The term everyone used back in the 90’s was “continuous improvement”. The Japanese used the word, “Kaizen” as to become perfect through applied wisdom and practice. I like to look at professional athletes that have achieved world class success by continuous practice and applying new techniques which improve performance.
Winners have a relentless focus on getting better every day. That’s incrementalism. Ollie Schniederjans became a golf phenom and PGA pro by practicing his golf swing and golf course management through repetition and applied wisdom reading greens, applying techniques, and working on his game every day. Pros like Ollie practice in the rain when others are sitting inside so that he can be better prepared to play in harsh, soggy conditions during a tournament. Always working to get better, incrementally.
No one working in the global economy begins at the highest levels of achievement without a large learning curve. We apply our wisdom by learning from others and by making mistakes. To best short cut our route to success or to “hack the system” like the young folks like to say, we observe what has worked for others and for continuing to work on our own knowledge. We read, research, practice, and apply what we learn. Sometimes we fail, but we learn better how to do it better next time.
There has been so many books written on how to become more successful but these books rarely talk about the failures, the trial and error of incrementalism. How do we get better? We get better by measuring where we are starting from and then improving incrementally. Moving forward with lessons learned, by understanding new approaches, and apply knowledge by incremental improvement.
Start any effort by understanding the objective to be accomplished and then break the processes down into management steps. Eliminate redundancy, apply speed and simplicity to each step, and then repeat with a focus on excellence.