Do you recognize that saying? You likely have said it or heard it said. There certainly is merit in that belief. If the system/process is working on all cylinders, leaving it alone is the wisest thing to do. Yes, at first blush, that makes sense. I have been part of that belief.
Ok, but what if it is not broken, and you DISCOVER there is a crack someplace? What if “decay” builds up, and you can’t see it until there is so much pain the “tooth” needs to be extracted? The operative word here is DISCOVER.
In simple terms, you can only discover if you go looking. This is like success. Success can lead to complacency, a mindset that says, “We have arrived,” “We have it all together,” or “Look at the score; we are winning; we are killing it.” So maybe we don’t work as hard, perhaps a little subtle slacking, and next thing you know, you are not winning. There was a crack someplace, and you didn’t go looking.
I am reminding us not to allow the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” to come into any organization. First of all, if your system, process, or program is successful, discover how to improve it. In the process, you may DISCOVER a weakness, discover a crack, and find a way to make improvements. This will only happen if you go on a hunting trip.
I have learned it is always wise to stay close to people executing. They know what is happening. Continually ask questions. Keep digging. This will keep them “on their toes.” They will know your intentions are a standard of excellence.
So the next time you find yourself on the wave of successful execution—go on the hunting trip—it will get better no matter what you DISCOVER. As a leader, our job is that of a change agent –we are the thermostat.