A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step — Chinese proverb
Small is beautiful!
Small is not intimidating. For example, a Feature, once it is decomposed into small stories (i.e., 1 or 2 points in size… maximum 3 points) it is no longer intimidating…. specially if the stories are all 1 point in size! A 1 point story — the smallest size — is singular in nature… and the vision (intent) of the story is clear, easy to understand, it is not complex, and it is not ambiguous.
A small thing is easy to start and finished fast.
If the Amygdala — part of our brain — senses fear, it goes on a survival mode (fight or flight). If your brain sense big changes and it associates it to pain, then fear is evoked. This is one of the reasons why big changes are hard to achieve…
What if, instead of a big change, you make small changes towards it? Small enough that your Amygdala does not sense it… sort of “stealth” change?
Fear would not be evoked… and allows that small change to go through unstopped… because the Amygdala is “asleep”!
There is no “fight or flight” response/activity going on! All you have to do is execute… and then do the next smallest step… and so on and so forth… until you realize the outcome that you are looking for.
Key then is: Know your outcome… and do not wake up your Amygdala… with smallest steps that you can do today… be better… or achieve your outcome… with smallest steps… taken everyday.
That is the beauty of Kaizen! Kaizen is a Japanese word which means ‘change for better’… in small increments… in a continuous manner… a continuous and never-ending improvement cycle.
The opposite of Kaizen is Kaikaku. Kaikaku is a drastic, huge. disruptive change… a good example is what iPhone did to Blackberry.
However, Kaizen and Kaikaku are better together. For example, after a Kaikaku, Kaizen follows… it is what iPhone’s journey is now… incremental changes from iPhone 14 to iPhone 15… no drastic change.
Anyway… back to Kaizen…
Kaizen allows you to achieve great things with small/est steps!
So… I ask you this Kaizen question… to get you started with your “journey of a thousand miles”:
What is the smallest change that you can do today for the better?
There are more ideas like this in my two books — both are available for purchase on Amazon.
SAFe (6.0) Is Like…
This reached “#1 New Release” on Amazon
SAFe 6.0 Practice
My new book, released on October 15, 2023.