How To: Do It Wrong

HOW TO: DO IT WRONG

We know that you're tired to doing things the right way, so here's how to do it all wrong.


Hi, I’m James. This is Whiteboard Wednesday, and I can’t wait to get to things with you! We have so many people – and by so many, I mean it’s imaginary – that call in asking, “How do I do it wrong? Because you’re always telling me how to do it right. Well, what if I don’t want to do that?” They’re the rebellious sort, you’ll have to forgive them. I was that way in high school, too, but I eventually learned my lesson.

Today, we’re going to talk about how to do it wrong. Okay, still with me? Probably not.

Number one: just write it down. And by that I mean whatever you’re doing. Whether you’re counting inventory, you’re taking notice of what’s arriving, what’s going out, just write it down somewhere – post-it note, maybe on a spreadsheet. Who knows where you put that thing. You just write things down and eventually you’ll find it. Don’t be too organized, and just worry about writing things down and not having a system in place – that’s a good way.

Number dos: say no to metrics. Don’t use your data, don’t use any kind of information that you take in from any outside source – from your own company, from the market – just say no to metrics.

The third: (I like this one, it’s got dice) make sure to guess – those are dice if you can’t tell. Make sure to guess about what you’re doing; the amount of inventory you need to have on hand, maybe the amount that you currently have on hand, how much you need for a seasonal change coming up with – I don’t know, Christmas production – whatever you’re making. Maybe it’s warehouse stuff and you’re thinking, “how much are we going to ship out this year? Well, we can kind of rough it, kind of estimate, shoot from the hip.

Fifth… yeah. Your fingers are for counting – more or less. And by that I mean counting inventory over, and over, and over. You could even get an abacus, but fingers are really nice. Here’s the system I use: one, two, three, four, five… like that.

And then 5b – just, you know, because we’ve been really consistent: never double-check. Make sure that once you’ve done all your work, assume all will go as planned and that everything you did prior is top notch.

Okay, now I realize I’m being a little bitter, a little sarcastic here, and I apologize – it’s been a long day for me – but, let’s not do this stuff. There are those patterns and habits that we do that hurt our business – maybe we’re the employee, maybe we’re the employer – and we kind of know that these things aren’t working for us, but we keep doing them anyway. Let’s just stop; stop with the madness.

It’s time to get an automated solution, it’s time to keep track of stuff the right way – nothing wrong with writing it down, but we need those metrics – and guessing really doesn’t help anyone. Wouldn’t you rather have an informed decision?

And fingers, they’re a lot better served with typing, actually making things, shipping things out, shaking hands with a customer, whatever it is.

And double checking, well that kind of speaks for itself – you should do it.

So that’s this Whiteboard Wednesday, and please don’t do it wrong.

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