Introduction\n\nMany of us follow processes and procedures throughout our daily lives in order to effectively complete tasks to an agreed standard. When completing such tasks for the desired outcome, the concept of continuous improvement is very important as it ensures that we are always progressing towards operating at peak performance. I'm a firm believer that the world will leave you behind if you try to stay still, so aspiring to improve is just as important if we only want to treading water, let alone get better all the time.\n\nThere is a downside to constantly improving that we should really address though so that we can take steps to manage expectations. Unfortunately, when we make our systems better we can subsequently shine a spotlight 🔦 on the mistakes that we made in the past. This can bring with it a few issues that we need to deal with so that we aren't put off from making that all importance difference. Here I discuss the issue of exposing your past flaws with your present innovations, and how we should deal with this situation should it arise.\n\nLady seeing past issues thanks to the spotlight\n\nWhy Did We Bother 😖?!\n\nWhen following processes and procedures for long enough, it can be difficult to not get frustrated by any (seemingly) unnecessary steps and activities that are needlessly long. The more and more you carry out such tasks, these frustrations become more pronounced and you may find yourself becoming the world-leading expert in suggesting how various aspects could be improved! We all know that the established norm is there for a reason, and we aren't trying to circumvent important activities and/or cut corners, rather our experience guides us to better behaviours that weren't envisaged when said activities were originally put together. Also, others might come from elsewhere and thus have more diverse solutions the original authors would never have dreamed of. Ultimately, there is always scope to make things better!\n\nIt's a GLORIOUS feeling to put together a change proposition, get the the required buy-in from those around you, take charge, manage the change, do the extra initial work required and have everyone bask together in the collective effort of improvement 😁! You all get to reminisce about the good (AWFUL) old days and finally get to laugh at all the flaming hoops that you had to jump through before that have now all been replaced with the improvements that you have deployed. You know damn well you weren't laughing when you had to deal with that stuff on a daily basis! You all pat each other on the back and reap the rewards of an improved set of activities. FANTASTIC!\n\nThis is until your improvements begin to expose the shortfalls of the past and the results of the difficulties that you all faced! Suddenly that feel good factor is replaced by even more frustration that what you initially experienced prior to implementing the change (you got used to that remember), and you may even feel exasperation and anger after all the effort that was expended. People make mistakes, and when you are in a constrained environment, such mistakes can prosper unnoticed due to the strains put on everyone involved. Remember, this is PRECISELY why you improved your processes in the first place. Despite this, it can be easy to write off the improvement in the first place and think of the whole thing as one big waste of time as you spend EVEN MORE TIME fixing those problems which should never have been there (which you only now know about. This can easily lead us to ask ourselves:\n\nWhy did I even bother with all of that nonsense?!\n\nGuy in grey sweater reflecting sadly after his improvements exposed certain flaws in the systems he uses\n\nLooking at the Situation from a Different Perspective\n\nYes, the sudden influx of new (old) problems can be very demoralising for any budding innovator that just wants to see their systems at peak performance, and it can definitely lead to internal questions of competence. However, it is very important that we take a step back to see the bigger picture. When latent issues seemingly pop up after your newer improved measures are put in place, remember that your updated processes didn't cause these, they were always there to begin with and would continue to be there regardless. All you did was allow these to be easily visible and be front row centre. This is a GOOD THING as they are now transparent enough to be fixed, so see this as an opportunity not a curse even if the extra work makes it seem this way.\n\nIt's good to isolate these issues and deal with them separately from the usual tasks at hand and this allows everyone to focus on what is required for both the usual elements to complete and fixing the issues of the past. Try not to conflate the two as it can make it seem like there is more work! Get everyone involved, not just the innovators as chances are others might be uniquely placed to deal with the (now-visible) problems, heck some may have been raising concerns beforehand! Avoid the blame game, as the time spent assigning culpability could be better used for fixing the issues in the spotlight (and blame might be damaging for morale). Think about it this way, if something now takes a few minutes to complete that before took hours/days, then you now have more time to scrutinise other elements that you weren't afforded before.\n\nBe positive about the whole thing, or you will kill people's willingness to come forward with new ideas, meaning that other ground-breaking productivity improvements would be missed, and potentially other issues lurking in the shadows will not be uncovered which could cause you major issues down the line. Above all else, have everyone remember exactly where you all came from and remember the nonsense of the past that you took the time to fix. You were all frustrated then and got used to it, so what's a bit of short-term frustration now? Focus on the things you changed for the better and the overall improvements that have come from that. You all did that, so well done!\n\nTeam overjoyed and celebrating after they fixed all their legacy issues and are only left with their improvements!\n\nContinue Changing things for the Better\n\nIrrespective of how our innovations may/may not end up, it is paramount that we continue to try improving our processes and procedures when we see opportunities. If we don't, as the world continues to spin on its axis, we will be left behind. When implementing those next big improvements, we should be cognizant of the fact that we might kick the hornets nest of latent problems, and be ready to deal with the impending buzzing and potential stinging (ouch). Ultimately, when the latent issues have been resolved and the craziness dies down, you will be left with something far better than before, allowing you to complete more in the same amount of time, as well as focus on other elements that might need your attention. It's important to see the good through the bad, and understand that even when it seems that you've not succeeded, you've actually done a bloody good job!\n\nTake care and all the best, Si.