Timing practice #3: Making the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard

Making the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard is particularly useful if you are taking on an unprecedented achievement—one that is not well-supported by historical routines, processes, measures, and habits.


Once you have chosen the unprecedented achievement, assemble a core group who represents different parts of the work system. Then have these conversations:

  1. What important work has been hard to get done? Where has return-on-effort been low?
  2. How are we making the right thing hard and/or the wrong thing easy? Unclear purpose? Lack of accountability? Processes? Measures? Cultural habits? Organizational structure?
  3. What can we change to make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard? Which of those things is it time for now?
  4. With whom must we connect to make that happen? Who is promising to do what and by when?

A warning: it will hardly ever be the right time to correct everything that makes the right thing hard and the wrong thing easy. However, if you acknowledge where the difficulties are and act quickly on the ones that are ready for remedy, stress declines, and the will to achieve ascends. Do this routinely and, over time, you will align your work environment with your most important, unprecedented achievements.