“Tools were made and born were hands. Every farmer understands.”— William Blake

“Ahhhhh,” I happily sighed.

New running shoes are such a delight for me and these fit just right. They are light and felt fast in my test run in the store.

Their bold and bright colors are just right for my running.
The hard trick is getting out there and using them, and using them well.

Purchasing new tools for your business is a similar but even more risky challenge. The risks are two-fold.

Will your purchase be used? I have seen shoes and tool purchased with high hopes but quickly shelved because they were not quite the right fit.

Will they become a fancy distraction? I have seen runners not running in their new shoes because they didn’t want their shoes dirtied.  I have seen teams focus on making the usage of their tool look “beautiful” while losing track of the real purpose of the purchase.

When seeking new tools, keep the following in mind.

  • Decide whether it is time for something new.  Is what you are using no longer working well?  Is the new tool promising more speed to the value you seek?
  • Try out the tool for the purpose you intend.  The first pair of shoes I tried on felt great –– until I ran on the treadmill.   Work to find the right fit to your primary purpose.
  • Have an escape plan. It is too easy to be stubborn and try to make a purchase work even when it is clearly NOT working.  Before you make the purchase, be clear what criteria will cause you to STOP and rethink. Blisters should NOT happen even in new running shoes.
  • Fear not the mud. Once a tool is in use, things will start to get a bit dirty. A database expert once told me “there is always dirty data.”  Tools are made to be used.  Use them.

It has been raining here. It is time for my shiny new shoes to get a bit muddy.

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,

Alan Willett

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