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
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. 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. 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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