Why Do You Do Things That Way?

Have you ever stopped to think about why you do something a certain way? 

Is it because that's how you were taught by your Dad, your Mum, your 6th Grade Teacher?  Did your Tafe teacher or your Boss teach you something that can only be done 'this' way?

Well I certainly never stopped to think about this... who's got the time right? 

We just do stuff this way because that's what we know and that's how it's always been done....

So one day a mentor of ours talked about "the Why of everything you do".  And he told us the 'Ham' Story - have you heard this one before, because it was one of those light bulb moments when I heard it...

Ok, so the story goes like this...

Jane's mum was hosting Christmas for the family and Jane and her mum Sandy were in the kitchen preparing the ham, you know with cloves and a yummy glaze to over the top of it...... there were 2 sections to the ham as it had been cut in half. 

This was the traditional way to prepare the ham in the Campbell family.  Jane's youngest daughter came in to watch and asked her mum, why was the ham in 2 parts.... why were there 2 hams and not just 1? 

Jane replied, "well because that's how it's always been done".

Her daughter, Emma, thought that was a silly answer and so asked Sandy her grandmother...."Nan, why is there 2 hams?".

Sandy replied "because it's just the way we do the ham in our family...your great grandmother taught me this way and then I've shown your mum how to do this and soon you'll learn it too".

Emma, still not being satisfied, went into the lounge room where her 95 yr old great grandmother was sitting in the armchair, and promptly poked her in the arm to wake her from her snoring slumber..... "Great Gran.... do you know why we have 2 hams and not just 1 ham?".  Great Gran replied, "well, when I was doing Christmas lunch for the family back in the day I only had a small oven.  So to fit the ham in the oven I used to get the butcher to cut it in half for me....my oven was nowhere near the size of your one at home and I could only cook one half at a time".

Hmmm, so the traditional way of doing the ham for the Campbell family only came about because 4 generations ago the ovens were smaller.  

How is that a logical or efficient method in today's world?

Now do you see why the 'Why' question is SOOOO important?

How do you know that the things you do or the things you've been taught didn't start in a similar way?  Why do we just accept that that's just the way it is?  

Interesting isn't it....?

So let's put that in to today's plumbing business.... are you still doing things the way that plumbing business owners did them 50 years ago?  If so why? 

I'm not saying not to do things an 'old, tried and tested' way.... what I'm saying is to make sure that the old way is still the most efficient way (both in time and money).  And if you haven't even thought about it, then start thinking..... question everything you do....

Is it the best way for a business in 2017?  Is it the best method to get results for yourself and your customers?

Imagine trying to clear a blocked drain with a hand rod?  Thank goodness electric eels and then water jetter's came along (and no, obviously I can't imagine any of this as I haven't used any of these - I just got to wash the uniforms after Steve had used them LOL.  As I've always said, YAY for you guys - no way I'm putting my hand down there!!!!.... if only all of your customers felt as much respect for you.....) 

I guess what I'm saying is this:  over time new tools come out that make our lives easier (ovens too LOL)..... and sometimes we need to take a step back and think about why we're holding on to an 'old' method/tool etc.  

If it's just because that's what we know, then isn't it time to learn something new.... isn't it time to embrace something that can make your crazy busy life run that little bit smoother?

Are you nodding your head right now or telling me I can shove my questions where the sun don't shine?  

It really doesn't matter either way....because you can't fight human nature.  And human nature is to fight off new things that we may not understand, remember the saying 'better the devil you know....'  Even my bestie tells me to F-Off whenever I throw questions like this at her.... 

9 times out of 10, it's not that you don't want to make a change..... it's just that the thought of making time to learn something new and then implementing it just seems impossible....   But you can't move your business forward, make more profits, grow, have awesome staff etc if you don't put your 'I'm The Boss' hat on...... and question, plan and implement.

EXAMPLE FOR YOU (for those that have a team of plumbers):

  • Old Way - Either print out, email, or give access to a list of the days jobs to each plumber.
  • New Way - Give them one job at a time only.  Want to know why this method is 3 times more effective?  And why you're probably already saying to yourself, 'I'm not doing that.....' ?  Then leave us a comment either below or on Facebook and we'll tell you.

PS. If you want to know about any of our business tools that could possibly help to upgrade your 'oven' then check them out here: HOW WE CAN HELP...

Until then, have a great week and keep on plumbing guys.