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The Five "C's" of Continuous Improvement

Posted by Thomas Edwards on May 23, 2021 12:00 PM EDT
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Over the course of a few years, we have spent considerable time in trying to gain a fuller understanding of the various types of innovation....

....as espoused through current literature, research, and shared life experiences.  This focus on innovation as a tool for significant and potentially sustained progress-especially in health improvements and living better lives-has led us into interesting perspectives.

However, we have not spent as much time thinking and writing of various other ways to make improvements that most people may find more attractive and likely to adopt.  So, in the spirit of continuous improvement, not only in the context of organizational changes and in the changes of individuals and consumers "en masse"-but in the lives and wellbeing of individuals as individuals, I would like to offer my "Theory of the 5 C Words of Continuous Improvement".

Here they are:

Circumstance:  When circumstances requirement changes in actions to make improvements and the improved state that is envisioned becomes very desirable, then actions taken to improve those circumstances become more conducive to the improved circumstance actually occurring.

Confidence:  When confidence builds around a plan or a need for a large change in the short term, or a long-term progression of smaller, incremental changes then the willingness to adapt the needed changes and put them into action is more attractive to most.

Commitment:  It is important for organizations and groups of people and individuals themselves, to understand the need to fully commit to the actions that it will take to fully activate the actions that it will take to be successful, both in the short term and long time horizon as well. 

Consequence:  Both in the context of positive outcomes and in negative ones as well, it is important that the actions taken will produce the intended effects.  While some consequences may indeed be "unintended consequences" and some can be influenced by unforeseen factors, applying consequences to support strong positive improvements or to deter negative ones, is important and individual, organizational, and community-wide levels.

Consistency:  Constancy of purpose and focus on both easy and difficult actions taken and measured consistently over time cannot be overemphasized.  Whether the improvement in circumstance is large or small, it is the focus on doing the right things, the right way in the right sequence that makes the big difference both in the near term and over time.  The old fable of the "Tortoise and the Hare" rings true in most circumstances when change is required and the benefits may not be realized immediately.

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