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  • Juan Pablo Barrantes

So close to the tree that I can´t see the forest


"Plenitude is reached whenever you learn to be happy with what you actually have, and once you really understand the pleasure and obligation to change whatever it is necessary over you have influence.

Don´t get frustrated in trying to change anything over you cannot control.¨

It´s funny on how sometimes we let routine take control over our life, by doing most of things in auto pilot... have you ever happen to be that whenever you are traveling home, or work, or whichever place you visit frequently, you always follow exactly the same track? Even myself, after reaching my destination, I sometimes ask myself: ¨how the heck am I here?, how did I come here that I don't even remember?

Reality is, we tend to give too many things for granted, we assume too much and we believe that our perception is life´s supreme truth. Some days ago, I witnessed a situation which has reaffirmed myself that we all have the challenge of feeling the pleasure and obligation of getting too deep into changing whatever we need to change in our life.

Situation was, a certain key performance indicator (KPI) in my job was alarming biased from its target, thus causing losses. I met with the manager in charge of the process and I asked her to walk into the process to talk to the floor staff. In less than half an hour, after an in site meeting the crew, we concluded that the problem is due mainly to four main causes, and such problem in the process should be fixed if we focus on three of the main causes (the fourth cause is not over our control). Now, there are two of the main causes that are dependent of the execution of the previous process, and the other cause is dependent on us. Best thing is that if we focus our efforts on specific actions over three of four main causes, we should drive the process back again in control and thus perform as expected! Two weeks after that meeting, the key performance indicator is below target and under control. We agreed on following up on the executed actions by doing frequent meetings going forward.

This situation makes me reaffirm on the fact that whenever we got stuck into routine, we get like blinded in seeing those opportunities that will make us be constantly better in whatever we do. Why the floor staff in charge of the biased KPI didn't see on time the opportunity of improving performance? Why everyone else around them (including me), indirectly accountable of that process, didn't make any influence to on time recover and fix performance? Let's encourage ourselves to constantly challenge routine! Let's get some distance from those trees that don't let us see the whole forest!


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