The case for continuous improvement

I think we can agree that continuous improvement is necessary for any kind of innovation. And, when you aim for continuous improvement, to the extreme, it is easy to notice those that don’t. Therefore, it also easy to notice strategies and approaches that won’t ignite innovation.

Case in point: The local newspapers in Tijuana.

Last week, we held a mini-conference in our office. We invited our buddy and Partner, Adrian Pedrin to come in and give us some insight as to what it takes to work in Hollywood. Before the event, to our surprise, we had inquiries from local newspapers to do an interview with him.

So, the next day after the event, we had El Mexicano interview Adrian. Here is the note:


Missing, is a lot of important details. It is no secret that the media will always publish what they think is important, not what you want. But, for the newspapers, this is also an area of opportunity. For those of you in the modern world who read WSJ, NYTimes, USA Today, Financial Times, BBC or any modern newspaper; what I’m going to tell you won’t be a surprise.

For example, why didn’t they post the interview in podcast format? Why didn’t they post the interview on the web? Having so much content available, why didn’t the use it?

These are all valid questions, and, in the modern world may be expected from a media company. Media companies can inform and shape people’s opinion with the content they publish, and, the way they publish it. That is why when I see local newspapers who haven’t caught up with the rest of the world, it causes me concern.

I’m not ranting about this because it was an event I organized. It isn’t about me, it’s about all of us.

Continuous improvement, incremental changes, play an important role in the evolution of an organization. When no mechanisms for continuous improvements exist, businesses are in a state of automation. Not autonomy. These businesses, like this newspaper, are just doing things because “that’s the way we’ve always done them”. In the case of this newspaper, they are publishing because they have to publish. They have to make their quota or whatever.

If this newspaper would take action on things like these, at least in Tijuana, it would be seen as innovative. But, in reality, they aren’t doing the ecosystem any good. If they disappeared tomorrow nobody would care. Including me.

Bottom line: Your business is probably in the same state. It is just going through its routine. Without a care in the world if what it does actually matters in the big scheme of things. Simple things, like catching up with the rest of the world, is enough of an improvement. To start thinking differently about how you can improve, ask yourself: what will I do today to be better than tomorrow?

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