BJ#11a Attention to Details - 6 Sigma Life

Many people has the misunderstanding that importance is dependent on size; only big things matters; small things are insignificant can be ignored or poorly done. They are confused about strategies and the execution. Strategy is about doing the right things to achieve the vision and mission of an organization. Execution is about doing the right strategies rightly. We must do both well, namely, formulating the right strategies and execute them correctly. The 1st phase is about innovations and designs for differentiation and the 2nd phase is about careful execution according to plan. (Let me at this stage also point out quickly that execution to plan does not mean don't change the plan when situations changes. Execution according to plan include monitoring against planned targets and seeking causes for variation from plan. If variation is not as per expected (6 sigma) , we need to fix the systems and/or change the plan. In fact, it is in this close monitoring of variation that we can detect changes in environment).

Attention to the details (and its variation) is the key to execution. The Bible teaches us that.
  • Luke 16:10 "One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
Ability to handle large things is dependent on the ability to handle small things first. The one who is negligent (defective effort, processes, or products) in small, will also be negligent in big items. The "Chaos Theory" teaches us about the 'butterfly effect' - a butterfly flagging its wings in Singapore can cause a Tornado in New York; a small variation in some parameters' value can cause big fluctuations over time. This verse can be called the "Chaos Theory" of the Bible.

The subsequent verses repeated the same key theme "little thing affects the outcome" -
  • Luk 16:11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?
If you cannot handle small amount of value, you cannot be entrusted with high value things. See why some persons are missed out in promotion ? See why some contract proposals are lost ?

Let me take a detour here to talk about "unrighteous wealth". There are people who cited this verse (and similar ones) to say that money is evil. This is not true. Money is amoral. Paul explained it well in 1Ti 6:10 'For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils'. It is the love of money, making it the idol to pursue, that is evil. This is the same meaning that Jesus stressed in this context that you cannot serve Money and God. "Unrighteous wealth" is used, in context, in comparison to the true riches. In comparison to true riches, money becomes unrighteous, false or counterfeit riches. A better translation for 'unrighteous money' is 'money-the counterfeit riches'. This is similar to the "hate your parents" in Luk 14:26. By loving Jesus more relative to our parents, we will appear to hate them. This teaching is not about hating our parents, because everywhere else in the Bible, we are taught to honor our parents. It is about loving Jesus more.

If we are unable to handle something of lesser value, money - false riches, we cannot be promoted to handle the true riches. Stating in reverse, if we want to handle things of higher value, we must begin now to handle things of lower value faithfully. Greatness begins with faithful handling of little things.

Let's look at another bible verse....
  • Mat 14:20 And they all ate and were satisfied.
    And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.
The left overs are waste (not needed anymore; they all ate enough already). Most people would leave them there. Ever visit the site after a big celebration, e.g. Christmas Celebration in Orchard Road? New Year Celebration ?).

Jesus' work did not stop at feeding the 5 thousands. The 'wastes' were collected into 12 baskets full. There are a few lessons and principles there:
  1. Collect the waste (recycle), keep the place clean. No need extra labor to clean them up after they leave.
  2. Don't waste the food/materials. The by-product of re-cycling is cleanliness.
  3. Accumulation of 'little' of many people makes 12 baskets full of good food.
    Don't belittle little things. It could have great impact.
  4. Principle of God's Kingdom: There is no waste in God's Kingdom. By implication, everything in your life, including your failures, crisis, disappointments, sorrows are for your growth and benefits. There is no regrets in God's kingdom. Trust God's with your failures, learn from them and see you can work with God to convert them into greater blessings. The steps to success are labeled 'failures of all kinds'.
Branding and Quality are all related to the attention to the details and the precisions.

Anything worth doing is worth doing well. We do all to the glory of God. START NOW in paying attention to little things and being faithful to little thing (arriving on time, submitting the reports, an extra smile, a little more effort .....)

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