We embrace the principles of Kaizen, What Gets Measured Gets Improved, and the Law of Entropy.
Let’s break this Guiding Star into three points.
Principles of Kaizen
These principles originated in Japan, the word “Kaizen” literally meaning continuous improvement. This principle involves breaking down long-term tasks or goals into the small improvements needed to get there.
It’s kind of like the more practical, Japanese version of “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Those who practice Kaizen understand that the sum of many small improvements is how you achieve great accomplishments. In business and in personal life, this rings true.
You can’t stick a bulb in the ground and come out to find a beautiful rose bush the next morning. You must nurture the plant, day by day, as it grows at a snail’s pace. BUT, continuously. Rather than hoping one day to find a rose has blossomed, put in the work and welcome the small victories along the way.
What Gets Measured Gets Improved
Think of the last skill you learned. Doesn’t matter if it was a new technical skill, a personal goal you met, or a financial milestone you need to hit. How did you track your progress? If you don’t track your progress, how do you even know if you are improving?
“What Gets Measured Gets Improved” was coined by Peter Drucker 40 years ago but the sentiment might be even more relevant today. Determining your KPI’s and tracking them is more important now than ever. Unlike 40 years ago, it’s much easier to be completely overloaded with information and data points. Figuring out what needs to be measured is just as important as the diligent measuring.
Our teams implement this mantra daily, in the form of SMART goals. If you are unfamiliar with SMART goals, click here for a quick read.
Law of Entropy
Alright, buckle in. Think back to high school physics class and the laws of thermodynamics. Most of us remember the first law stating that energy cannot be created or destroyed. The second law applies to how energy must flow. Here is a great write up about this second law of entropy from Boston University if you’d like to dive in or get a refresher.
Entropy is the measure of the level of disorder in a system. The law states that isolated systems have a natural tendency to degenerate. For example, if there is hot air inside a box that’s located in a cold room, the heat will keep trying to escape the box until the air inside the box is the same temperature as the rest of the room.
So, how does Polaris apply this law to our systems? We create our systems to be interdependent. For example, creating action plans is a great way to slow down, or halt, that dissent into disorder. When a property is rented to a new tenant, one of our property managers will send a letter to the tenant and start the appropriate action plan. Now, the move in prep items are connected to other systems in our process, which makes it much less likely that a step will be missed.
If you want to try this Guiding Star, find one monthly task that you must do (paying rent, car payment, etc.) and connect it with a task that seems to always slip through the cracks (cleaning/chores). Now, these systems are more likely to stay in order as they are codependent in terms of completion; one cannot happen without the other.
Miss last week’s blog? Click here to read up on Guiding Star #1…