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I started out my career as a software engineer. Software doesn’t tend to be quite as elegant as other forms of machinery, but I totally get the concept that things are beautiful when they run efficiently and reliably.

That’s why I’ve found it amusing that my emphasis has shifted almost entirely to the “people side” of business. People are messy, unpredictably, and endlessly challenging.

I guess it’s because I’m a problem-solver at heart, and people offer an infinite array of problems to work on. Yet, we envision our businesses as that “well-oiled machine,” running like a top.

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The pandemic broke Just In Time (JIT).

I’ve seen many examples of this in the last year, starting off with the toilet paper shortage. Remember that?

It was ridiculous! It’s not like people started using a lot more TP. It’s just that it was in the wrong place, in the wrong format. When people noticed, they started hoarding … but that just made it worse.

The real problem is that we all became accustomed to having supplies readily available. Without having to stock extra.

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This week’s idea is very straightforward, but I’m often surprised to see how many people struggle with the idea.

When I do something which is remotely complicated, I look for whether it’s worth turning it into a process. When I write these articles, for instance, it’s based on a template that I created many years ago. And I use a simple three-step process to find and include the graphics.

Why would I bother? This is pretty simple, right?

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