Yesterday, I was looking through some old notes and came across this one: “What are you doing to waste your valued customer’s time?” It made me wonder about how often, we, as continuous improvement practitioners, help the people we are coaching – the leaders and people who do the work – think about improvement from this perspective. As human beings, we tend to be self-centered, and internally focused, concerned about how to make things easier for ourselves. Yet all of us, no matter what job we do, or where we sit in our organization really have only one purpose: to serve our valued customers. To make sure that the way we work, internally, is the most effective and efficient so that OUR CUSTOMER’S time is not wasted. No customer likes to sit on hold and wait, or to say – or enter – their account number, only to have to repeat it again to the agent. Yet, as customers, we regularly have these types of time-wasting experiences. So, if as a coach, you’re not regularly asking your learners “What are you doing to waste your valued customer’s time?” are you really helping them understand the real purpose of improvement?

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