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Easter Ham

So the joke goes...

A little girl and her brother are helping their mom prepare Easter dinner. Mom cuts off both of the ends of the ham and throws them away before she puts the meat in the pan. The little girl asks the obvious, "Mommy, why did you cut off the ends of the ham."

Mom replies, "Well that's how your grandmother taught me."

So, the little girl and her brother go into the family room and ask Grandmother, "Why did you teach Mommy to cut off the ends of the Easter ham?"

Grandmother replies, "Well, that's how Great Nanny did it."

Off the little girl and her tag-a-long brother go to see Great Nanny resting in her chair in the living room. "Great Nanny, why did cut off the ends of the ham before you cooked it?"

"Well, sweetheart, our oven was too small. I couldn't cook it if I didn't cut off the ends."

Family and holiday traditions that we pass down from generation to generation often need no purpose. Their value is in celebrating our rich family history. But, sometimes family traditions like cutting an easter ham or cleaning your plate because you weren't sure when the next meal was coming from continue long past their necessity. Business workflows are the same. Even smart teams often make do with outdated processes long after the old tools that necessitated them have been disposed. Asking "Why do we do it this way?" should be culturally encouraged. Taking time out from day-to-day activity to examine workflow and procedures are well worth the investment of precious staff and leadership time. It is human nature to continue outmoded process and be comfortable with routine. Revamping your efforts to more effectively utilize new technology and tools increase productivity in the long run. And, the fresh thinking might even leave you with more ham at dinner.

#productivity #humannature #teameffectiveness #tradition #routine