At the in-house Irish pub at the Westin Waterfront in Boston, they have a problem.
The kitchen is located at the end of the bar.
If a server is coming from the bar area into the kitchen to pick up some food, they have to turn a hard left to make it into the kitchen.
Conversely, if another server is carrying a large tray of food, they have to turn sharply to the right in order to make the corner.
The team has devised a workaround to this traffic dilemma.
Apparently, if you work as a server at the Westin Waterfront in-house Irish pub, you yell “CORNER” as you come around said corner.
A straightforward solution that probably works most of the time.
But it leads to many questions.
What was the architect thinking when he or she designed this tricky corner?
How often does the “CORNER” solution work?
Do spectacular collisions still occur at the Corner?
Those questions about the patchwork solution for the Corner problem are interesting.
But since a recent foray into studying systems and improvements for my business, we can take this thought process to a whole nother level.
What blind spots do we have in our business?
Have we developed workarounds for said blind spots?
Do they work all of the time?
When they don’t, are the collisions spectacular?
Sometimes, the tendency is to develop workarounds instead of simply fixing the underlying problem.
The quick and easy fix instead of the long-term solution.
Over time, though, the easy workaround creates more work than the time it would take to fix a problem once and for all.
For today, let us search for and root out our blind spots.
Let us keep an open ear for people yelling “CORNER” at us – with their actions or complaints or workarounds.
Keep ourselves open to trying to find a better way.
Let’s do it.