Shake Out the Rug

In our 200,000 year history as a species, we humans have learned to work together to do incredible things. We built the pyramids, landed on the moon, and built a globally interconnected society.

And we’ve also become experts at sweeping adverse information under the rug in the pursuit of common goals. But when we ignore problems, the bill eventually comes due.

Whether it’s oil companies spending millions to delay the switch to renewables or the Catholic Church shifting problem priests from parish to parish, the costs of sweeping things under the rug have a way of compounding.

That’s why smart organizations develop strategies and routines for regularly shaking out the rug.

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” - James Baldwin


Shaking out the rug requires the free flow of feedback up and down the organizational hierarchy, fostering healthy conflict which leads to innovation and a culture of continuous improvement.

Organizations that can shake out the rug are more resilient and durable, and thus better able to create value for all stakeholders.

Stand-ups, performance reviews, and kaizen are a good start, but they must be supported by leadership who embrace disagreement and constructive conflict. Book a Gemba Session to increase your team’s ability to shake out the rug.


5 Habits of Healthy Organizations

  1. Work Slow
  2. Build a Library
  3. Respect the Cook
  4. Shake Out the Rug
  5. Share the Spoils

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