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Identify World Class Breakthroughs

Dec 25, 2007
Two people are out on a windy day. One person stops to pick up a quarter. While he is stopped over, his companion chases a crumpled hundred dollar bill and captures it.

Many times the same effort can provide vastly different rewards as in this example.

Let me remind you of what the eight step process is for creating breakthrough improvements:

1. Understand the importance of measuring performance.

2. Decide what to measure.

3. Identify the future best practice and measure it.

4. Implement beyond the future best practice.

5. Identify the ideal best practice.

6. Pursue the ideal best practice.

7. Select the right people and provide the right motivation.

8. Repeat the first seven steps.

There are usually many pathways to creating a breakthrough improvements (any way of accomplishing 20 times more with the same time, money, and effort) that improves a high profile benefit while enhancing many other benefits as well. With these questions, you will identify the opportunities that you want to use the eight-step process to develop.

1. If you had unlimited resources and skills, how would you create the most immediate and valuable benefits for your customers and end users?

Since no organization has unlimited resources and skills, this may sound like a hypothetical question. Our experience has been that there are usually ways of approaching the level of unlimited resources and skills by joining with other organizations and individuals whose positions are complementary to your own.

By addressing "what" needs to be accomplished, then it becomes easier to consider "who" you need to work with to get the results you seek.

2. What resources and skills do you lack now to implement those ideas?

Make as extensive a list as you can to identify what is missing so that you can separately focus on how to fill in each gap.

3. How can you eliminate these resource and skill weaknesses through adding information and knowledge?

Your choices include hiring people who already are well informed and knowledgeable, helping those who work for you to add the information and knowledge that they are missing and involving suppliers and potential partners.

4. Which organizations are in the best position to implement the ideas you have for your organization?

Naturally, if you can access all the resources and skills from a few (or even one) organizations, there will be faster progress towards your goal. Otherwise, coordination with too large a group of other organizations can make implementation unusually difficult.

5. How can you interest those organizations in working with you, rather than one of your competitors?

This is an area where imagination helps. Organizations that are more capable than yours are already quite busy pursuing opportunities in which they do not need to share the rewards.

Your opportunity needs to put some of their current opportunities to shame by comparison, even after you reap your expected reward from the new success. Obviously, this change in priorities is easier to do when the other organization is smaller than yours.

The best opportunities for you, however, will probably require help from those who are much larger than you are. How can you make that organization's involvement be simple, easy and enormously attractive?

Here's an example. Goldcorp, a gold mining company, engaged most of the best mining geologists in the world to help identify Goldcorp's best exploration possibilities through a global contest with prizes of about $500,000. As a result, the company located over a billion dollars in gold. How could you pursue a similar approach to add the resources and skills you need?

Keep your eyes open for opportunities to make breakthroughs!
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is coauthor of six books including The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, and The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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