Small Equals Big

Small changes can lead to big improvements. At some point, within almost every coaching session, I believe that some version of this topic comes up. I’ll suggest a fairly minor change my client could make but I hear all the same reasons that the appraiser I’m coaching shouldn’t make these small changes. I bet you’ve heard them and you’ve probably said them too: 

“Yeah, but it’s such a little thing it’s easier for me to do it”

“I know I should probably change that, but I don’t have time to go and fix it.”

“I’m so used to doing it that way, I don’t really see how changing that is going to make any difference.”

Resistance to change is a natural reaction.  Change can make us uncomfortable, even when it’s small. However, you can really benefit and take your business to the next level by making small changes.

The other day, during a staff meeting, we were talking about what little things we could do to be more efficient. One of my employees pointed out that there was a misspelled word on our 1004 template.  Spell check hadn’t ever picked this up as a misspelling because the way the word was misspelled was still a word, just not the right one.  Once my employee had noticed the misspelling though, he couldn’t ignore it.

Every time he used the template he’d take a couple of seconds to correct the word.  The time it took to think about it, delete the wrong word and replace it was only a few seconds, but he was constantly performing the same action.  Considering the volume of work in our office, those seconds really add up over time. 

Instead of going back and fixing the template one time, he was making this correction over and over again. He’d gotten so used to just fixing the error that he didn’t think about taking the time to change the template.  

How often are you doing something like this in your day to day business? We’re inefficient, ineffective and slow because we tell ourselves things like “it’s not that big of a deal, it only takes a few seconds to fix” or “I’m not going to delegate that part of the appraisal process because I’m used to doing it anyway.” While not every change you could make is as small as fixing a misspelling on a template, there are still probably changes you can make to improve productivity.

I’ve talked in the past about the word “kaizen”, a Japanese term that encompasses the idea of “change for the better” or “continuous improvement”.  In business, this philosophy is applied to making small improvements over time that add up to improved productivity. You can improve your productivity too by finding (and making) small changes to your process.

Where are you worth more in your business?  What part of the appraisal process is worthy of your time? Are you putting off making a small change that could make a big difference? What is it that you’re doing in your office that seems like a small thing you may be repeating over and over again that really will make a big difference if you fix it now? 

For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 462

4 Comments on “Small Equals Big”

  1. Pingback: Small Equals Big - Appraisal Buzz

  2. I can’t imagine there will be too many curmudgeon perspectives here. A lot of common sense in your solution. But . . . I leave a real, mis-spelled word in my templates to slow me down, just a little. Knowing that I have to let spell check run for one error, invariably results in finding a few real, unknown errors. I am a huge fan of anything that will save time, in the preparation of the report. Can’t help but wonder, how do you work through the completion and review process, to ensure quality?

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