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Cure the (Self-Inflicted) Chaos First

Karen Martin

August 08, 2012

"More than 80 percent of improvement efforts fail to make a discernible difference in overall business performance, regardless of the improvement methodology in use. The reason isn't a flaw in the methodologies, but a flaw inside of companies. Organizations in all sectors fail to meet their full potential because of self-inflicted chaos. I'm not talking about acute cases of chaos brought on by external events over which a company has little control, such as sudden supply chain disruptions, new regulations, or economic downturns. I'm talking about chronic long-term chaos brought about by ambiguity, lack of focus, inconsistency—habits and behaviors that organizations can control but choose not to. Self-inflicted chaos is an insidious disease that must be addressed before any meaningful improvement in performance can be achieved."

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