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Lessons From the Orthodontist

My oldest got braces yesterday.

Orthodontia has come a seriously long way since I had braces.

Remember the nasty impression goop?


Remember the nightmare headgear?

Archived forever as a cruel teenage torture device of the 90s.

My kiddo, however, now has a rather elongated new dental routine.

The suggestion was made to throw away the old toothbrush and use the one given yesterday.

I wasn’t inclined to do that since the “old” toothbrush was less than a week old until I realized the significance of the gesture.

On the pathway to continuous improvement, we talk about trying new things, making way for new practices and ideas.

But what if we need to attach action to the practice of letting go of old practice to make room for new practice?

Try this.

Make a list of practices, philosophies, thinking you or your team need(s) to let go of to be X (more successful, more flexible, leaner, better leaders, more profitable, more open, etc.)

Write them all down.

Throw them away, float them down a river, toss them into a big bonfire, throw them a goodbye party, eulogize them.

Plan how teammates will hold one another accountable when the ghosts of practice past resurface.

What will you and/or your team be sunsetting?

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