How is an asymptote like Operational Excellence?
You may be asking, What the heck is an asymptote? An Asymptote is an algebraic geometry model used to describe a curve that approaches a line, but never reaches it, all the way to infinity.
No matter how far the curve goes, it will never cross the line. Ever.
Similarly, no matter how well we perform as an organization, we will never achieve Operational Excellence. Operational Excellence is the drive to achieve an ideal state. It’s a journey with no finish line.
The moment an organization is satisfied, they’ve lost.
Why would an organization choose to pursue such an elusive and potentially frustrating endeavor? Frankly, Operational Excellence is only applicable to a fraction of leaders who find themselves perpetually dissatisfied with the existing state of performance. Those organizations know that there's always opportunity for improvement.
There’s an intrinsic drive in certain organizations, departments, or individuals that thrive on the allure of a challenge that may be perceived as unattainable. Such is the motivation behind Operational Excellence.
It’s important to understand that Operational Excellence is not about gut feelings. As we can’t accurately model an asymptote based on a hunch, continuous improvement cannot be measured by instinct; we must rely upon empirical evidence. But it’s equally important to understand that transformational performance is not driven by data and technology. Operational Excellence is driven by strategy, culture, and engagement.
There’s a wonderful proverb that states, If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. It’s truly fitting to continuous improvement—a single person is not capable of delivering Operational Excellence—the drive must be woven into the fabric of our culture, our ethos. It must be initiated from our leadership, and we must all understand and take deliberate actions to continuously improve our performance—modeling our own asymptote.
So, the next time my daughter is struggling with her geometry homework and asks, “How will I EVER apply this to real life?” I can comfortably answer, “Operational Excellence, honey. Operational Excellence.”
At Cohesive Solutions, we think differently about how organizations achieve breakthrough performance. We believe Operational Excellence requires a top-down, objective-driven culture of awareness, engagement, and willingness to act. This is why we developed Propel™ for Performance Management. Propel™ simplifies the path to Operational Excellence.
If you have the capacity to view performance not as finite, but as infinitely improvable, then we want to work with you. Click the link below.