Why Being The Best Still Isn’t Good Enough

This past week I had an opportunity to visit a family medical practice to see if there was opportunity for improvement. The practice ranks in the top 2% of solo practitioners in the U.S. in terms of profit and volume so should the business be happy with with being at such a high ranking? I say NO!

My visit to the practice was a 2.5 day gemba walk of all aspects of the practice to see where there might be opportunity. I found that the average customer cycle time from when the patient comes in to when the patient leaves is 1 hour. One hour is a good number according to industry averages but 30 minutes of the time was waiting time.

The practice had an opportunity to potentially double their throughput but they made a decision not to tackle the opportunity. There were several reasons why but the root cause was that they were comfortable. Good is the enemy of great but great is the enemy of true north. True north is what is possible.

It is never good enough to be the best because there is always room to improve. The target that should be getting rid of the waste and adding more value to the customers not beating the rest of the competition. Trying to beat the competition leads to being just good enough and leaves the door open for outsourcing, government regulations, and all sorts of things that you don’t want.

What are your thoughts on why being the best isn’t good enough?