Every company has a list of bad habits that just slowly and quietly make their way into business operations and go unnoticed by employees until one day a client or investor embarrassingly points one out. How can businesses get rid of these pesky behaviors?
In most cases, employees simply become too busy to rework the process, to reorganize or sometimes to even notice there is a problem. Author and business advisor Patty Azzarello has a few tips businesses can follow to get rid of those pesky bad habits.
Azzarello suggests pretending to be a new employee. Newbies look at companies with fresh eyes and can easily spot what is working well and what isn’t. Try to look at your company with the same fresh eyes by looking at the structure of the operations and spotting the aspects that you would be proud to show off and the parts you’d rather no one knew about.
Another way to get rid of bad habits is to simply have employees point them out to you. Azzarello used to hold yearly meetings where the company would discuss all the “stupid stuff” they did. Not only will it open everyone’s eyes to the company’s bad habits, but it will also encourage employees to find better solutions. Of course, a meeting like this can easily lead to a complaint fest, so it is important to lead everyone in the right direction. Perhaps start off by focusing on just one bad habit and working toward a better solution.
Lastly, Azzarello says she tries to view the situation in a “parallel universe.” She imagines a version of herself that is “smarter, [a] faster thinker, better problem solver, better negotiator, better communicator, better networker and with better hair.” Then, she imagines what that crazy-smart version of herself would do in the very same situation. She says this actually helps her think of the situation in a new angle and helps find a creative solution.
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