Are you doing the right things right?

Elisabeth Goodman on why, and how, we should all aim to get better at everything we do.

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It’s the customer who defines the quality of our products and services

As the participants in a recent RiverRhee Consulting workshop in Belgium appreciated – it’s the person drinking the Belgian beer (!) who is the best judge of its quality.  Not the people who make the beer – and yet how often do we try to define what the customer expects, rather than talking to them directly?

Those doing the work have the best knowledge to improve the way it is done

Again, external consultants, or senior managers are not the ones to come up with ways to improve the way everyday or specialist work is carried out.  It’s those who are actually doing it who will be aware of where the issues are, the root causes of those issues, and possible ways to address them.  And yet too often they are not given the voice, or the empowerment, to make the improvements.

It’s a continuous journey

Change is an integral part of everything that we do.  The environment in which we do our work, the expectations from customers, the new advances available to us are forever changing.  And each time we make an improvement to what we do, new opportunities for improvement will continue to present themselves.  So there again, continuous improvement becomes a mindset, and a way for us to work.

The benefits from getting better at what we do are many!

The tangible benefits gained from applying these approaches to your work can include freeing up as much as 20% of your time as a result of simplifying and streamlining your processes.  Time that can then be used to better focus on delivering value to your customers, to develop your business or team, and to create and implement new and improved products and services.

Elisabeth Goodman is the Owner and Principal Consultant of RiverRhee Consulting.  She and her company provide training and coaching to Library and Information Management and Life Science teams and organisations to help them enhance team effectiveness. 

Elisabeth is running a one-day workshop on behalf of UKeiG. Getting better at everything you do: optimising the way you work will be running on 19th June, in London.  The course draws upon process improvement (Lean and Six Sigma), knowledge management and change management principles and tools.  It is a blend of instruction, mentoring and coaching as participants learn, discuss, practice and apply the approaches to their own situation.  For more information contact UKeiG or Elisabeth at

Photo courtesy of hellojenuine via Flickr.

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