TL;DR – You need to look outside your own industry to find the expertise your industry needs.
It started off as a Twitter joke.
There were several different forms of it as it morphed around microblogging snarky wannabe comedians.
When wondering if your state politicians did well on distributing the vaccine or not, just remember all they had to do was hire the team that designed the drive thru and kitchen coordination at @ChickfilA to teach them. Sounds like a joke, but probably more truth than fiction— Jon Ogg (@jonogg) December 31, 2020
And then it happened.
A twitter joke somehow not only broke through to real life, it was accurate. Spot-on.
Mayor Will Haynie of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (my mayor, as it turns out) got on the phone and called Jerry Walkowiak, the manager of our local Chick-fil-a, after a computer system failed at a vaccination site.
Jerry didn’t just give Mayor Haynie instructions on how to fix it. He showed up and handled it.
Here’s the video of Jerry at the vaccination site:
Chic Fil A manager Jerry Walkowiak donating his professional drive thru experience to help our vaccination program in Mt Pleasant today. When you need help, call the pros. pic.twitter.com/63RvcVR8KJ— Will Haynie (@willhaynie) January 22, 2021
And just like that, the wait went from an hour down to 15 minutes.
It’s not that the city or health officials don’t understand efficiency. They aren’t actively trying to make people wait longer. They just don’t have the expertise with this part of the process. Inside their own industries, nobody does. They had to look up from what they know and find people who are experts from another field to make their process better.
That’s exactly how Milemarker was founded.
We brought in people we knew who had a proven track record of efficiency. We looked up from the task at hand and found the solution outside of ourselves.
What are you doing right now that could use a fresh perspective? What processes exist inside your day that need efficiency? Are there correlated processes outside of your own team, your own department, your industry that could impact your workflow? How can you benefit from the innovation of others?
We know about Chic-fil-a because most of us have experienced the swift efficiency of their safety first drive thrus. Maybe the help you need can’t be found in the drive thru, but can be found by looking across the business playing field. Become a collector of ideas that don’t seem to directly relate to your work. Consume knowledge that may not be directly tied to your current outcomes and just see where it takes you.
What are some business ideas that have brought about change in your work life that didn’t originate in your field?
I’d love to hear them.