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Breaking habits

The loudspeaker at O’Hare Airport has been explaining the 3-1-1 liquids rule every 20 minutes, for 10 years, to people who are already past security and already know the rule.

This was probably a helpful announcement at one time, and maybe worth repeating.

But now they’re in a rut — doing it because they have always done it — for no particular reason.

All companies get in ruts. We develop habits that become disconnected from the reason they were created. At best, they waste time; at worst, they become a bureaucracy that kills the company.

How do you avoid it?

Create scheduled reviews of everything, every so often. As soon as a process is created, schedule a review and refresh for some time months or years down the road. It’s a healthy way to clean out the system.

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