Monday, January 6, 2014

Limits

When taking Calculus in college I learned the concept of limits. The notion goes like this:  Imagine yourself standing three or four feet from a wall.  You take a step toward the wall, covering half the distance between you and the wall.  You take another step, again covering half the remaining distance between you and the wall.  You continue this process, each time covering half the distance between yourself and the wall.  Regardless of how long you keep this process up, you’ll never really reach the wall (in theory), because you’ll always have half the distance yet to cover.

We can use this idea of limits in our thinking about continuous improvement.  The goal is to gain some ground every day in improving ourselves or our organization.  We should assume we’ll never “get there.”  There will always be some distance yet between us and perfect performance, so tomorrow we try to close half that distance again.

In thinking about getting constantly better (whether personally or as an organization), we must view it as a process, not an outcome/event.  Excellence is certainly a worthy goal, but it is as elusive as perfection itself.

Move toward the target.  
          Assess.  
                    Modify.  
                              Adapt.  
                                        Move toward the target. 

                                                  Repeat…………………forever.

2 comments:

  1. This is like my walk with God, no matter what knowledge I gain or relationship I develop, I've still got half the distance to cover. Perfection only to be found in the end...

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    Replies
    1. Yeppers. Excellent transfer. Thanks for sharing.

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