Whether you run your own company or work for a great one, it’s important to always challenge the status quo and pursue constant improvement. Never let “that’s just how we’ve always done it” be a phrase that’s allowed in your workplace.
At Kogan.com, our internal philosophy is, “There is always a better way.” We know that the way we do things today is just the best we’ve come up with until now, and that a better way is possible. All of our staff are trained to swim upstream and constantly challenge every process we have in our organization. If we don’t, we’ll very quickly become extinct.
Charles Darwin taught us that it is not the strongest of species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Although he was describing biological evolution, it applies to evolution in business as well.
Too many fail to adapt and improve. It happens all around us, and to some of the biggest companies in the world. Here are just three examples of processes that are used by millions of people on a daily basis. But not a single person has put their hand up and taken responsibility to objectively question their logic, or how to improve them.
Hotel room keys
I’m sure you’ve stayed at a hotel where you need to swipe your room key in the elevator in order to be able to get to the floor that you’re staying on. How annoying is it?
Most people get frustrated by this, then accept the inconvenience because of the perceived security it provides you and your belongings. They think they are safer because of the extra level of security.
When you critically analyse this process, it’s actually far more secure to not protect access to the levels using a room key in the elevator.
Say for instance you lose your room key. Somebody can walk into the elevator and very quickly determine which level the room key belongs to (by swiping then pressing all the buttons until one lights up). Once on the right level (which only took a few seconds to figure out) they only have to check 10 or so rooms on that level before they find the room the key would open. If the hotel has 20 levels, your hotel has just made it 20 times easier and quicker for someone to break into your room.
It’s actually safer to not make people swipe their room key in the elevator of a hotel to access their level. Why hasn’t anyone worked this out? What’s worse, why are hotels still printing the name of the hotel on room keys? Has anyone ever forgotten the hotel they’re staying in and needed this (except maybe in Las Vegas)? This is completely unnecessary, and yet again, helps a would-be-thief find out where you’re staying with ease, particularly if you lose your key while out and about.