Time: A New Model [Part 1]
So, let’s design a new way to measure time. Instead of applying these static units to the passing of time (i.e., speed), lets apply them to improvement (i.e., quality).
For example, in the current view of time, a typical block for a conference call is 1 hour. When the hour is up, the call is over. But if you get through the agenda faster, you get “free” time. Thus, we’ve trained people that speed = freedom. Being faster means you’re rewarded.
But if we switch the unit of measurement in this example from checking off 60 minutes passing (i.e., length of time) to checking off whether this hour was used better than the last hour (i.e., quality of time), then we change the incentive structure. Rather than you focusing on speed, you now focus on quality. Being better means you get rewarded.
But what is the reward in this new model you ask? Simple, the fact that you may not have needed that conference call in the first place. Which equates to an entire hour of freedom. That seems much better than the Speed structure.
So the new system of time we’ve developed is as follows:
A new time block doesn’t start until you do something better than what was done in the block before it.
Thus, if you made a cake for the first time and it took you 4 hours. Then the next time block may actually take you 6 hours to make that cake better. But if you do this long enough, not only will the cake be amazing, but the time it takes to make that cake will be reduced significantly, to maybe only 30 mins.
Ergo, focusing on the Betterment structure gives you both quality AND speed. That seems like a good argument for introducing a new model.
Looking at time this way gives us a few things:
- It makes you set a goal up front — you can’t get better at something if you don’t know what that thing is.
- It makes you naturally figure out a way to measure quality — how can you know if a new time block starts if you’re not measuring whether you got better or not?
- Creates a culture focused only on quality improvement — the main goal of a company is to improve, so why don’t the people who work there have the same goal?