chip On A Hot Day: Real Lessons for Real CEOs and Those Who Want To Be (Morgan James Publishing, 2016). Connect with Todd on LinkedIn, Twitter, call 303-527-0417 or email todd@toddordal.com.

Get more of our current issue | Subscribe to the magazine | Get our Free e-newsletter

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

A simple mindset change can rock your world

When you change your predominant mindset from a fixed to a growth orientation, everything in your life—and your business—can change.

Keep on truckin' with this freewheeling trio

I’m not really a pickup truck enthusiast, but I really enjoyed the three weeks I spent driving these three great pickup trucks, if for no other reason that I could experience how the other half lives – and I do mean half.

In the restaurant biz, it's not just about what you serve

Hospitality extends beyond the four walls of the restaurant. That it’s about more than the food and drinks you serve, but how you treat the people in your community.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Thanks for contributing to our community-- please keep your comments in good taste and appropriate for our business professional readers.

Add your comment: