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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

Fix What Needs Fixing


Robert Stevenson Blog - The Stapler Principle

I see a lot of valuable time being wasted in companies with people trying to improve something that is already working great. It is important to always be looking for ways to improve, but it is more important to be working on things that need improving. I live, work, and operate by what I like to refer to as The Stapler Principle. This principle has helped me immeasurably in being more efficient, which can also equate into being more successful.



The Stapler Principle

A lot of companies seem to complicate the process of improvement. The big question of … “where do you start” … seems to be the big problem. With so many issues to address, they flounder in the process. Rather than talk about how to get better, how to improve how to streamline, how to reduce costs, or how to deliver better service to your customer, I find it better to first identify the top complaints of customers. Spend the time talking to front-line employees and have them identify what customers complain about most.


Focus, direct, fixate … preoccupy your company obsessively on things that need fixing now! Define the target(s) and make sure EVERYONE knows what it is and then ask for suggestions on how they would fix them. By the way, the same holds true for personal improvement. Focus your efforts on a single priority you need to fix about you and see it through. You will be amazed how many other things you do will also improve.

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