Don't Make This Mistake in Your Company

So I just flew in from LAX and I did what a lot of us do - you go visit the restroom, right? 

I want to talk with you about something that happened and I want you to really think about the application to your company and the decisions that you make. 

So I go in and I wash my hands, and they have the hands-free soap dispenser, right? You wave your hand underneath, you get soap - this is great, you’re not touching anything because your hands are already dirty (that’s why you’re washing them, LOL) and then you go and you want water so you can rinse your hands. 

And this is where it goes south…fast.  In order to get water you have to push on the end of the faucet, and you have to push on it and you have to hold it (and you have to do this at least twice for each hand because it’s like half a second of water) and that’s all you get! 

The problem is, while I get that water is a precious resource, you’re now having to touch your clean hands to something that’s dirty. So now your hands are no longer clean. The fact that you tried to wash your hands is irrelevant because now they’re dirty. 

So here is what I want you to think about is in your own company or your own business - where do you have processes in place that neutralize each other?

In this bathroom story, I absolutely understand that they're trying to save water, and hoping people wash their hands. The problem arises because the decision that was made re: having to touch and hold to get water, completely negates people actually having clean hands (the whole point of washing your hands).

In this case, if I were to give this a score of 0 to 10 (0 being yeah, you didn’t even get close and, 10, you’re amazing - everybody should model you) in terms of actually being able to get clean hands from this experience you’re a 0 if you’re using the same bathroom I was in at LAX. Now in terms of saving water you’re a 10 because there’s a quick burst of water and then you’re done. 

I'm not slamming LAX as they’re certainly not the only ones, yet it was just so striking to me (especially after coming out of a hospital setting) as hand-hygiene is a really big deal all the time. And it’s just magnified when you’ve got as many people coming and going as there are in this large airport. 

So when you’re thinking about the decisions that you make and the processes that you put in place you really need to think about what you’re trying to solve for and give yourself a score. And in this case it looks like LAX made the decision that it was going to be an ‘either/or’, you could either save water or clean your hands. 

Amazing outcomes are often the result of realizing we can often create a ‘both/and’ experience.

My recommended action for you to take today is when you’re interacting in your company, and you’re thinking about how you do things ask, “Does this make sense?” and “Is this really getting done what we want to get done?”  Go ahead, look at something today as you touch it, as you experience it, as you do it, as other people talk to you about their work, whether it’s your own company, or your experience is like mine at LAX where you experience someone else’s decisions, and just give it a 0 to 10.  Zero is ‘ummm, yeah, completely ineffective, didn’t get it done’ and ten is it ‘amazing’.

Going forward, begin to think about these questions and the ‘either/or’ and ‘both/and' mindsets as you go through and start to look at things a little bit differently... because it really does help you reflect thoughtfully about what you’re doing and the decisions that you make.

Go get those 10’s!