Once a famous Dutch football player said “it is nice to be fast , but it is better to be on time on the right spot“.  Indeed he was not one of the fastest players ever, but he was mostly on time on the right spot; skills that made him play the world championship final in 1974 so there must be something in it.

Now imagine you are not always on time on the right spot or your skill set is not good enough to do things right 1st time? The natural respond of a high performer would be to compensate for it. We start to tackle to get the ball, putting ourselves on the ground, whereas the game really is designed to play upright if and where possible. It costs more energy to make a tackle and puts you in a disadvantageous position (on the ground) and on top if you are not 100% successful with your tackle…to compensate for it you again you would have to get up very quickly, make a sprint quicker than your opponent to catch up with him and so on…. quiet stressful for you muscles!

Now back to our business reality where we seem to like tackling a lot because we compensate for what others forgot to deliver to us. Just an example: you start gathering information that should have been delivered to us on a form but wasn’t (‘the tackle’), spending time on this information gathering that you can not spend somewhere else (‘takes energy away’) which forces you to do the things you should do quicker (‘the additional sprint’). How stressful, but be aware that you created the situation yourself by accepting the incomplete information. In fact you were not ‘timely-at-the-right-spot’ by accepting the input as it was provided to you. If you would have rejected the input you would have saved a lot of energy avoiding quiet some stress.

And for those that still believe that saying no is not an option….it is the most service oriented approach there is, because it will make sure I spend energy efficiently allowing the team to focus on the goal of the game and deliver rather than being exhausted due to all the ‘tackling’.

Certainly in Service Organizations our customers are very often also the providers of (wrong or incomplete) information. Take the example of vendors sending incomplete invoices to me: as long as I tell them what information to deliver to me so I can pay them timely they would be perfectly happy with the rejection,wouldn’t you?

Just by taking a look at your ‘tackling’ you can already identify a lot of waste that could be eliminated or at least reduced.