Amateurs Do It Right….


I like this quote from, of all companies, General Motors — a GMC Truck ad:

“Amateurs work until they get it right. Professionals work until they can't get it wrong.”

The ad shows images of football, but it makes me think of our lean efforts. Did you prepare enough, train enough, coach enough, practice enough to do it right once or to make sure you're doing it right every day?

Professionals work until things are habit or automatic. Professionals would also, I suppose, error proof processes so things don't go wrong.

I strive to be a professional. That's my goal.


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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

  1. joe wilson says

    Not to be nit picky, but isn’t the tagline more like “Amateurs work until they get it right. Professionals work until they cant get it wrong”.

    I don’t really care if GM’s ads are quoted accurately or not, but I think the actual line ties in more to the point you are trying to make.

  2. UAW says

    Yes Mark I aggree with your comments. We must educate our employees well enough with this culture change that our Kazien events changes become second nature to us ,we must strive to make it a spontaneous respons to future improvements.This is when we have created the right emviroment,or we have successfully changed the culture.

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