053: My Two Lids – A Lesson In Standardization

053: My Two Lids – A Lesson In Standardization

At home, we have these small square plastic containers with lids.

We often use them to bring along some kind of dip or peanut butter or whatever.

Simple little things.

Container. Lid. That’s it.

Unless you add in the fact that there are two types that look almost identical.

And the fact that their lids are not interchangeable. So, if you grab the wrong lid, even though it looks like it should fit…. it won’t.

I need to come up with a better system to keep them straight and not get myself frustrated when I grab the wrong one, but this is what happens time and again in businesses. Maybe ones like yours.

I’m not saying that your business uses small square plastic containers (though if you did want to tote in some peanut butter with your apples, I highly recommend them).

But rather, it’s little variances that exist, little gaps in your standards and processes that open the door for frustration, scrap, customer relationship issues and more.

It’s why it’s so important to have clear, established instructions and rules in place when they are needed.

Sometimes, of course, there is room for creativity or personal preference and you might even rely on that being the case for specific parts of your business.

But it is those other areas, those crucial tasks that need to be done a certain way but aren’t. That’s where the problem can come in.

Like those lids that looked very similar, you might have wording that is open to interpretation or documents that aren’t exactly clear.

Your people are trying to put the wrong lid on the container and it’s getting everyone frustrated as well as causing lost hours and worse.

So, identify those gaps, shore up your standards, and invite others to help you create the right wording or signage or steps that leave no doubt what needs to happen.

As for my containers, what would you do? Permanently mark them to identify? Keep them in separate spots? Something else? Let me know by shooting me a message on Instagram at shawnwashburn7.

Thanks for listening to today’s episode. I’d love hear from you about today’s topic or just in general. You can shoot me an email at shawn@shawnwashburn.com or head to shawnwashburn.com/contact and you’ll find links to connect with me on social media as well.